“No intention” of upgrading junction

THE SCOTTISH Government has “no intention” of upgrading an accident blackspot on the A90, a local campaigner said this week.

Jill Fotheringham said that, at a meeting last week, Transport Scotland officials made it clear there are no plans to grade separate the junction at Marykirk “now or in the near future.”

Ms Fotheringham and local councillor David May met with officials to discuss the transport agency’s cost refinement exercise, which was produced last month.

Costings for five different schemes at the junction, ranging from £13 million to £28 million, were put forward in the 100-page document at the request of transport minister Keith Brown.

But both Ms Fotheringham and Councillor May said they were disappointed that, in terms of an upgraded junction being required in relation to future residential and industrial development, the report took account of the Laurencekirk area only.

They believed that future developments in the Montrose and Marykirk areas should also have been taken into account, given the number of local people travelling to Aberdeen and Dundee for work and leisure.

Ms Fotheringham said: “It was a full report but it was based wholly on the prospect of development on the Laurencekirk side.

“They’re just not taking into consideration any development work at Marykirk or Montrose and, as they stand, they don’t see a need for a new junction. They said they’ve no intention now or in the near future of carrying out any grade separation work.

“The number of times we’ve taken details of work that’s being done in Montrose and the growth that’s predicted - I find it very disheartening.”

Councillor May also said he feels the wider area should have been taken into consideration, particularly in light of proposals for development of the south Montrose area.

He said: “I will seek advice from people I know with more expertise than I have in the technical aspects of this report.

“It is clear, however, that the report takes no account of the possible and planned developments in the Montrose area such as the considerable housing which has been planned and also has outline planning permission, as well as the recently presented South Montrose study, the developments in the harbour area, and the possibilities with GSK.

“We highlighted these Montrose issues to the Transport Scotland officers and discussed the impact of these to the Laurencekirk junction which will only increase the very considerable safety concerns we have.

“There is no doubt in my view that the Laurencekirk junction should be a priority for our Scottish Government and should now be included in their list of transport priorities.”