Calls for urgent action at notoriously dangerous Munlochy junction on the A9 following fatal crash
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Urgent action is being demanded to improve road safety at a notoriously dangerous junction on the A9 which was the scene of a fatal crash at the weekend.
The incident happened at the Munlochy B9161 junction north of Inverness at about 4.20pm on Friday and involved a white Nissan Pixo and a red Volvo V60.
The 86-year-old driver of the Nissan was taken to Raigmore Hospital where, sadly, she later died.
Just last month, Transport Scotland confirmed street lighting was to be installed at the junction following a public consultation considering various improvements on the trunk road between North Kessock and Tore roundabout.
In the wake of Friday’s crash, Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch MSP Kate Forbes – a prolific campaigner for improvements at the junction – has written to Transport Scotland calling for further measures to be fast-tracked.
She has also written to Police Scotland about possible short-term measures such as stepping up police camera patrols.
"First and foremost I am absolutely devastated that the Munlochy Junction has seen another fatality, and I am heartbroken for family and friends who have lost a loved one," Ms Forbes said.
"Though I have been campaigning for road safety improvements here for a number of years now, I am frustrated that further progress hasn’t been made – as I think everyone on the Black Isle, and indeed the wider Highlands, would accept that this is one of the most dangerous junctions on the network.With the population growth in and around the Black Isle and Inverness, traffic numbers are only going to increase here.
"Though Transport Scotland’s study has been helpful to a point, urgent action is now required.”
She continued: "While major infrastructure improvements can’t happen overnight, I want to see proposals fast-tracked as quickly as possible, and I also believe there’s some short-term measures – like reducing the speed limit and stepping up police camera patrols either side of the junction – which could help reduce the risk of further accidents and fatalities."
Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant was also deeply upset to hear of another fatal collision at the junction.
"My heart goes out to the family grieving the loss of their loved one," she said.
"While we don’t yet know the cause of the accident, there is acceptance at all levels of government that this junction needs major improvement.
"We need major structural improvement in the area and we need an increased police presence until improvements are introduced."
Many have voiced their condolences and concerns on social media including John Stott, chairman of Knockbain Community Council.
"We will continue to press for a swift resolution to this junction and call again on Transport Scotland to take decisive action before any more lives are lost," he said.
A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “Our sympathies are with family and friends at this time.
"As police investigations into this accident are on-going it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.
"However, as part of standard policy our officials are to meet with Police Scotland and the road operating company, Bear Scotland, to obtain more detailed information on this accident."
Police are still carrying out inquiries into the cause of the crash and are asking anyone who was in the area at the time to get in contact.
Sergeant Neil MacDonald, of the road policing unit, said: "In particular we are keen to speak to anyone who saw the cars or who may have dash-cam footage that can help with our investigation.
"If you can help please contact us on 101, quoting incident number 2379 of 19 November."