Just £68k spent on A90 Toll of Birness over last five years

The Scottish Government has been slammed for ignoring north-east commuters after it was revealed just £68,000 has been spent on safety improvements at the A90 Toll of Birness over the last five years.

David Duguid with Ellon councillor Gillian Owen at A90 Toll of Birness
David Duguid with Ellon councillor Gillian Owen at A90 Toll of Birness

A parliamentary written question from north-east MSP Douglas Lumsden has uncovered the money was spent on just three road signs at the accident blackspot in 2017 and 2021.

Mr Lumsden and Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid described the revelation as a “disgrace” and urged SNP ministers to fast-track plans to dual the A90 at Toll of Birness as a “matter of urgency”.

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A separate response to a question from Mr Lumsden also revealed just £144,000 has been spent on improvements to the whole road between Ellon and Peterhead since 2017 while around £200,000 has been put towards the Fraserburgh stretch.

Plans to dual the Toll of Birness have been included in transport body Nestrans’ 2040 strategy, which outlines the areas it will prioritise over the next two decades.

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But the Scottish Government’s national transport strategy (STPR2) failed to mention any specific improvements to the notorious junction, instead prioritising the A90 through Dundee.

Douglas Lumsden MSP said: “It beggars belief the SNP Government care so little for upgrading the Toll of Birness that they think three road signs are enough to improve safety at the junction.

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“These figures and lack of investment in the A90 north of Ellon are a complete slap in the face to commuters who use this dangerous route on a daily basis.

“Repeated calls have been made to dual the Toll of Birness for more than a decade now.

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He added: “Yet despite such strong favour from the public for upgrading the route, a spade has yet to hit the ground which underlines the disgraceful attitude being shown by this Scottish Government to the people of the north-east.”

Mr Duguid said: “We continue to have a terrifying number of collisions on the A90 north of Ellon, many of which have tragically resulted in lives being lost.

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“It’s time for the SNP to stop turning a blind eye to the A90 Toll of Birness and commit to improving this route as a matter of urgency.”