Work to update and strengthen the case for improving transport north of Ellon to Fraserburgh and Peterhead has received backing from the Nestrans board, and the Aberdeen City Region Deal Joint Committee.
Commissioned by Nestrans, consultants Stantec have now completed an evidence review of earlier studies on the A90(N) and A952 corridors. The original studies, completed in 2017, looked at ways to address road safety, journey times, and reliability north of Aberdeen.
The full evidence review was presented at yesterday’s (Wednesday 21 June) Nestrans board meeting. The review concludes that much of the findings from the existing studies are still valid, however work is needed to update in line with the significant policy and funding changes that have occurred at a national level.
The studies continue to show a strong case for improvement of the two trunk road roundabouts at Ellon, and junction improvements at Toll of Birness and Cortes, forming the first stages of a longer-term improvement strategy on the route.
The Nestrans board noted the findings of the review and were supportive of proceeding to complete an Outline Business Case and Preliminary Options report. It is expected that these will be completed within the current financial year, with a further Detailed Options Report to be completed in 24/25.
While the transport corridor was not specifically recognised in the Scottish Government’s Second Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2), the work to demonstrate the need for change is set to continue, in line with actions from Nestrans’ Regional Transport Strategy.
The ongoing work is funded through the Aberdeen City Region Deal through their support of a Strategic Transport Appraisal. Earlier this month, the Aberdeen City Region Deal Joint Committee received an update on the evidence review and were supportive of prioritising the next steps.
Chair of the Joint Committee is Aberdeenshire Councillor Anne Stirling. She said: “What we have here is a great example of partners working together in the interest of our communities. We know the issues on this stretch of road, and can demonstrate that we are working together to do something about it. To receive support through the Joint Committee and through the Nestrans board is a big step forward for this project, which I remain sure will make a big difference.”
Councillor John Crawley, chair of both Nestrans and Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said “There is a long-standing desire from Nestrans, from partners across the north east, and from the public, to see improvements that will address safety, reliability, resilience, as well as improvements for freight, bus and active travel on the routes. Nestrans and Aberdeenshire Council are continuing to progress the work as a priority.”