Bid to make notorious A92 blackspot safe at last

Cllr John Beare and Cllr Ross Vettraino at the A92 where they are proposing Fife Council part fund safety improvements to the accident black spot. Pic Steve Brown.
Cllr John Beare and Cllr Ross Vettraino at the A92 where they are proposing Fife Council part fund safety improvements to the accident black spot. Pic Steve Brown.

“While we all acknowledge that there have been small scale improvements, the major issue of the junction at Balfarg remains” - Councillor John Beare.

Plans that could trigger safety improvements to a notorious A92 accident blackspot near Glenrothes have received the unanimous backing of the town’s councillors.

Residents and campaigners have been calling for years for a roundabout to installed at the Balfarg junction on the busy trunk road in the north of the town, due to long-standing safety concerns.

Now, councillors at the town’s area committee have backed a proposal for Fife Council to provide half of the projected £2.5 million it would take to make the junction safe.

John Beare, councillor for Glenrothes North, Leslie and Markinch, who put forward he proposal, told the Gazette he hoped the plan would soon trigger the necessary work to be carried out.

He said: “Since significant improvements were first mooted in 1996 and then abandoned in 1999, many attempts have been made to improve the A92 around Glenrothes,” he said. “While we all acknowledge that there have been small scale improvements, the major issue of the junction at Balfarg remains.”

His proposal to have the Fife authority commit up to a maximum of £1.5 million from its capital plan towards the improvement works was given cross-party support.

The proposal will now go to full council in February to give the final say on the plan.

“I hope that the recommendation of the Area Committee will in some way help break the logjam and bring that final piece of the jigsaw further up the agenda of those who have the power to make this junction safer,” Cllr Beare added.

Cllr Ross Vettraino, who backed his colleagues plan, added:“There is a long way to go in the campaign to improve the junction at Balfarg, but with good will all round and a bit of creative thinking, I hope that this proposal will bring us closer to a resolution.”

Despite Balfarg Junction being highlighted as one of the five major hazards by A92 safety campaigners, there has been little support from Transport Scotland, the body responsible for implementing road improvements.

Representatives from Transport Scotland faced a barrage of criticism from those living in communities close to the junction, when it presented its initial response to a Fife Council produced A92 Action Plan at two public meetings in June.

Plans to repaint road markings and reduce the speed limit from 50mph to 40mph on a stretch of A92 just south of Balfarg junction, where a nine-year-old Glenrothes youngster was killed in February 2015, were described as “piecemeal” and branded “a disgrace”.

Transport Scotland is currently reviewing its initial response the the Action Plan.