North East politicians have welcomed news that the proposed new £24 million flyover at Laurencekirk has reached the design stage.
Local campaigners, led by Mearns resident Jill Fotheringham, were thrilled when the Scottish Government gave the green light to the flyover as part of their £745 million upgrade of the AWPR.
And they will now get the chance to see the proposals at a special ‘meet the team’ event hosted by Transport Scotland and design consultant Amey at the Dickson Memorial Hall in Laurencekirk on February 17.
Angus North and Mearns MSP Mairi Evans said: “It’s fantastic news that we are beginning to see progress with the Laurencekirk junction and this is something I’m sure campaigners will welcome.
“They have run a sustained campaign to highlight the current dangers at the Laurencekirk junction and the need for a new flyover to allow road users to safely use the A90 gateway to Aberdeen.
“The Scottish Government has listened to their concerns and are now putting action into place.
“This significant investment in the road is testament to the unwavering determination of campaigners and I’m sure many members of the local community will be keen to meet with Transport Scotland and Amney to see how the plans are progressing.
“Clearly the road improvements won’t happen overnight but it’s absolutely critical that we engage with the local community and other stakeholders on every stage of the project - from design right through to completion - to get it right.”
West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Stuart Donaldson added: “This is fantastic news and I look forward to seeing this develop from the design stage to completion.
“A considerable amount of money is being invested in the North East roads network – through the £745 AWPR to make travelling to and beyond Aberdeen more accessible.
“As part of that investment, upgrading the junction at Laurencekirk to provide a safer access to the A90, is a critical component of the project and one I’m certain campaigners will welcome with open arms.”
Transport Minister Humza Yousaf commented: “Last year we announced £24 million for the design and construction of a new grade-separated junction at Laurencekirk as part of a package of additional investment alongside the Aberdeen City Region Deal.
“We are committed to completing this important upgrade as soon as possible and having appointed design consultants last September, we have stepped up the work to deliver this much-needed scheme for the people of the north east as soon as possible.
“We have been working hard with the two local authorities and Nestrans and we will continue that partnership approach so we can bring improved road safety and economic benefits to road users and the local community in Laurencekirk and the north Angus area.
“This Meet the team” event is an opportunity for local residents and road users to meet the people designing the junction improvement and also to find out more about the essential design and assessment process to be followed during the development of the scheme.
“Later this year we will consult on the options that are emerging and we then anticipate being able to identify a preferred option next year.
“Throughout the process we will ensure that communities, businesses and individuals affected by the work are kept fully informed and their vital feedback taken into account.
“The planned improvements at Laurencekirk add to our already impressive transport infrastructure investment portfolio in the north east which includes the £745 million AWPR, improved road access on the A96 at Inveramsay Bridge, dualling the A96 between Aberdeen and Inverness, major improvements to the Aberdeen to Inverness rail line, and the ongoing design work to remove the notorious bottleneck at Haudagain roundabout.”
The ‘Meet the Team’ evnet takes place from noon to 7pm on Friday, February 17, at The Dickson Memorial Hall, Station Road, Laurencekirk. Material from the “Meet the team” events will be available from 12 noon on Friday 17 February 2017 on the Transport Scotland website.