The planned Laurencekirk flyover on the A90 could take at least a decade to complete, the Scottish Government was forced to admit.
This is despite a promise by the then transport minister, Derek Mackay, saying the upgrade would be delivered “as soon as possible”.
The current cabinet secretary Keith Brown was unable to say when it would be finished, but suggested that it might not be before 2026.
North East MSP Mike Rumbles expressed disappointment with the announcement and noted that people have already waited over 10 years for the safety of the road to be improved.
He said: “The campaign to improve road safety at the Laurencekirk junction started over a decade ago. Our Transport Minister put it at the top of the agenda for funding in 2006. Since the SNP came into power in 2007, it has fallen foul of backtracking and broken promises.
“We put in place temporary safety measures and reduced the road to 50mph, with plans to upgrade the junction the following year. Those ‘temporary measures’ are still in place.
“It’s remarkable that the SNP think they can keep re-announcing major road upgrades in the north-east and get away with it. Meanwhile they are risking the safety of 20,000 motorists who cross the busy junction every day. It’s simply not good enough.
“I will be challenging the Scottish Government to deliver on their promise and start the long overdue upgrade, immediately.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Earlier this year we announced £24 million for the design and construction of a new grade-separated junction at Laurencekirk as part of additional investment alongside Aberdeen City Regional Deal and remain committed to completing this important upgrade for people in the north-east.
“While there is still a lot of development work to be carried out, we will continue to work together with our partners to deliver this scheme as soon as possible, bringing improved safety and economic benefits to road users and the local community in Laurencekirk and the north Angus area.
“The planned improvements at Laurencekirk add to our already impressive transport infrastructure portfolio in the north-east, which includes the £745m improvements to the Aberdeen-Inverness rail line, improved road access on the A96 at Inveramsay Bridge, dualling the A96, and work to remove the notorious bottleneck at Haudagain roundabout.”