Growing calls for junction upgrade

editorial image

Pressure for the dualling of the A90 to include Toll of Birness is intensifying.

Ellon and District Conservative Councillor Gillian Owen has welcomed SNP support for long-awaited improvements to the busy route - the scene of many fatal crashes.

But the leader of the Why Stop at Ellon? campaign, which seeks dualling of the A90 north of Ellon, has questioned why Banffshire and Buchan Coast SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson - a former transport minister - is only now throwing his weight behind the initiative.

Mr Stevenson is seeking a meeting with transport minister Humza Yousaf to discuss improvements at the junction, where the A90 Ellon to Peterhead road meets the A952 to Fraserburgh.

He said: “I have written to the transport minister to request a meeting following the briefing myself and colleagues were given by Nestrans earlier this month.

“The Toll of Birness has long been an area of congestion for commuters and improvements are long overdue.

“Ensuring that we continue to improve roads in the North-east will only build on the near completion of the AWPR in making are roads more accessible and safer.”

Mrs Owen said cross-party support for the improvements was needed, but queried the timing of Mr Stevenson’s intervention and why he hadn’t done more when he was transport minister.

She added: “He appears to have done nothing and now that the options have been published by Nestrans he appears to be saying something.”

The junction is predominantly used by commuters travelling from Fraserburgh and Mintlaw to Ellon, Aberdeen and beyond. Nestrans has been investigating detailed road and rail options for North Aberdeenshire. Meanwhile, the timescale for the completion of the Aberdeen bypass remains an issue. A recent meeting of the city region deal committee was told it had an estimated completion date of the “second quarter” of next year. But Transport Scotland maintains the project still has a target finish of winter 2017/18.