MSP : Green coalition scrappage should be catalyst to dual A90 north of Ellon

Douglas Lumsden MSP

THE axing of the SNP-Green coalition should act as a “catalyst” for the Scottish Government to commit to replacing the A90 Toll of Birness junction with a roundabout as well as dualling the road north of Ellon, MSPs have heard.

New figures from the Scottish Government reveal no cash has been invested in improving safety at the junction over the last year while just £67,000 has been spent since 2017.

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Scottish Conservative North East MSP Douglas Lumsden said the lack of investment showed a “complete disregard” for motorists who “take their life into their own hands” when using the Toll of Birness.

In March last year, the Scottish Government said it would not dual the A90 between Ellon and Peterhead after plans were rejected in favour of “climate change” measures.

Regional transport body Nestrans has appointed consultants Stantec to develop a new A90(N)/A952 Ellon to Peterhead and Fraserburgh Appraisal for making improvements to the A90(N) and A952 corridors.

A “story map” website has been developed along with an online survey for businesses and a separate survey for residents. Potential options for improving the road corridors will be brought forward and a case will be presented to the Scottish Government pushing for change.

In parliament, Mr Lumsden asked transport secretary Fiona Hyslop: “Cabinet secretary, new figures show just £67,000 has been spent on improvements to the A90 north of Ellon at the Toll of Birness since 2017.

“Three flashing signs aren’t enough to prevent the daily accidents and near misses that occur at one of the North East’s most dangerous junctions.

“Now the coalition of chaos with the Greens has been relegated to the scrapheap, will the cabinet secretary finally commit to installing a roundabout at the junction and dual this deadly road once and for all?”

In her response, Ms Hyslop said: “I am acutely aware of Douglas Lumsden’s concerns and we will look very closely at what improvements can be made.”

Mr Lumsden later said: “It’s deplorable that no money has spent in the last year on improving the Toll of Birness while the £67,000 since 2017 doesn’t even scratch the surface.

“Now the Greens are out of government, the SNP have run out of excuses but this should act as a catalyst for dualling the A90 north of Ellon and upgrading the Toll of Birness junction.

“Residents were fed false promises by Alex Salmond back in 2007 and deserve better than to be treated as an afterthought.

“Rather than focussing on upgrading infrastructure in the Central Belt, it’s high time the SNP enhance this road to prevent more collisions and deaths from occurring.”

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