Roads campaigners say they are “delighted” by proposals to upgrade a notorious north-east accident blackspot.
New plans suggest the A90 between Ellon and Toll Of Birness could be turned into a dual carriageway – a move which has long been called or by residents.
There are also proposals to install roundabouts at the Toll Of Birness and Cortes junctions, and the introduce of ‘2+1 lanes’ further north, to Peterhead and Fraserburgh, to enable safer overtaking.
The measures have been included in transport body Nestrans’ 2040 strategy, which outlines the areas it will prioritise over the next two decades.
A draft version was released yesterday for public consultation.
It also includes proposals for safety improvements on a number of other major routes and the creation of a Dundee bypass.
Ellon councillor Gillian Owen has been calling for the A90 north of the town to be dualled for the last six years.
She first met transport chiefs in 2014 to discuss her concerns for the stretch, but was told the issue was on “no-one’s agenda”.
Emergency services are regularly called to attend crashes there, and a number of these have proved fatal.
Last night Mrs Owen said the proposed improvements will be “fantastic”.
“Toll Of Birness is notorious and does need something done pretty quickly,” she said.
“This is a starting point and we are very much looking forward to seeing it dualled.
“We just hope it doesn’t take too long.”
Mrs Owen said the introduction of a roundabout will prevent drivers having to pull directly onto the A90 from the A952 Mintlaw road and “taking chances” with gaps in fast-moving traffic.
Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin MSP said the Toll Of Birness was “long overdue an overhaul”.
She added: “I am pleased the phased programme of improvements on the A90 north of Ellon considered in this report includes a roundabout at the Toll Of Birness – which I have raised with both Michael Matheson, the minister currently responsible for infrastructure, and his predecessor Keith Brown.”
Nestrans chairwoman Sandra Macdonald said the strategy outlined was “realistic yet ambitious”, describing it as “a coherent package of schemes to deliver against agreed objectives”.
She added: “We have also thought long and hard about affordability.
“Projects must provide value for money and have a realistic chance of being allocated priority in funding authorities’ budgets, whether capital or revenue.”
The consultation, which includes a virtual exhibition, can be accessed at nestrans2040.org.uk
Opinions should be sent via survey, email or letter by Friday, October 16.