Minister says no to A90 u-turn on dualling
Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid described the newly appointed transport chief’s decision as a “dereliction of duty” and “massively disappointing”.
It follows Mr Duguid’s urgent calls for Kevin Stewart to look again at the SNP-Green Government’s recent controversial decision to axe the proposal under the previous transport minister Jenny Gilruth.
In his response, Mr Stewart said there were no further upgrades planned for the A90 north of Ellon and instead pointed to the recent installation of a “vehicle activated sign” to warn drivers who were exceeding the speed limit as the chosen measure to improve safety on the road.
He added that despite “recognising the local safety concerns”, the SNP-Green Government was focussing on dealing with the challenge of climate change rather than “any large-scale interventions for the A90 north of Aberdeen”.
Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid said: “It’s massively disappointing that Kevin Stewart is refusing to listen to the people of the north-east and has decided not to resurrect plans to dual the A90 between Ellon and Peterhead.
“To not even consider assessing options for upgrading the road should be seen as a dereliction of duty.
“Communities such as Peterhead and Fraserburgh help to form the engine room of our region yet any prospect of dualling its main arterial route has been kicked into the long grass.
“For too long commuters have had to contend with daily accidents and near misses and it's completely unacceptable for Kevin Stewart and his government to turn a blind eye to this.”
Mr Stewart noted that Aberdeenshire Council had voiced its support for improving the Toll of Birness junction but said it should be the local authority which comes up with the cash from developer contributions as part of its Local Development Plan.
Mr Duguid added: “The A90 is a trunk road and is the responsibility of the Scottish Government not the local council.
“This is a shameless attempt to pass the buck and shows how little respect the SNP-Green Government has for the north-east.
“We need all organisations to get round the table to underline the pressing need for the A90 between Ellon and Peterhead to be dualled.”
In his response, Mr Stewart said: “The recently published, second Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2) came to a similar conclusion noting that the priorities for investment in Scotland’s trunk road network are on improving road safety and reliability and adapting the network to deal with challenge of climate change rather than any large-scale interventions for the A90 north of Aberdeen.
“I recognise the local safety concerns which you mention relating to the A90 at the Toll of Birness junction, which is why Transport Scotland have installed a vehicle activated sign to advise drivers where they are exceeding the speed limit. We will evaluate the effectiveness of this measure before considering any further improvements.
“I would also note that Aberdeenshire Council has also identified that upgrades to the junction are required to mitigate the impact of development within their Local Development Plan. In line with Scottish planning policy the detail of what those are, their funding and implementation, is a matter for the council and developers.”