Berriedale Braes improvement study given NDA funds

Berriedale Braes hairpin bend A hairpin bend at Berriedale Bends can challenge drivers of large vehicles

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is to contribute £100,000 towards a £220,000 study of potential solutions for the Berriedale Braes on the A9.

The road drops down 130m (426.5ft) at the braes in Caithness. There is also a hairpin bend which lorry drivers can have difficulty negotiating.

The NDA is responsible for the Dounreay nuclear plant in Caithness.

Transport Scotland is giving £100,000 and Highland Council and Hitrans £10,000 each towards the study.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said improvements at Berriedale Braes would be carried out as soon as possible.

He said: "There are substantial and competing pressures in prioritising road improvements throughout our trunk road network.

"However, all of the key players involved have worked to produce a constructive suggestion.

"We have successfully levered in funding from other sources to move the project on and I congratulate those involved for stepping up to the plate on this occasion."

Graham Phillips, chairman of Highland Council's transport, environmental and community services committee, said his family had personal experience of problems with the stretch of road.

It has coastal cliffs on one side.

He said: "In the 1950s my late father-in-law was nearly pushed over the edge by a runaway lorry on Berriedale Braes.

"In the winter of 2010 I had to act swiftly to avoid a similar situation at the same spot.

"This road is not fit for purpose in the 21st Century."

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