Campaign groups passionate about dualing the A90 north of Ellon expressed frustration after the Scottish transport minister promised more surveys instead of action.
Chairwoman of Why Stop at Ellon and local councillor, Gillian Owen, has been campaigning for better infrastructure following the full opening of the Aberdeen bypass.
She has written numerous letters to senior Scottish politicians to raise concerns about “bottle-necks” on the A90, “extreme congestion” at Ellon where the dual carriageway ends and the notorious Toll of Birness junction to many ministers.
They included calls for urgent measures and this week she received a reply from Scottish transport minister Michael Matheson.
But he indicated that, despite numerous previous surveys and studies, many have been superseded and new reviews must take place.
After praising the benefits of the operational Aberdeen bypass, he wrote: “We will now undertake an evaluation of the project…as we do with all major transport projects.”
The letter explains that the evaluation will consider impacts and benefits of the project on the area, including the Toll of Birness.
And he adds: “More widely, we are continuing to work with regional partners to consider the short, medium and longer term operation of the A90 and the wider transport corridor between Aberdeen, Peterhead and Fraserburgh.”
The letter notes that surveys carried out already by Nestrans have been “superseded” by the wider Strategic Transport Appraisal and that recommendations from that will be considered in a future review to prioritise projects.
Mrs Owen said the letters contents fell short of what she had expected.
She said: “I really thought that after having all the surveys and work done by Nestrans that we would be offered some solution or something to mitigate the issues.
“Instead it feels like we have been patted on the head for trying.
“We need something to happen. I’m not giving up.”
Mrs Owen added: “The AWPR didn’t solve the bottle-neck at Balmedie. It just moved the problem to Ellon.
“I thought there would be a contingency plan for the consequences of the project but instead we’re being given more surveys and put to the back of the queue.
“To me the only way of solving the problems is to dual the road and make it a priority.”
Campaign group Dual Peterhead is run by the town’s community council and shares many of Why Stop at Ellon’s aims.
Councillor Alan Fakley, who attends the meetings, said: “I’m extremely disappointed that after, I think, £5 million spent out of the City Region Deal we don’t seem to be any further forward.
“There has been no improvement to the infrastructure north of Ellon.”
But a spokeswoman for Transport Scotland emphasised that surveys and engagements were the way forward.
She said: “The Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2) is currently underway and will identify the strategic transport interventions required to provide Scotland with a network fit for the 21st century and will inform Scottish ministers investment decisions for the next 20 years.
“Any decisions on future funding of transport infrastructure in Scotland will be informed by the outcomes of STPR2 and through the normal cycle of government spending reviews.”