Aberdeenshire safety campaign taken to Holyrood
ABERDEENSHIRE Council and the North east’s regional transport partnership today took their campaign for major safety improvements at a notorious accident blackspot to the Scottish Parliament.
And their demand for a flyover at Laurencekirk, where the A937 crosses the busy A90 Aberdeen to Dundee dual carriageway, was backed by a video, showing the dangers facing drivers struggling to get across the junction, which has been sent to every MSP by Nigel Don, the SNP MSP for Angus North and Mearns.
Derick Murray, the director of Nestrans, and Ewan Wallace, the head of transportation at Aberdeenshire Council, are due to meet members of the Scottish Parliament’s Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee which is currently examining the case for a flyover at Laurencekirk.
They will be pressing the urgent need for the creation of a grade separated junction on the busy trunk road, following a recent Nestrans report which showed previous predictions for future traffic levels in the Laurencekirk area had been significantly underestimated.
Range of road users
Mr Murray said: “This is a junction currently utilised by a range of users including haulage firms, tractors, school buses and car drivers who have to cross two busy lanes of the A90 to access the southbound carriageway.
“While subject to a 50mph speed restriction, this is a temporary measure rather than a long-term solution. A grade separated junction would maintain access to the A90 and address all current traffic issues at this location which has been the subject of an ongoing campaign for funding for more than a decade.”
He added: “Planned housing development for the area is centred on the north side of Laurencekirk which is served by an existing junction at the northbound carriageway. As a trunk road, the funding of a flyover is the responsibility of Transport Scotland and we will be lobbying hard to have this matter taken forward as a priority.”
Dangers of junction
Mr Don said his video clearly showed the dangers of the current junction where drivers of tractors with bogies, articulated lorries and other vehicles are having to edge across the busy A90.
He explained: “I made the video because pictures tell the story better than all the dry statistical reports which are normally served up to committees, Ministers, and organisations such as Transport Scotland. To me the case for a flyover at this junction is absolutely clear. For the 20 miles between Brechin and Stonehaven there are no flyovers or underpasses which allow vehicles to cross this busy road.”
He said: “The principal problem here is that lot of traffic comes up from Montrose first thing in the morning and needs to cross the carriageway on the way to turning right to head to Aberdeen. If you have a heavy vehicle, a long vehicle or a slow vehicle, there is no alternative route across the A90 - and these factors add up to making this an extremely dangerous stretch of the road.”
Mr Don said that current Transport Scotland policy dictated that housing developers should pay for a flyover.But he warned: “It is entirely clear that there will never be enough building close to the south junction to even scratch the surface of the costs involved. This is Transport Scotland’s problem, and they need to sort it before someone gets hurt or killed.”
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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