Marykirk A90 junction taken to Holyrood again

A JUNCTION which is regarded as one of the most dangerous in Scotland was on the agenda of the public petitions committee of the Scottish Parliament yesterday (Tuesday).

The Laurencekirk South junction on the dual-carriageway A90, at the Marykirk/Laurencekirk crossroads where the A937 crosses the trunk road, has been the subject of a petition by local resident Jill Fotheringham (pictured), and it was presented, after the Review went to press, by Angus North and Mearns MSP Nigel Don.

The petition calls for urgent action to improve safety at the busy Laurencekirk South junction.

We spoke to Jill about the junction yesterday morning, and she told us that nothing has changed there.

Jill said: “Traffic is still speeding. Another fatality is waiting to happen.

“The government has imposed a 50mph speed limit on the A90 in the vicinity, and said that nobody has died since 2004.

“The 50 mph limit was meant to be a stop-gap, but every day a fatality comes nearer.”

She drew our attention to one of the biggest hazards: “More and more articulated lorries use the junction, but they cannot sit safely in the central reservation.”

Speaking on Monday, Mr Don said: “I will ask the Committee to reflect on a letter from the NESTRANS, the north east transport partnership, which suggests that predictions of the traffic at the Laurencekirk south junction have been underestimated. As the area develops the problem at this junction can only get worse.”

Mr Don said that a fuller report from NESTRANS is expected soon.

He continued: “I remain extremely concerned by the situation at the Laurencekirk south junction where the traffic flows are very high at peak times and the opportunity for a serious accident is entirely obvious.

“It stands in the middle of a 20-mile stretch of high speed road where there is no bridge of any kind which will enable slow and heavy traffic to cross safely.

“I welcome the findings of this study which suggest that the implications of recent planning decisions have been underestimated and trust that the committee’s work will strengthen the case for a grade separated junction to be provided sooner rather than later.”

The Committee has previously heard that significant numbers of heavy goods vehicles, school buses and service buses use the junction which involves vehicles crossing one carriageway, sitting in a lane in the central reservation and then crossing the other carriageway.

Campaigners say that many vehicles do not respect the 50 mph limit on the section around the junction.