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Safety Improvements (A90)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 12th March 2020.

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Photo of Liam Kerr Liam Kerr Conservative

7. To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has for more investment in safety improvements for the A90 and whether those will include additional funding to improve the effectiveness of average-speed cameras. (S5O-04258).

Photo of Michael Matheson Michael Matheson Scottish National Party

Transport Scotland is working with road safety partners to investigate a number of locations on the A90 that have been identified through the annual road safety screening process and engagement with local communities and elected members. That builds on programmed road safety plans, which include the grade separation project at Laurencekirk. In addition, throughout 2020-21, this Government will invest £4.65 million in targeted safety camera activity as we strive to deliver Scotland’s road safety vision of a future where no one is killed on the road and the injury rate is much reduced.

Photo of Liam Kerr Liam Kerr Conservative

Perhaps unexpectedly, according to Police Scotland, the number of crashes and resulting deaths have actually increased since the cameras were installed. Anyone familiar with the A90 will know that the main issues are particularly at junctions and crossovers. Other than at Laurencekirk, what new measures, specifically at such junctions, is the Scottish Government proposing to reduce those figures?

Photo of Michael Matheson Michael Matheson Scottish National Party

I provide a note of caution for the member, because the statistics on an issue like this should be looked at over a three-year period and we have not completed that three-year period.

Therefore, it would be misguided—and potentially misleading—to jump to that conclusion about the impact of the average-speed cameras. We have only to look at our experience with average-speed cameras on our major trunk road network to see that they have had a significantly positive impact. There is no reason why that should be any different for the A90. Given that, I think that it is appropriate to caution the member against rushing to judgment on those matters.

That said, a range of investigation works are under way, including on the A90, and some actions will potentially be programmed for later this year. In some of the current investigations, consideration is being given to whether the interventions are appropriate; in others, consideration is being given to whether additional assessment is required in order to determine whether more interventions are needed.

This Government has a very strong record of investing in road infrastructure in the north-east of Scotland and of making sure that we continue to drive down the number of deaths and serious accidents that occur on our trunk road network. I assure the member that we will continue to look at what measures are appropriate not only on the A90, but across our trunk road network in order to drive improvement and road safety.

The Presiding Officer:

I apologise to Tom Mason, as we do not have enough time to get to question 8 on the Aberdeen western peripheral route. He will have to be content with a written answer to his very good question.