Laurencekirk junction

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AS THE Brechin Advertiser went to print on Tuesday, Angus North and Mearns MSP Nigel Don raised the concerns of his constituents regarding the safety of the Laurencekirk south junction at the public petitions committee of the Scottish Parliament.

The committee will be considering the petition, organised by local resident Jill Fotheringham, which calls for urgent action to improve safety at the busy Laurencekirk South junction.

Mr Don said: “I will ask the Committee to reflect on a letter from the NESTRANS, the north east transport partnership, which suggests that predictions of the traffic at the Laurencekirk south junction have been underestimated.

“As the area develops the problem at this junction can only get worse.”

Mr Don expects the fuller report from NESTRANS to be published soon.

He continued: “I remain extremely concerned by the situation at the Laurencekirk south junction where the traffic flows are very high at peak times and the opportunity for a serious accident is entirely obvious.

“It stands in the middle of a 20-mile stretch of high speed road where there is no bridge of any kind which will enable slow and heavy traffic to cross safely.

“I welcome the findings of this study which suggest that the implications of recent planning decisions have been underestimated and trust that the committee’s work will strengthen the case for a grade separated junction to be provided sooner rather than later.”

The Committee has previously heard that significant numbers of heavy goods vehicles, school buses and service buses use the junction which involves vehicles crossing one carriageway, sitting in a lane in the central reservation and then crossing the other carriageway.

Campaigners say that many vehicles do not respect the 50 mph limit on the section around the junction.