Every collision is one too many says MSP

Liam Kerr MSP has underlined the need for the A90 north of Ellon to be included in the SNP’s 20-year transport masterplan after it was axed, despite shock figures showing seven people have died on the road over the last three years.

The harrowing statistics, obtained by the Scottish Conservatives from Police Scotland, also show a further 49 people have been injured in collisions beyond Ellon since 2020.

Despite this, Scottish Government figures revealed just £68,000 has been spent on safety improvements at the Toll of Birness since 2017.

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During a ministerial statement on the SNP’s national transport strategy (STPR2) in parliament on Thursday, Mr Kerr urged Jenny Gilruth to include the Toll of Birness after a potential upgrade including a roundabout was axed from the masterplan.

Shock figures revealed seven people have died on the road over the last three years.

The omission, revealed in December, comes after Michael Matheson said in 2019 that improvements would be considered for the framework, which outlines areas the Scottish Government will prioritise over the next 20 years.

Promises to upgrade the A90 at Toll of Birness date as far back as 2007 when Alex Salmond said the first decision he would make if he got elected as First Minister would be to dual the road between Ellon and Peterhead, with a decision being made within 100 days of him gaining office.

Scottish Conservative shadow transport secretary Liam Kerr said: “It’s scandalous the Toll of Birness hasn’t been included in the STPR2 which is why I will be outlining every reason why this shocking omission must be overturned. Every collision is one too many and the lack of investment is a betrayal to the families whose loved ones have tragically died or suffered injuries on the road.

“Despite such strong public outcry for this upgrade, it’s plain to see this SNP Government has turned its back on communities including Peterhead, Fraserburgh and Mintlaw.

“Fast forward more than 15 years since Alex Salmond first promised to upgrade the A90 north of Ellon, motorists may have to wait another 20 before this government next looks at improvements to the road. It’s high time Jenny Gilruth does the right thing and prioritises this major route to prevent more lives from being lost.”