– in the Scottish Parliament on 16th March 2023.
4. To ask the Scottish Government whether it plans to dual the A90 between Ellon and Peterhead. (S6O-02023)
T he second strategic transport projects review, the final report of which was published in December last year, considered proposals to dual the A90 north of Ellon. However, after an extensive evidence-based process, with substantial stakeholder and public consultation, dualling was not recommended. Instead, measures were considered for improving road safety and reliability and adapting the trunk road network to deal with the challenge of climate change.
It is 17 years since Alex Salmond promised the north-east that the first decision that he would make on becoming First Minister would be to dual between Ellon and Peterhead. That is nearly two decades of Scottish National Party inaction and lack of ambition on that forgotten road of Scotland, with seven deaths and 49 injuries on that stretch in the past three years.
For the safety and economy of the north-east, and to show that the Government is for more than just the central belt, will the minister promise, here and now, to at last dual that section of the A90?
I do not recognise some of the sentiment that is behind Liam Kerr’s questioning. The Government has invested more than £250 million in maintenance and road safety on the A90 alone since 2007, so it is not true to characterise investment from the Government in that way.
However, I recognise Liam Kerr’s interest in the route and long-standing concerns about road safety. It is worth saying that some additional safety measures have been introduced, including vehicle-activated signs. More broadly, he will be aware that, along with Aberdeenshire Council, Nestrans has recently confirmed to Transport Scotland that it intends to take forward its own study of the A90. Of course, ministers will consider that in detail.
I reassure Liam Kerr that there are requirements to improve road safety on the trunk road network through STPR2 recommendation 30, which looks at provisions on improving road safety more broadly.