A90/A937 Laurencekirk Junction Improvement Scheme
The A90/A937 Laurencekirk Junction Improvement Scheme is located on the A90 trunk road at Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire. The town of Laurencekirk is approximately 40km south of Aberdeen and is bypassed to the south east by the trunk road.
The A90 trunk road was upgraded to dual carriageway standard in the 1980s which remains the main strategic link between Aberdeen and Dundee. There are three at-grade junctions on the A90 that give access to Laurencekirk. These are:
- The A937 north junction, which also has a staggered access to Keilburn farm;
- The central B9120 staggered junction that gives access to St Cyrus and Garvock Hill; and
- The A937 south junction, where a staggered southern leg gives access to Marykirk, the A92 and Montrose area.
Following a fatal accident at the A90/A937 junction, BEAR Scotland (the trunk roads maintenance contractor) were commissioned to carry out a study to determine measures to improve safety.
The A90/A937 south junction is the busiest of the three and safety improvements were implemented here in 2005 and 2010. These include a 50mph speed limit, with speed cameras and advance warning signs, as well as vehicle activated signs, antiskid surfacing and renewed road markings. Whilst the accident record has improved as a result of these safety measures, there is still local concern about the junctions.
In 2009 the Scottish Parliaments Petitions Committee received a petition calling on the Scottish Government to improve safety measures on the A90 by constructing a grade separated junction where the A937 crosses the A90 at Laurencekirk.
In June 2013 Transport Scotland, Nestrans and Aberdeenshire Council reached agreement that Nestrans would lead the Access to Laurencekirk Study. This study was undertaken in accordance with the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) Stage 1 and Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG).
In January 2016 the Scottish Government announced £24 million for the design and construction of a new grade-separated junction at Laurencekirk as part of a package of additional investment alongside the Aberdeen City Region Deal.
Transport Scotland appointed design consultants, Amey in September 2016 to progress the next phases of the design process. The detailed DMRB Stage 2 assessment of options is underway with the outcome to identify a preferred junction arrangement expected to be completed in 2018. The preferred option will then be developed further during Stage 3 concluding with the publication of draft Road Orders. Thereafter progress will be dependent on the public reaction to the draft Orders and whether a Public Local Inquiry is required.
As part of the on-going Stage 2 assessment we will be undertaking traffic surveys and traffic modelling, taking into account future transport growth. We will also be undertaking studies to gain a better understanding of the underlying ground conditions and will develop our understanding of environmental factors.
A “Meet the team” event was held on 17 February 2017 in Laurencekirk when representatives from Transport Scotland and their design consultant Amey were available to answer questions on the design and assessment process.