A92 action case put to transport minister

Balfarg Junction
Balfarg Junction
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COMMUNITY activists have pledged to drive on with their campaign to improve safety on a major road after meeting Scotland’s transport chief, reports MIKE DELANEY.

Glenrothes Area Futures Group chairman, Bob Grant, and his deputy, Ron Page, took their case for action to upgrade the A92 between the town and the Tay Road Bridge to government minister Keith Brown a week past Tuesday.

The meeting followed a report by the government’s transport agency, released earlier this year, which ruled out major measures for the road, including ‘danger’ junctions at Cadham and Balfarg.

The report disappointed campaigners and although it was backed by Mr Brown, he agreed to give them a hearing.

At the meeting, .Dr Grant voiced doubts about the accuracy of Transport Scotland’s accident statistics, because only the most serious incidents which had resulted in police involvement were considered.

He also stated that Glenrothes was becoming “the crossroads of Fife”, given the general increase in traffic, the pending new Forth Bridge crossing and large-scale developments at the Diageo bottling plant in Leven and Tullis Russell’s under-construction biomass facility.

“Indeed, exact figures projecting the increase in traffic flow resulting from these developments appeared not to have been incorporated into the report,” he pointed out.

He called for the revival of the dualling plan of over ten years ago and Mr Brown agreed to investigate why this had been dropped.

Mr Page pointed out the widespread support for the campaign which existed among a variety of individuals and organisations locally and called on the minister to make plans for a trunk road network in Scotland that would compare with those in England and on the Continent.

Mr Brown reminded the GAFG representatives of the current trunk road improvements that the Government was pursuing, especially the expensive second Forth Bridge crossing and the ultimate dualling of the A9.

He said he while was aware of the economic benefits that new road developments could bring, the government had to be objective in its appraisal of needed improvements.

Mr Page added: “Transport Scotland officials at the meeting stated there has been no economic justification for major improvements to the Glenrothes A92, and that miscellaneous improvements had taken place over the last ten years.”

A report of the meeting will go to the petitions committee on Tuesday.

Meanwhile both Dr Grant and Mr Page agreed to co-operate with road operators BEAR Scotland and arrange a meeting with the A92 Partnership later this month. This would look at community council concerns about the A92 from Glenrothes to the Tay Bridge and hear the BEAR Scotland policy of safety improvements.