£24 million boost for Laurencekirk junction
Infrastructure Secretary Keith Brown was in Aberdeen to welcome the news as part of a package of transport commitments for the north east.
The funding will initially allow Transport Scotland to progress the design phases of the junction upgrade, taking the design through Design Manual for Roads and Bridges Stages 2 (route option assessment) and 3 (development of preferred junction option), to the preparation of draft road Orders.
Keith Brown said:
“A grade-separated junction at Laurencekirk has been a long-standing commitment of the Scottish Government. We have been working hard with the two local authorities and Nestrans to deliver this much-needed scheme for the people of the north east as soon as possible.
“This significant funding boost for the scheme is a major step forward and we will now take forward the design work. There is still a lot of development work to be carried out and we will continue to work together with our partners to deliver this scheme as soon as possible bringing improved road safety and economic benefits to road users and the local community in Laurencekirk and the north Angus area.
"The funding boost for Laurencekirk is part of an extra £254 million we are investing as part of Aberdeen's City Deal, adding to our already impressive transport infrastructure investment portfolio which includes the £745 million Aberdeen bypass, £170m improvements to the Aberdeen-Inverness rail line, improved road access on the A96 at Inveramsay Bridge, dualling the A96 between Aberdeen and Inverness, and preparation work to remove the notorious bottleneck at Haudagain roundabout.”
The Access to Laurencekirk study published in June 2015 showed that an upgrade of the A90/A937 south junction to a grade-separated junction was the preferred option for improving the A90 at Laurencekirk. The upgrade was identified following a detailed appraisal commissioned by Nestrans. The study aimed to determine a robust solution for access between the A90 Trunk Road and Laurencekirk and north Angus areas which would meet local objectives.
The preferred solution will improve capacity and reduce delay whilst satisfying the road safety concerns of local businesses and residents. The study has also identified opportunities to improve safety at nearby junctions through closures or access restrictions, although the optimum arrangement will require to be determined through more detailed design work.
The Minister for Transport set up a partnership group with Nestrans, Aberdeenshire Council, Angus Council and Transport Scotland to explore delivery of the Laurencekirk scheme and this group will continue to pursue the actions agreed, particularly around developer contributions, the impact on Laurencekirk High Street and how to manage development up until the scheme can be delivered.