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Farmers union weighs in on north-east danger road

Last week a man died in a crash on the A947
Last week a man died in a crash on the A947

The head of the National Farmers Union in the north-east has joined a campaign for more safety measures on one of the north-east’s most dangerous roads.

Lorna Paterson said more passing places were needed to prevent further accidents on the A947 between Aberdeen and Banff.

She spoke out after Banff councillor John Cox said he wanted to bring together colleagues and safety groups to come up with practical solutions to the risks.

Ms Paterson said agricultural vehicles faced particular challenges negotiating the route.

“That road is such a busy road and it’s a rural environment, so what it needs, in my opinion, is more opportunities for some of these larger vehicles and tractors and trailers to pull off to let traffic get past,” he said.

“We need to raise awareness about them, but it’s also about choosing areas at the side of the road that are sensible for passing places.

“It’s a main road with a lot of traffic, and because it’s rural there are a lot of lorries and tractors and trailers that use it. That causes frustration and people take risks – they pull out and accidents happen.

“The Farmer’s Union is aware and is totally supportive of reducing accidents. Nobody wants anything like that happening.”

A spokesman for the police said the A947 remained a “priority” for its roads unit.

“In 2014, as part of action plan activity, road policing officers stopped and engaged with 1,158 motorists on this road,” he said.

“This does not include work done outwith the action plans, nor does it include any activity by divisional officers, so the complete number will be much higher.

“The route remains one of our priorities and, although it is not the worst route in the area, there are still issues, hence why we continue to enforce it robustly.”

Police have also been working in partnership with Aberdeenshire Council to improve safety on the road.

The work has involved engineers examining the route in detail and improvements, such as clearer white lines and cutting down shrubbery.

Lay-bys have also been created for the specific use of police camera vans.

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