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Safety review and new signage planned for ‘terrifying’ A96 junction

Transport Scotland said the junction would 'likely' be included in a safety review to be concluded in August next year. Picture by Wullie Marr
Transport Scotland said the junction would 'likely' be included in a safety review to be concluded in August next year. Picture by Wullie Marr

Transport Scotland has announced a notorious junction at Huntly will be included in a safety review.

MSP Alexander Burnett, who represents Aberdeenshire West, wrote to the government body earlier this month following a spate of crashes at the junction of the A96 Aberdeen to Inverness and A920 Dufftown road, by Tesco.

They included a crash between a car and a lorry at the beginning of this month, which resulted in a woman and a young child being taken to hospital.

In his letter, the Conservative MSP suggested upgrades should be made in the interests of safety – including the possibility of a roundabout on the site.

A petition lodged by local resident Nicole Bostock has also been signed by almost 830 people.

Alexander Burnett at the A96 Tesco junction in Huntly. Picture supplied by the Scottish Conservatives

Hugh Gillies, director of roads at Transport Scotland, has now responded to Mr Burnett’s letter, saying that the junction was “likely” to be included in the organisation’s annual safety review next year, which is due to be concluded in August 2022.

All locations where three or more “personal-injury accidents” take place within a three-year period are screened by the body, he added – with two such incidents already identified at the Huntly junction before the crash on July 1.

Mr Gillies writes that Transport Scotland has been working to improve junction signing at points along the A96 since a route investigation in 2015, and the design of improvements for the junction in question is “ongoing”.

The letter continues: “Given concerns raised and the recent number of injury accidents at this junction, I will ensure that the design for this location takes into consideration these accidents and measures are implemented to target these to improve safety and reduce risk at the junction.”

‘Action must be taken now’

Mr Burnett said: “Every day that passes with nothing being done puts more and more people at risk when crossing this terrifying junction.

“While I welcome a safety review taking place, recent crashes have shown that action must be taken now not a year later.

“Motorists take their life into their own hands when crossing the junction which is why I will continue to push for this review to be done sooner.

“The SNP Government can’t allow the Huntly Tesco junction to become the new Laurencekirk junction because that’s what it’s fast becoming.

“For the safety of road users, it’s vital safety improvements take place without years of continuous delays from the Scottish Government.”

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