CAMPAIGNERS fighting for a fly-over at the Marykirk junction on the A90 have said they are “disgusted” that improvements could take eight months to be costed.
They were given fresh hope the scheme might be considered by the Scottish Government after transport minister Keith Brown visited the site last month and asked for detailed costings of required improvements.
However, their hopes were dashed after last week’s public petitions committee meeting in Edinburgh where Transport Scotland officials said the exercise could take up to eight months to complete.
And this week Hillside woman Jill Campbell, who has led the campaign for six years and collected an 8,000-signature petition supporting the proposal to upgrade the accident blackspot, accused officials of a lack of interest in any scheme. She also said further delays are risking lives.
Jill commented: “I’m absolutely disgusted they’re giving an eight-month timeline. It’s just another eight months when a fatality could take place.
“From the time a decision is taken to build one it will take another three years and each day of a delay brings a risk of a fatality. They’re concentrating on the new Forth Road Bridge and big projects for the M74/M77 and there’s a big lack of interest in anything in the north east. It’s just another delaying tactic.
“We’ve gone through four transports ministers since I started this and nothing has been done and to delay further like this is absolute nonsense and sickening.”
Local Liberal Democrat councillor David May, who was an early supporter of the campaign and who attended last week’s petitions committee, also said the eight-month timescale could be seen as “a ploy”.
He said: “I had hoped that there would be real progress with a new minister but he has just continued the tactics of his predecessor and it seems to be this is a cynical ploy by the SNP minister by this eight-month delay.
“I agree with Mike Rumbles MSP who has pointed out that the information could be provided easily within two weeks. It is obvious to me that the SNP is not going to do anything about this junction and we will have to wait until there is a new transport minister after May 5.
“It beggars belief that this junction is not even in the SNP’s long term transport plan.”
Sanjay Samani, Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate, added his concerns that the community’s concerns have been sidelined.
He said: “With a new transport secretary, a visit to the junctions and a request for accurate costs, it seemed as if we were making some headway.
“Unfortunately, having taken the plaudits for revisiting the case for a fly-over, Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government have stuck the issue back on the dusty shelf.
“It is time for the Scottish Government to take road safety seriously and treat the people of North Angus and the Mearns with some respect.”
North east Lib Dem MSP Alison McInnes said campaigners and the petitions committee should be congratulated for keeping the issue alive.
She added: “In stark contrast, the SNP Government has shown an utter lack of regard for the communities around these junctions. Their dithering and delaying tactics will not be readily forgiven by the voters in Angus and the Mearns.”