Laurencekirk junction- “Come and see for yourselves”

Holyrood’s Infrastructure Committee is to examine the case for a flyover at Laurencekirk where the A937 crosses the A90.

The news was welcomed by Angus North & Mearns MSP Nigel Don, who has criticised roads agency Transport Scotland for relying on expert reports instead of listening to local people and coming to see for themselves.

“Roads and transport are a major part of the Infrastructure Committee’s remit,” said Nigel Don, “and we can rely on the Committee Convener, Maureen Watt MSP, to do a thorough job.

“All of us who believe this junction is dangerous now need to make sure our views are heard at that Committee. Transport Scotland appear to be saying that as things stand, no flyover is required. But anyone who has stood at the junction, as I have, and watched articulated lorries, tractors with bogies and school buses trying to cross in the face of speeding motorists will know that Transport Scotland is just plain wrong.”

Mr Don praised the efforts of local campaigner Jill Fotheringham, the Laurencekirk Development Trust and also local man Charles Gordon. All had written to the Parliament to back the case for a flyover on the ground that existing traffic levels fully justified a safer junction.

Ms Fotheringham wrote that Transport Scotland’s view that heavy goods vehicles from Montrose should be discouraged from using the A937 was “ludicrous and impossible” because of the greater distances and journey times involved.

Laurencekirk Development Trust said that “ … every school day 22 buses loaded with our children are obliged to cross all four lanes. Because there is no flyover, the safety of these children relies on the patience and skills of our local school bus drivers.”

Charles Gordon wrote to highlight the heavy usage of the junction by farm vehicles, including tractors with long trailers. His letter stated, “It is extremely difficult for these vehicles to fit themselves completely within the area of the central refuge, and they are also slower when pulling out.”

Mr Don added, “The need for this flyover is so blindingly obvious that it is hard to understand why Transport Scotland can’t see it. They say that “No objective led, robust evidence based appraisal has been provided” to justify a flyover.

“I think the best way to provide that evidence would be for officials from Transport Scotland to come with me and stand at the junction between 7 and 8 am any weekday morning. I think that might help convince them that their desktop surveys don’t tell the full story of this extremely dangerous crossing.”