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Call for clarity over upgrades at ‘terrifying’ Toll of Birness junction

The Toll of Birness junction near Ellon.
The Toll of Birness junction near Ellon.

Transport chiefs have been urged to provide answers on when a north-east road junction where a “terrifying” number of collisions have happened will be upgraded.

Toll of Birness, on the A90 north of Ellon, has earned a reputation as a collision blackspot following a number of incidents.

Upgrades to the interchange, where the A90 meets the A952, have been mooted for several years.

However, no alterations have yet been made – despite the Scottish Government promising to dual the route 14 years ago.

Now transport officials are facing calls to come clean over when they expect to deliver improvements.

Stewart Whyte, who is standing in Aberdeenshire East for the Scottish Conservatives at next month’s election, has written to Transport Secretary Michael Matheson on the issue.

In his letter, he said it had been 5,000 days since the Scottish Government pledged to dual the route.

He said: “In this time, we have had a terrifying number of collisions on the road, many of which have tragically resulted in lives being lost.

“The Toll of Birness is the only junction designed of its kind in Scotland which in its current form is not safe.

“I urge you to also support North-East Transport Partnership (Nestrans) in giving some clarity on if you are behind these proposals, how much you will invest and some timescales for the project.”

Gillian Owen and Stewart Whyte are calling for upgrades at Toll of Birness.

Ellon councillor Gillian Owen, who runs the Why Stop at Ellon campaign calling for the A90 to be dualled north of the town, added: “The Scottish Government have been in the slow lane for the last 14 years on upgrading the A90 at the Toll of Birness and this needs to change.

“For too long commuters have had to contend with daily accidents and near misses on the road.

“Lives have been lost yet the SNP seem to be totally oblivious to the safety concerns at the Toll of Birness.”

A spokesman for Transport Scotland said: “We recognise the important role that Scotland’s transport system plays in connecting people to jobs and services and businesses to markets. The AWPR, which now links Stonehaven with Ellon, was an ambitious and significant undertaking and is delivering real benefits for people across the north east.

Regional partners are continuing to work with us to consider the operation of the A90 and the wider transport corridor between Aberdeen, Peterhead and Fraserburgh. The longer-term consideration of transport improvements north of Aberdeen is being taken forward in the context of the ongoing strategic transport appraisal, part of the Aberdeen City Region Deal, and through the second strategic transport projects review (STPR2). Appropriate local and regional engagement will continue throughout the appraisal process.”

A spokesman for the SNP said: “The consideration of the routes and junctions 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.

“The SNP Government will continue to deliver better transport links and roads in the north of Scotland, such as AWPR, despite the Tories cutting our capital budget by 5%.”

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