Highlands & Islands

Questions on new Inverness road need answers, SNP says

River Ness
Image caption The new West Link would have to cross the River Ness and Caledonian Canal

The SNP group on Highland Council has said all questions on a planned new bypass must be "clearly" answered by the ruling administration.

Eight options for the West Link route in Inverness have been put out for public consultation.

BBC research of title deeds suggests that some land involved belongs to the city's common good fund and its use could increase costs of the road.

SNP councillor Drew Hendry said the council was rushing the project.

In response to the BBC Scotland investigation, Highland Council said no land involved was in ownership of Inverness Common Good Fund.

However, Mr Hendry said questions remained about how the road could be progressed.

He said the local authority should "pause, draw breath and reflect" on the plans before consultation with the public on options for it.

Mr Hendry said: "We have raised concerns from the very start that this process was being rushed into in an unseemly rush.

"There are a lot of unanswered questions and I warned that there would be work needed to be done before we can actually go out to consultation."

The West Link aims to take traffic from the city's Southern Distributor Road to the A82, avoiding the city centre.

The road would have to cross the River Ness and Caledonian Canal.

|The eight options proposed range in cost from £23m to £75.5m.

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