Plans for work on north-east road outlined in new report – Evening Express

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Councillors are to discuss the progress made to date in improving a north-east road.

The Formartine area committee will meet on Tuesday to discuss the progress made by the A947 Member Officer Working Group on the road, which runs from Dyce to Banff.

Set up in May 2018, the group aims to review the work made on the development and delivery of improvement projects on the road.

There are five long-term plans for the A947 over the next 20 years, with the goal to develop a route fit for purpose of connecting communities in a safe manner, while supporting regeneration in north Aberdeenshire.

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This includes reducing the number of accidents on the road, improve journey time, enable housing, employment and retail growth to take place along the corridor, improve public transport access and improve perceptions of safety and reduce driver frustration.

The number of serious and fatal collisions on the road has improved in recent years, with the report outlining that five crashes were recorded in 2019, compared with 11 in 2017 and 2018, and 21 in 2016.

A report prepared by principal road safety engineer Andrew Wilkinson and strategic transport officer Robert McGregor said: “Progress has been made on the short-term and medium-term objectives set out in the action plan, with some of the tasks being an on-going process, for example maintenance and enforcement.

“Longer term aspirations for the route have been delayed due to waiting for potential effects of the A96 dualling route selection, any potential effects of the AWPR and latterly Covid.

“The focus and direction of the member officer working group in the future will be on determining which of the long-term schemes should be developed and reported to the infrastructure services committee in spring.”

The report outlines that work on upgrading sections of the road, particularly between Dyce and Newmachar, has not yet gone ahead, as it has been awaiting the outcome of the A96 dualling route options, being carried out by Transport Scotland

Meanwhile, other work undertaken includes looking at existing lay-bys for slow-moving traffic following comments the size of lay-bys were not sufficient for agricultural traffic, however, it was said it was not the preferred option for creating overtaking opportunities on the route.

A further review of overtaking opportunities has also been carried out, which has identified an under-provision south of Newmachar in both directions.

The report added: “It should be noted that for an opportunity to exist there should be no little oncoming traffic. Given the nature of traffic flow, this frequently does not allow overtaking.

“Across the length of the A947 from Dyce to Banff, overtaking opportunities are above 15%- 20% northbound and 16% southbound; and two initial assessments of potential climbing lane locations has taken place with 15 sites identified and sifted into a shorter list setting out the potentially most suitable options for more detailed consideration (North of Newmachar; north of Oldmeldrum; north of Fyvie; and north of Turriff).”

Significant investment for an improvement project would be needed, however, officers are awaiting the outcome of the A96 dualling project before considering next steps.

Other improvements carried out include cutting back vegetation and installing additional signage at the Kinmundy crossroads this financial year, to improve junctions.

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