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'Safety interventions' confirmed for 'persistently dangerous' A96 Huntly Tesco junction

By Lewis McBlane

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ROADS operators have laid out plans to improve a notorious Huntly A96 junction.

Calls have been made to upgrade a junction on the A96 at Huntly that links to Dufftown and the town centre after a string of bad accidents...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Calls have been made to upgrade a junction on the A96 at Huntly that links to Dufftown and the town centre after a string of bad accidents...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

The junction near Huntly Tesco, connecting the A96 and A920, has seen a wave of incidents over the past three years.

It has previously been described as "terrifying", with the stretch of road previously seeing multiple accidents within days of each other.

Now, following planned investigation work in February, both Transport Scotland and Amey have confirmed they plan to resurface the road, replace worn road markings and road studs, and install an interactive sign warning drivers about their speed.

The works at the junction are planned to be finished before April 2024.

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “Our Operating Company, Amey, will shortly begin the design process for road safety interventions at this junction.

"These will include resurfacing of the A96/A920 junction along with the introduction of new road markings, signage and road studs.

"An interactive sign alerting drivers to their speed is also proposed.

"These works are planned to be undertaken this financial year.”

A spokesperson for Amey, which is responsible for maintaining the A96, issued an identical statement.

The news follows Councillor Robbie Withey (Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford) sending a letter to Minister for Transport Kevin Stewart MSP to plead the case for "swift action" to improve the junction.

In the letter, Cllr Withey asks for updates and highlights how the junction is a "matter of great concern" for locals and A96 drivers generally.

He also shared how the community had been left "frustrated" by a lack of action.

"This issue has plagued the community for a number of years, and it is disheartening to observe that despite numerous appeals for action by residents, community groups, and politicians at all levels of government, the matter remains unresolved," the letter reads.

"It is a matter of great concern for both the local residents using the junction, and the frequent users of the A96.

"Despite consistent efforts and the unwavering support of concerned individuals and organizations, no concrete steps have been taken to alleviate the dangers posed by this junction.

"Given the gravity of the situation, I implore you to recognize the urgent need to prioritize the resolution of the safety concerns at the A96 junction near Huntly Tesco.

"It is crucial that Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government commit the necessary resources, time, and attention required to rectify this long-standing issue.

"The community's well-being and the safe passage of commuters heavily rely on your swift action."

However, the "road safety interventions" planned by Amey fall short of past demands from some local campaigners.

An online petition launched in 2021, which received nearly 900 signatures, demanded an entirely new road layout at the junction.

In the petition, organiser Nicole Bostock said: "I continually hear from people, after accidents have occurred, that something needs to be done about this part of the A96.

"The majority of solutions suggested a roundabout."

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