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Caithness News Bulletins September 2003

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A9 Speed Reduced Permanently to 50 MPH At North Kessock Junction 16 September 03
Start Earlier If You Have A Deadline To Avoid Speeding Fines

A lower speed limit and smart signs will be introduced on the A9 at the North Kessock junction as part of a package of safety improvements, it was announced today.

Transport Minister Nicol Stephen said the speed limit would be lowered to 50 mph for a distance of approximately 850 metres on both carriageways, with effect from Friday 19 September 2003.

The Minister confirmed the full safety package would include:

new 50 mph speed limit on both carriageways

new cross with care signing

new chevron road markings to make motorists more aware of road layout

new ‘keep left’ signs on the central reserve and on traffic islands to ensure motorists negotiate the junction correctly

vehicle activated signs that warn drivers to slow down or that a car is turning on to the A90

Mr Stephen said:  “Today’s announcement follows my visit to North Kessock in July. Road safety, is one of my top priorities and I was determined to take action to make the junction safer.

“Following recent accidents, the Scottish Executive commissioned BEAR Scotland to investigate safety at the junction. The proposals that emerged were taken to a two day public display at the North Kessock Village hall where the local community was invited to comment.

“The consultation showed strong support for reducing speed through the junction to allow drivers more time for turning off and on to the A9.

“We intend to implement all of the measures displayed at the exhibition. These include vehicle activated or "smart" signs to warn drivers about excessive speed and new junction markings.

"The Executive will regularly review these measures to ensure they are effective.”

Smart signs will detect and display to speeding drivers that they are exceeding the speed limit. This is done via a very powerful LED type display of the 50 mph speed limit. Other signs will warn drivers on the A9 when a vehicle is waiting to cross at North Kessock junction. The exact design of these signs is yet to be decided.