Study Into Corran Narrows Fixed Link Options
18th February 2020
A study is underway into the feasibility of replacing Scotland's second busiest ferry service with a fixed link bridge or tunnel.
The Highland Council, HITRANS and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) are joint funding the study at the Corran Narrows in Lochaber.
It is being carried out by transport infrastructure specialists, Stantec, and follows previous analysis carried out in 2018.
The study is exploring whether it's feasible to create a fixed link across the Corran Narrows and identify if the business case compares favourably with that of maintaining a ferry service over the next 60 years.
Stantec have identified five potential route corridors for fixed links. Two of these are for a low-level bridge, two for a high-level bridge and one for a tunnel.
An update on the project has been submitted to Highland Council’s Lochaber area committee for their meeting on Wednesday (19 February). Councillors are being asked to agree that the final report of the study is submitted to Transport Scotland as soon as possible as part of the Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2).
Neil MacRae, Partnership Manager at Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership (HITRANS), said:"This is a timely study that seeks to understand the business case supporting the different options for connecting across the Corran Narrows to best serve the communities of Morvern and, Adnamurchan and beyond to Mull. The final report will help local partners make the case for investment in this strategic link at a national level."
Martin Johnson, interim director of strategy and regional economy at HIE, said:"In previous decades, the construction of fixed links elsewhere in the Highlands and Islands have provided sustained benefits for communities. New fixed links can offer the potential to open up remote areas to additional economic opportunities and improve access to jobs for residents. It is therefore important that these types of infrastructure interventions are duly considered when identifying the most suitable long-term option for the Corran Narrows crossing."
STPR2 is a Scotland-wide review of the strategic transport network across all transport modes. It will make recommendations for potential transport investments for Scottish Ministers to consider as national investment priorities in an updated 20-year (2022-2042) Infrastructure Investment Plan for Scotland.
From Monday, a number of changes have been made in line with national guidance, to how we collect waste in order to protect staff, during the Coronavirus emergency. To protect our staff, and prevent the spread of Coronavirus on our waste collection routes we have improved social distancing measures in line with guidance and in discussion with union reps.
Highland Council will continue to provide school meals through e-vouchers to families throughout the school Easter break. This is to recognise the particular difficulties many families will be experiencing due to the Coronavirus emergency.
Learning and childcare hubs for the children of key workers will remain open across Scotland over the Easter holidays. The move will help support key workers in the NHS and other key sectors on the frontline of the response to coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Highland Council is working hard to release business grants to eligible local businesses as quickly as possible. The Council has received over 2,000 applications since the scheme was introduced last week and has set up systems to process these applications quickly while ensuring the necessary information is received.
Since The Highland Council's dedicated helpline went live last Wednesday afternoon staff have dealt with over 1,600 calls. The helpline has been set to give assistance and to collect details of individuals and community groups looking to provide volunteering support.
Council tax payers in Highland who have lost their jobs or are experiencing a drop in their income are being encouraged to apply as quickly as possible for a reduction in their council tax. This help, known as the ‘Council Tax Reduction Scheme', is available for lower income households, including home owners.
Around 19,000 business rate payers in Highland will not receive their annual rates bill this April. The Highland Council recognises the exceptional economic challenges for local business and has therefore decided to pause business rates bills in respect of financial year 2020/21.
What is 'shielding'? If you fall within one of the groups recommended to shield, you will have received a letter or text from the NHS. Shielding is a measure to protect extremely vulnerable people by minimising contact between those who are extremely vulnerable and others.
During this time of restrictions it is important that we all stay active, for our physical health and mental well being. Recreation outside is an important element of this, but it is essential that each of us practice good social distancing while outside.
The Highland Council has launched a free helpline to give assistance and to collect details of individuals and community groups looking to provide volunteering support during Covid19. The single line number - 0300 303 1362 - will connect callers to relevant Council specialist teams and will operate Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm.
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