Anger at junction’s exclusion

'Disgusted': Jill Fotheringham feels the Marykirk junction has been ignored by the Scottish Government.
'Disgusted': Jill Fotheringham feels the Marykirk junction has been ignored by the Scottish Government.

There was anger this week that the Scottish Government had failed to include improvements to an accident blackspot as part of its national infrastructure investment.

The government has announced a £10billion spending programme which maps out investment in Scotland’s roads and rail network over the next 20 years, but local campaigners have said they are “disappointed” that the A90 Marykirk junction has not been included.

Between £1.5billion and £3billion has been earmarked for dualling the notorious A9 between Perth and Inverness but Jill Fotheringham, who has campaigned over the last six years for a grade separated junction at Marykirk, said concerns about the rising death toll at the junction have been ignored.

Transport Scotland recently released a report costing junction improvements at between £13million and £28million although officials made it clear there were no plans to grade separate the junction at Marykirk “now or in the near future.”

Ms Fotheringham said: “This report deals with investment over the next 20 years and they’re still not looking at the junction even within that time. The only way they will reconsider it at the moment is if someone else dies there.

“I think it’s disgusting that’s what it has come to - that some family has to lose a loved one before they are willing to do something about it.

“The A9 is an extremely worthy project, but we’ve been told there’s no money. Don’t tell us there’s no money and then put billions elsewhere. It’s not that there’s no money, they’re just choosing to spend it elsewhere. We don’t seem to matter up here, and that’s with the current junction being on one of the four most dangerous roads in Scotland. They’re prioritising wrongly.

“The transport minister says he wants to make all of Scotland’s roads safe and he’s ignoring one of the most dangerous in the country.”

Last week’s announcement also drew criticism from local councillor David May, who has backed Ms Fotheringham’s campaign.

He said: “Obviously I’m extremely disappointed. With forthcoming development taking place in Montrose at the port and with house-building, as well as housing development in Laurencekirk, issues of safety are going to get worse.

“It’s clear from the latest announcement that there is funding for priorities over the next 20 years and for this not to be included during that 20 years beggars belief.”