The leader of the Scottish Conservatives has demanded the government invest in the notorious A947 Aberdeen-Banff road.
Ruth Davidson joined Banffshire and Buchan Coast candidate Peter Chapman during a visit to Banff and Macduff to call for the SNP to do more to help protect motorists on the commuter route.
Aberdeenshire Council published an improvement strategy for the road in February which outlined a number of options for sections which have been accident blackspots for years.
Last night, the SNP insisted it was delivering “in terms of road safety” in the north-east.
There have been 10 fatalities along the 41-mile stretch of road in the last five years, the most recent of which was last month, while more than 40 other people have suffered serious injuries.
Mr Chapman, a former Aberdeenshire councillor, said: “The Banffshire and Buchan Coast corner has been forgotten by the SNP and has not received the level of investment that we have seen elsewhere in Scotland.
“The dangers of the A947 are well known to all of those who use the road daily – there have been dozens of accidents and, tragically, 10 fatalities in the last five years.
“Safety aside, we also need to improve journey times to make businesses more efficient and boost economic growth.
“I applaud the work that Aberdeenshire Council has done in examining in detail the various options for improvements.
“I would support a combination of safety measures and overtaking lanes such as those we currently have on sections of the A96 and the A9.”
Despite the efforts made by the local authority, Mr Chapman said a lack of funding made it difficult to make progress without support from central government.
Ms Davidson, who earlier visited oil and gas services firm Ace Winches near Turriff, added: “For too long, we have seen a centralisation agenda from the SNP while areas such as Banffshire and Buchan Coast have been forgotten.
“There has been a lack of investment in infrastructure in this area, which is constraining economic growth.
“I visited a world leading oil services company, but the local road network is in obvious need of improvement.”
An SNP spokesman said it was the Tories who were responsible for “dithering” on potential upgrades for the road, which was “in stark contrast” to the investment by the SNP in projects such as the AWPR.
He added: “Only under the SNP are we seeing significant improvements to transport infrastructure in the north-east and the benefits that will deliver in terms of road safety and boosting the local economy.
“Since the SNP took over the leadership of Aberdeenshire Council from the Tories, we have been at the forefront in advocating further improvements to the Aberdeen-Banff road – in stark contrast to the dithering of the previous administration.”
The other candidates in Banffshire and Buchan Coast are the Liberal Democrats’ David Evans, Labour’s Nathan Morrison and the SNP’s Stewart Stevenson.