MP urges chiefs not to dismiss A90 upgrade

Campaigners have been calling for action to improve the Toll of Birness junction
Campaigners have been calling for action to improve the Toll of Birness junction

A north east MP has urged transport chiefs not to dismiss calls for junction improvements at the Toll of Birness based on recent serious accident statistics.

Aberdeenshire Council produced a report last week, which showed there were no fatal accidents at the junction on the A90 north of Ellon between 2013 and 2018.

However one serious crash and five ‘slight injury’ incidents were recorded during that five year period.

The findings prompted BEAR Scotland, which has responsibility for trunk roads in Scotland, to question if the major improvements were “economically justifiable”.

There have been calls from safety campaigners to take action to improve the junction, while Ellon and District councillor Gillian Owen has campaigned for years to dual the A90 all the way from Ellon to Peterhead.

Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid said that the bulk of the traffic passing through the junction is coming from his constituency and particularly the major towns of Fraserburgh and Peterhead.

He said: “My constituents use this junction on a daily basis and are well aware of the dangers posed.

“My concern about the statement from BEAR Scotland is that the reduction in accidents may be used as justification for dismissing calls for action.

“A drop in incidents does not mean this junction is no longer hazardous.

“I worked in safety and risk assessment roles in the oil and gas industry for a number of years, and I am only too aware of the dangers of complacency.

“I would be interested to see the data behind these statements, and particularly how any near-misses are assessed.

“Accident and risk analysis often shows that, the only difference between a near-miss and a fatal accident is timing and luck.

“I think there is widespread agreement that action is required at this junction. I hope that proposals for a roundabout or other improvement will not simply be kicked into the long grass now.”