A north-east politician has met with Scotland’s transport minister to drive forward plans for a roundabout to be built at a notorious A90 junction.
MSP Gillian Martin discussed the proposals with Michael Matheson in a bid to reduce the number of accidents at the Toll of Birness.
There have been several collisions at the junction between the A90 Ellon to Peterhead road and the A952 road to Fraserburgh in recent years.
Signs were erected last year in an attempt to slow down drivers but Ms Martin believes more work can be done to help prevent crashes.
She now plans to meet with Aberdeenshire Council’s road safety manager to discuss what work can be carried out at a local authority level.
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with The P&J newsletter
Ms Martin said: “I had a really constructive meeting with the Transport Secretary who made it clear that he is keen to provide any support he can which will benefit the A952 junction and help mitigate against incidents.
“It is clear there is an appetite amongst constituents who use this stretch of road to strengthen the infrastructure.
“The flashing signs that have been in use since last year are a positive approach to concerns but it is clear we must do more.
“Further discussions need to be had about the potential for a roundabout at the Toll of Birness so the next step will be meeting with Aberdeenshire Council to discuss what can be done to assist in bringing this forward by the local authority.
“Access in the weeks before Christmas to the AWPR has been transformative for the north-east and we must build on this by making improvements elsewhere.”
A report produced by the North-East Scotland Transport Partnership (Nestrans) in 2017 details future options for changes to the A90 north of Ellon.
This included building a roundabout at the Toll of Birness which could cost £970,000.
Nestrans chairman Peter Argyle said: “Nestrans has done a great deal of work with consultants to consider the A90 north of Ellon including the junction at Toll of Birness.
“The cost of these interventions would reasonable and the benefits would be enormous.
“I would be delighted if Ms Martin helps to support our case with the Transport Minister.”
The Why Stop at Ellon group has been campaigning for several years for the A90 Ellon to Peterhead stretch of road to be turned into a dual carriageway.
Leader and councillor Gillian Owen said: “It’s not a case of just sticking a roundabout in – there’s a whole road aspect to consider as it’s put in the Nestrans report.
“I’m keen for any safety measures that can be included.
“I’m supportive of improvements and have been campaigning for the last five to seven years but it has to be done in the context of the Nestrans work so it’s holistic.”
A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “Transport Scotland has been engaged in discussions with Aberdeenshire Council and developers since March, 2016 specifically in the context of the impact that the development in Mintlaw may have on the safe and efficient operation of the A90 Toll of Birness Junction.
“We are clear that any potential development led scheme could result in improvements such as a roundabout, but this would be led by other parties to address the impact of the development and not as a consequence of road safety evidence.
“The longer term consideration of the routes and junctions north of Aberdeen will be in the context of the ongoing Strategic Transport Appraisal, part of the Aberdeen City Region Deal, and through the second Strategic Transport Projects Review.”