Angry residents have branded Transport Scotland’s report on possible A92 safety improvements a whitewash and a a joke.
Representatives from Transport Scotland and BEAR Scotland faced a barrage of complaints at a heated public meeting in Glenrothes yesterday evening, as they tried to outline a number of low-cost measures to improve safety on the notorious trunk road.
Among the £200,000 worth of measures will be a reduction of the speed limit between Balfarg junction and Preston roundabout from 50mph to 40mph, as well as the introduction of new signage.
But the proposals were lambasted by many in attendance.
Ron Page, from North Glenrothes Community Council and convener of the A92 campaign, said Transport Scotland’s response the the A92 Action Plan had been a whitewash and an insult to the communities living along the route.
“We have attended meetings and met with the more than one transport minister as well as dozens of government representatives on many occasions, yet we are no further forward,” said Mr Page.
“None of the five major hazard areas previously highlighted have been addressed, instead we are offered piecemeal, low-scale improvements and the constant stalling by transport representatives.”
Dr Robert Grant, chairman of the Glenrothes Area Futures Group, whose own daughter was killed on the A92 in 2010, said: “This is an very unsafe road yet you hide behind very dubious statistics that suggest there is no case to answer when it comes to improvements.
“The community will not stay calm, we’re angry and we will stay angry.”
And he questioned Transport Scotland’s use of accident data which does not include accidents in which nobody suffered injury.
“This is not based on good evidence, you are the budget holder and you have made the solution fit the budget,” added Dr Grant.
“If you as a family have suffered a fatality as we have, the way you assess a road changes overnight.”
Responding to the criticism, George Henry, Transport Scotland’s head of road policy said they were “listening to concerns” but stood by the safety assessments they had conducted, adding that the A92 sat behind other cases, most notably the commitments being made to improve the A9, when it came to agreeing and upgrading.
“Our Priority is to introduce some measures as quickly as possible to make a positive difference and these proposals represent a further £200,000 investment in this route by the Scottish Government,” said Mr Henry.
Campaigners say they will continue to lobby politicians and transport representatives and have called on the government to commit to a wider programme of improvements including the installation of a roundabout at the notorious Balfarg junction.