IAN BLACKFORD:MP for Ross, Skye & Lochaber

‘There are solutions to Stromeferry bypass chaos’ SNP Westminster leader says.


Ian Blackford MP has today called on Network Rail, and the Highland Council, to listen to the communities affected by the traffic chaos caused by road closure and traffic management on the A890 Stromeferry Bypass.

‘Road-on-rail’ diversion measures, in which vehicles are convoyed onto the adjacent railway line, were put in place to avoid the section of road undergoing major work. However, mix ups in operations, and a reluctance from Network Rail to consider alternatives has led to huge issues, with as many as 125 cars waiting at one time on each side of the tracks.

Concerns have been raised by worried parents that delays are preventing their children get to and from school on time, with some journeys taking as long as 3 hours, for a 45 minute trip. Local organisers have outlined these concerns to Network Rail and Highland Council, however other than new signage, no additional measures have been put in place to alleviate the increasing chaos. Parents are now considering whether it is viable to send their kids to school at all, during the time of the works.

Local MP, Ian Blackford has seen the issues first hand and believes there is a solution.

He said, ‘Network Rail seem to be sticking their fingers in their ears over this. A number of mistakes from both the rail company and Highland Council have led to the situation that we are in now, and have been for some time’

‘Network Rail must halt the rail services coming to and from Plockton, and then arrange a bus service going onto Stromeferry at a point that would help alleviate the ridiculous waiting times that passengers travelling by road are experiencing’

‘The current way of working has caused no end of problems. We have kids being stranded on buses for hours and cues over a 100 cars deep in both directions. To be fair the Council at least seem willing to listen. We now need to get all parties round the table and hammer out a plan on this as quickly as possible, the current situation cannot continue’