https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/ne ... elocation/
A north transport chief has called for a rail and bus interchange to be created in Inverness after the Royal Mail announced plans to relocate its Highland sorting office to another city site.
The £6.6million investment in a new facility on Seafield Road will free up the existing premises in Strothers Lane.
And yesterday Frank Roach, manager at north transport partnership Hitrans, said: “This certainly allows for the provision of a better transport interchange and potential of adding some green space which we completely lack in the city centre.
“It’s all part of the masterplan exercise which needs to happen around the stations (bus and rail). This is now the kind of opportunity to say, ‘this is going to happen and can we have sensible ideas for efficient transport interchange,’ rather than persisting with a bus station divorced from the train station.”
Mr Roach said buses could make use of the Royal Mail site, rather than being “hemmed in by buildings.” He said this would provide more efficient access to the A82 trunk road, instead of exiting the station and turning onto Academy Street as part of a one way system.
Work is also due to start this summer on the £6 million revamp of Inverness train station and Station Square, including improving the entrances to Falcon Square and Strothers Lane.
Royal Mail said in a statement yesterday that their move is part of an ongoing transformation of its business to increase the efficiency of its operations and provide a service which is “fit for purpose for our people and customers”.
A spokeswoman confirmed that all 274 workers there will keep their jobs when they transfer to the bigger facility – potentially as soon as April next year – and suggested extra roles could even be created.
The new building will provide more than double the floor space to meet the demand of the growing parcel and online shopping market, as well as for automated mail sorting facilities in the future.
The pace of housing growth in Inverness has also been a factor in the decision, with the prospect of new addresses and more parcel deliveries in the future.
Scottish Council for Development and Industry’s Highlands and Islands director, Fraser Grieve, said: “Not only will it ensure that the facilities are there to meet future postal needs but it will open up potential redevelopment of a key site in the centre of the city.”
Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey MP Drew Hendry said: “It is good to see this major investment from Royal Mail in Inverness which will help protects local jobs and improve mail services.
“Vacating the current building also opens up the exciting possibility of redevelopment around the bus and train stations, which is well overdue. I look forward to discussing options with the various parties and to meet with Royal Mail to hear more about these investment plans.”
Inverness Provost Helen Carmichael said the creation of a transport interchange should be “seriously considered” and called for the inclusion of green space in any such a redevelopment. She added: “I think that would be wonderful.”
Inverness and Nairn MSP, Fergus Ewing, said: “I very much welcome this significant investment in Inverness by Royal Mail. This is very positive news indeed for the Highland capital.”