Nigel’s Notes - It is not a moment too soon

Last week there was a major step forward for the Laurencekirk flyover.

The Aberdeen city deal which has implications for projects across the region was announced, with a recognition that communications into the north east from the central belt were vital. Given that we know how much traffic is already speeding across the junction it is no surprise that there is now money for the next phase of the project, which is the design of the necessary civil engineering.

It’s not a moment too soon, and it won’t be any use until it’s actually completed and vehicles are driving over and under it, but the flyover is clearly now on its way; it was promised by the First Minister at questions in parliament last week.

Improvements to the north east rail line will also speed up trains and make them a more attractive alternative.

The single track section south of the Montrose basin has long been recognised as a constraint, with trains effectively waiting at Montrose to pass each other. It would be a major and environmentally sensitive task to widen the bridge but essential if we’re to get train journey times down significantly.

Meanwhile we continue to be battered by gales, rain and snow with only the longer days promising that spring must be on its way. And then of course there will be an election. We all get to vote - as long as we are registered to do so. Please check if you have moved recently, and also note that 16 and 17 year olds can vote for the first time at a Scottish election this year. Details of registration can be found here https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

A glance around the world should remind us how valuable our democracy is; and perhaps surprisingly, how valuable it proved to the Commonwealth. The presidential campaigns in the USA surely show us how easily democracy succumbs to wealth, and half the world would be grateful for the opportunity of a meaningful vote, or indeed any vote at all. Scotland’s politicians and their parties are not all the same. It does make a difference, so please take the trouble to vote.