As 2015 draws to a close and winter conditions prevail at Laurencekirk’s notorious junction we remain waiting, less than patiently, to hear when a final announcement confirming when a new graded junction (underpass or flyover) will be delivered.

NESTRANS, the transport partnership for Aberdeen City and Shire, received the “Access to Laurencekirk Study” produced by consultants CH2M Hill earlier this year. NESTRANS has approved this initial report, which proposes a single graded junction to replace the existing crossing. It also proposes the closure of additional local A90 junctions as opportunities to improve safety.

The study has been referred to the two organisations responsible for the A90 and A937, Transport Scotland and Aberdeenshire Council, for their consideration. A meeting representing NESTRANS, Transport Scotland, Angus Council and Aberdeenshire Council has been held and the parties are expected to meet again in the spring. The process being followed is called Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG). Its details are available on the Transport Scotland website.

Budget approval is now awaited for the next STAG stage after which a Report will be produced. The final project will then be considered for addition to Transport Scotland’s Ten Year Strategic Road Safety Plan. We earnestly hope that no other deaths or serious injuries take place in the interim.

Jill Fotheringham’s campaign on behalf of the community has been successful in highlighting the problem and keeping it before the Scottish Government. The impact on road users attracts an extensive list, from victims and their friends and families, to stressed road users and the economic and social disruption of communities in Angus and the Mearns.

This has already been a lengthy struggle, with a multiplicity of benefits to be restored to residents and road users. It is important for all of us to keep reminding those in authority of their responsibilities to improve road safety.

Mike Robson

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