North-east councillors have said that overhauling a congested road junction is vital for the future of the whole region.
Mintlaw member Jim Ingram has called for a revamp at the Toll of Birness where the A90 Ellon to Peterhead road meets the A952 to Fraserburgh.
The junction is used by motorists travelling from Fraserburgh and Mintlaw to Ellon, Aberdeen and beyond.
Regional transport partnership Nestrans is currently investigating how the routes between Aberdeen, Peterhead and Fraserburgh could be improved, including a multimillion-pound investment at the notorious junction.
But now Buchan councillors Jim Ingram and Alan Buchan have called for more joined-up thinking to benefit the north-east of Aberdeenshire.
Mr Ingram said: “This serves the whole of Buchan, we need to get all the agencies around the table to discuss the future of the area.”
The councillors’ comments came during a debate about plans to build more than 500 new homes in Mintlaw – a proposal Transport Scotland has warned will increase traffic at the junction.
Mr Ingram added: “There are a number of issues beyond this development will need to look at.
“I’m a bit concerned that we seem to be overloading the responsibility on to this development when we all need to look at the Toll of Birness.”
Peterhead councillor Mr Buchan likened the need for investment at the Toll of Birness to the long called-for AWPR.
He said: “We’ve really got to push on with the Toll of Birness, if we’re still here in 20 years it will be ridiculous.”
The Nestrans board will meet in Aberdeen later this month and is expected to discuss the on-going study into improving transport links in the area.
Options include spending an estimated £113million to dual the A90 between Ellon and the Toll of Birness as well as introducing overtaking lanes along the remaining single carriageway stretch of road.
Earlier this year Transport Minister Humza Yousaf rejected calls to install street lights at the busy Toll of Birness following a spate of collisions.
Mr Yousaf said no accidents in the past five years had happened during the hours of darkness and lighting would not reduce the risk of accidents.