TRANSPORT officials have unveiled a plan to move part of a major road to the north of Scotland closer to the sea to improve safety.

The Berriedale Braes on the east coast of Caithness is where the A9 drops from nearly 500ft above sea level to just 65ft with gradients of 13%.

On the north side there is a hairpin bend which HGVs can only negotiate by taking up most of the road.

Loading article content

Transport Scotland's preferred design, which was shown to the community yesterday, would see the road move closer to the sea, reducing the tightness of the bend and providing a gentler approach to the hill for northbound traffic.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said: "The natural geography at Berriedale Braes, with a steep gradient and hairpin bend, is a very challenging road alignment, especially for HGVs and other long vehicles.

"The fact a preferred option is on display is evidence of our commitment to find a solution and improve this important section of the road between Inverness and Thurso."