The replacement of Delny level crossing by a bridge, as announced by Network Rail last September, has now become a certainty after planning consent was given on 26 January. Highland Council's North Planning Applications Committee supported the plan unanimously. To allay local fears about excessive noise the design of the bridge and its approaches incorporate bends and restricted visibility. This will result in traffic slowing down to around 30 mph although the road itself is de-restricted. There will also be a weight limit of 7.5 tonnes to avoid disturbance to residents of nearby Barbaraville.
The only remaining legal matter is the issuing of a Stopping-up Order by the Scottish Government to allow the level crossing to be closed and the railway fenced off. This is not in doubt.
The level crossing replacement will allow trains to pass through at full linespeed. The time thus saved may strengthen the argument to reopen Evanton Station. Housing development there will see the local population increase significantly in the near future, possibly exceeding Beauly and Conon Bridge, both of which had successful station reopenings. It was announced in April that HITRANS has received a £5,000 grant to pay for a feasibility study, expected to be completed during summer 2021.
The other by-product of closing the level crossing is that Network Rail's objection to the building of 100 houses in the area will be resolved. NR had been concerned that the development would cause additional traffic to use the level crossing.