Michael Matheson has defied calls to update Aberdeen bypass road signs, despite anger over the lack of directions to Fraserburgh, Peterhead and local businesses.
The Transport Secretary said “no further changes” were planned to Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) signage, adding there was “too little room” on the signs to carry more information.
Firms operating near the new road have said their businesses have been harmed by the lack of road signs and complained that potential customers have become lost.
At Holyrood yesterday, Mr Matheson was told by Tory MSP Peter Chapman that signs at the Stonehaven end of the AWPR did not include “major north-east towns” like Fraserburgh and Peterhead.
Mr Chapman said: “I have been contacted by local businesses in these areas as drivers heading to these towns, who do not know the area, do not take the AWPR and end up going through Aberdeen as a result.”
The North-East MSP said AWPR signs did not show that tractors were banned from the new dual-carriageway, causing “confusion and disruption” to local farmers.
He added that local businesses on the old route had their own signs removed because Transport Scotland did not allow them.
“It is clear the signage is not up to scratch and I would ask the Cabinet Secretary to commit to working with north-east councils and communities and conduct a full further review,” Mr Chapman said.
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with The P&J newsletter
Mr Matheson said “significant consultation” had taken place before the signs were put up and the strategy had been agreed with councils.
Before the bypass was opened, there had been a safety audit which included a review of road signs, which concluded they were up to safety standards.
“Consequently no further changes are planned,” Mr Matheson said.
“In relation to some of the signs not being able to hold local route information, part of that is because to do so would mean there was too little room on the signs themselves to actually carry the information which is required.”
Mr Chapman said he was “disappointed” by Mr Matheson’s answer.
The owner of the Cock and Bull restaurant, Balmedie, and the Trump International Golf Links at Menie are among the businesses to have objected to the sign post policy.
Last night James Duthie, who runs the Aikenshill House Bed and Breakfast by Foveran, said: “The signs don’t take into consideration villages, businesses, tourism routes along the road.”