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Inverness is linked to the Black Isle across the Moray Firth by the Kessock Bridge. It has a railway station with services to Perth, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Aberdeen, Thurso, Wick and to Kyle of Lochalsh. Inverness is connected to London by the Caledonian Sleeper, which departs six times a week and by the Highland Chieftain which runs 7 days a week. Inverness Airport is located 15 km east of the city and has scheduled flights to airports across the UK and Republic of Ireland including London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Belfast, Dublin and the islands to the north and west of Scotland. Some local controversy arose when British Airways sold off the landing slots at Heathrow for the three daily flights to and from Inverness as part of the proposed link up with American Airlines which eventually failed. Flybe has a base here with crews working Gatwick and Manchester routes,they also fly to Belfast and Birmingham with BHX and BFS crews. Highland airways fly routes to Stornoway and Benbecula. Logan air Fly Saab 340 aircraft ( in Flybe colours ) to Stornoway,Kirkwall and Sumburgh Daily,Rumour has it Logan air will open a base at Inverness in March 2010.
Three trunk roads (the A9, A82 and A96) provide access to Aberdeen, Perth, Elgin, Thurso, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Plans are in place to convert the A96 between Inverness and Nairn to a dual carriageway and to construct a southern bypass that would link the A9, A82 and A96 together involving crossings of the Caledonian Canal and the River Ness in the Torvean area, southwest of the town. The bypass, known as the Inverness Trunk Road Link (TRL), is aimed at resolving Inverness’s transport problems and has been split into two separate projects, the east and west sections. The east section will bypass Inshes Roundabout, a notorious traffic bottleneck, using a new road linking the existing Southern Distributor with the A9 and the A96, both via grade separated interchanges. This proposed new link road would bypass Inshes roundabout, as stated before, and separate strategic traffic from local traffic as well as accommodating proposals for new development at the West Seafield Retail and Business Park and also a new UHI campus.
At the west end, two options for crossing the river and canal were developed. One involving a high level vertical opening bridge which will allow the majority of canal traffic to pass under without the need for opening. The other involved a bridge over the river and an aqueduct under the canal. Both of these designs are technically complex and were considered in detail along by the key stakeholders involved in the project. Ultimately it was decided that a bridge over the river and a tunnel under the canal were the best option, allow more expensive.
In late 2008 the controversial decision by the Scottish Government not to include the full Inverness bypass in its transport plan for the next 20 years was made. The government's Strategic Transport Projects Review did however, include the eastern section of the route, which will see the A9 at Inshes linked to the A96.
But the absence of the TRL's western section, which would include a permanent crossing over the Caledonian Canal and River Ness, sparked dismay among several Highland councillors and business leaders in Inverness who feel the bypass is vital for the city's future economic growth.
When the Trunk Road Link is completed this will ease gridlock in the City Centre and provide opportunities for Transport Demand Management measures throughout the city as well as environmental enhancement in the City Centre in line with National Transport Strategy of reducing emissions and congestion in City Centres.
In late 2008 the Scottish Government's transport plan for the next 20 years was announced. It brings forward planned improvements to the A9 in an attempt to stimulate the economy and protect jobs.