Transport Partnership to Press for Improved Junctions at Key North East Routes

Stuart Smith 2012, News

THE north-east’s regional transport partnership is to lobby the national roads agency over what it believes is a strengthened case for safety improvements to two busy north-east trunk roads.

Details of the A9 dualling programme released by Transport Scotland include aims to install grade separated junctions on the route between Perth and Inverness. Members of the public have been submitting their thoughts on the plan at a series of public exhibitions this month.

With Holyrood’s Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee currently examining the case for a flyover at Laurencekirk where the A937 crosses the A90, Nestrans believes the A9 decision strengthens the case for similar treatment to trunk road junctions in the north-east.

The transport body has written to Transport Scotland to reiterate the need for a grade separated junction in the Laurencekirk area. It is also highlighting the need for a similar junction strategy to be adopted when plans are developed for the dualling of the A96 and that this should be extended to include the junctions on the section of the A96 that is already dualled between Aberdeen and Inverurie.

This section of the A96 is the most heavily trafficked and is therefore likely to provide significant benefit should the junctions at Blackburn and Kintore be upgraded in-line with the improvements that may be considered when dualling the rest of the A96 trunk road.

“Reducing the number and severity of accidents is a key objective for the A9 dualling scheme,” said Nestrans chair, councillor Peter Argyle.

“The north-east’s Regional Transport Strategy also includes improving road safety as a main objective and more grade-separated junctions at locations, such as Laurencekirk on the A90 south of Aberdeen, are specifically identified as a priority for action.

“A recent Nestrans report has shown a strengthened case for a junction improvement on the A90 at Laurencekirk and a meeting is being sought between officers of Transport Scotland, Nestrans and Aberdeenshire Council to discuss recent events and how this matter can be taken forward.

“If the planners concede the need for these safety measures on the A9, the case for an improved junction layout on the A90 – a far busier route – is obvious.”

In December 2011, the Scottish Government published the Infrastructure and Investment Plan (IIP), which details plans for up to £60 billion of spending until 2030. The IIP sets out that the A9 between Perth and Inverness will be dualled by 2025, with a view to completing dualling of the A96, and thus, the dualled road network between all Scottish cities by 2030.