Angus Council chief executive to write to First Minister about Laurencekirk junction

Angus Council chief executive is to write to the First Minister, pressing for work to be done on A90 near Laurencekirk
Angus Council chief executive is to write to the First Minister, pressing for work to be done on A90 near Laurencekirk

The Chief Executive of Angus Council is to write to the First Minister pressing for an early start on improving the Laurencekirk Junction on the A90.

Campaigners have been fighting for more than 10 years to get a flyover where the A90 dual carriageway meets the A937 Marykirk to Montrose road, claiming it is a notorious accident black spot.

On Monday afternoon a trailer carrying two cows overturned on the A90 near Laurencekirk.

Jill Fotheringham, from Montrose, who has been spearheading the campaign for the last 11 years, asked to address councillors at a meeting in the Town and County Buildings in Forfar. She stated the community’s case for a grade-separated junction.

Following a study, a grade-separated junction was identified earlier in the year as the preferred option for improving the A90 at Laurencekirk.

However, there have been no signs of where funding would come from or when work would start on the notorious junction.

Campaigners have raised £5000 to go towards the cost of the grade-separated junction.

Montrose councillor David May submitted a motion calling on the chief executive of Angus Council to press First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Holyrood for firm details.

This was backed by all 23 councillors in attendance, including the provost.

Ms Fotheringham told the Review: “I’m really happy we’ve got the backing of the Angus councillors. I hope that the First Minister listens to what the council is saying.

“The government needs to realise that Scotland doesn’t stop at the Central Belt.

“I just want something to be done so there are no more accidents and no one else dies. A flyover is long overdue.”

Mr May said: “Over the years we have had fatalities and many accidents at the junction and even recently on a trip to Aberdeen there were 14 vehicles in front of me as I was waiting to cross from the Marykirk road.

“It was obvious to me that this was causing huge frustration and I saw two vehicles going across the junction and waiting in the middle and this is not unusual.”

Two Montrose Councillors, Mr May and Councillor Bill Duff, agree that if the junction is not sorted it could put companies off from building and investing in Montrose.

Mr Duff said: “This is an issue that is now becoming a serious matter for Montrose and North Angus. While the road safety issues and commuting delays at Laurencekirk have been known for some time, the impact of the road links from Montrose to the A90 northwards are now starting to be felt on developments within Montrose and District, both commercial and housing.

“Transport Scotland is effectively blocking the development at North Montrose to build a business park on the site of the old airfield site, potentially offering a large number of jobs.

“Development of Sunnyside Hospital at Hillside for 200 to 300 homes would almost certainly fall foul of the same national body who are saying that the junction is at capacity.

“Given the recent success of Montrose Port in expanding its business and the shortage of employment land and warehousing in Montrose, the North Montrose scheme could meet many needs for the town and the local economy.

“Unless a satisfactory road access is obtained to the A90, Montrose could suffer from serious planning blight for many years.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said it is “too early” to set a timescale on work on the junction.

She continued: “The Scottish Government remains committed to delivering a grade-separated junction at Laurencekirk. Following the transport minister’s productive meeting with local councils last month, we have held discussions as a first step towards bringing together all the partners involved to form a co-ordination group. The minister was clear that the group will have a ‘can do’ approach and that all members must work together and push forward the scheme to ensure it is delivered for the benefit of road users and the local community in Laurencekirk.”