Flyover fight continues

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THE campaign for grade-separation at the southern A90/A937 junction at Laurencekirk remains one of the over-riding priorities of the Laurencekirk Villages in Control Committee.

At the VIC AGM, held in Laurencekirk last week, chairman Mike Robson said that they, and the population in general, were very happy with the acceleration lane that has been created at the north junction.

At the south junction however, only the 50 mph speed limit is stopping people being killed and the safety situation would get worse with the dark nights.

“Transport Scotland have said improvement at this junction will depend on the number of deaths there are. Jill Fotheringham’s petition remains active in the Scottish Parliament, so the profile of the campaign remains quite high.

“This junction is not in the government’s ten year spending plan.

“I feel that our ability to communicate with our elected representative has gone backwards. We seem to get shunted on to officials.”

Campaigner Jill Fotheringham told the meeting that there was expansion at Montrose harbour, but lorries from there were discouraged from using the A937. Instead they were being told to use the A935, make their way through Brechin and join the A90 there.

“I have spoken to transport companies who say there is no way they want to add half an hour to their journey times and be forced to take vehicles through the streets of Brechin.”

Mr Robson said that VIC still want work to be done to widen Market Road in Laurencekirk, where an excessively wide pavement has been laid, consequently restricting the width of the carriageway and making it difficult for two large vehicles to pass each other.

He commented: “Once Aberdeenshire Council does something wrong, it is near impossible to get them to correct it.”

The meeting welcomed the recent announcement of more trains stopping at Laurencekirk railway station, something they declared that they wished to see at their AGM 12 months before.

VIC is backing the drive for a new pavilion in the Memorial Park, Laurencekirk and the meeting was told that a feasibility study is to be carried out on behalf of the Mearns Community Council to ascertain what people want.

Mr Robson approached SportScotland to find out their long term vision for sport provision in the Laurencekirk area. He was told that this function was delegated to local authorities, but an approach to Aberdeenshire Council found that they had no long term vision.

VIC have a policy of limiting wind generation in the area in keeping with the community’s needs and are looking forward to improved guidelines from government. They would however like to see more community investment in renewables to fund local amenities.

VIC are still looking to create a heritage centre in a room at Laurencekirk railway station and have received a grant from the Railway Heritage Trust to do so.

First Group gave VIC the room, but then declared that any contactor working at the station had to have a massive liability insurance, which rules out any local firms.