The preferred design for the long-awaited Laurencekirk junction has been announced.
Transport Scotland are holding a series of public exhibitions to make people aware of consultation conclusions. The latest exhibition was held on the 20th of July at The Dickson Memorial Hall in Laurencekirk, a further event will take place on the 24th of August, at the same venue, from midday until 7 PM.
Option 1A – “Full Diamond” was selected as preferred for a variety of reasons including less adverse environmental impact, most cost-effective and less adverse community impact.
The full list of reasons as to why Option 1A was preferred can be found on page 9&10 of the report.
The remaining upcoming exhibition offers the public an opportunity to examine the preferred option, representatives of Transport Scotland and design consultants will be on hand to discuss the options on display and answer any questions on the scheme.
Amey, Transport Scotland’s design consultant, will now take forward a detailed assessment of the preferred option, this offers a further chance for the public to submit feedback.
Transport Scotland last held a consultation in October of 2017 to get feedback on the 3 designs for a replacement junction.
A full copy of the documentation from the most recent exhibitions can be found here.
Local councillor Leigh Wilson said of the annoucement: “Campaigners have been working on this for 14 years. To put that into perspective, I was 10 when this was first raised as a serious issue.
“I was delighted that the chosen option has finally been agreed on and we can finally see light at the end of the tunnel. The funding from the Scottish Government has been granted and it is now a case of making sure the junction design is completely sound.
“There have been too many fatalities at this junction and I can’t convey my relief that we are now moving towards a desperately needed conclusion.”
The A90/A937 Laurencekirk Junction Improvement Scheme is located on the A90 trunk road at Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire. The town of Laurencekirk is approximately 40km south of Aberdeen and is bypassed to the south east by the trunk road.
The A90 trunk road was upgraded to dual carriageway standard in the 1980s which remains the main strategic link between Aberdeen and Dundee. There are three at-grade junctions on the A90 that give access to Laurencekirk. These are:
The A937 north junction, which also has a staggered access to Keilburn farm;
The central B9120 staggered junction that gives access to St Cyrus and Garvock Hill; and
The A937 south junction, where a staggered southern leg gives access to Marykirk, the A92 and Montrose area.
Following a fatal accident at the A90/A937 junction, BEAR Scotland (the trunk roads maintenance contractor) were commissioned to carry out a study to determine measures to improve safety.
The A90/A937 south junction is the busiest of the three and safety improvements were implemented here in 2005 and 2010. These include a 50mph speed limit, with speed cameras and advance warning signs, as well as vehicle activated signs, antiskid surfacing and renewed road markings. Whilst the accident record has improved as a result of these safety measures, there is still local concern about the junctions.
In 2009 the Scottish Parliaments Petitions Committee received a petition calling on the Scottish Government to improve safety measures on the A90 by constructing a grade separated junction where the A937 crosses the A90 at Laurencekirk.
In June 2013 Transport Scotland, Nestrans and Aberdeenshire Council reached agreement that Nestrans would lead the Access to Laurencekirk Study. This study was undertaken in accordance with the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) Stage 1 and Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG).