A campaigner who has battled for 14 years for a flyover at a notorious north-east junction has expressed joy after a preferred option was revealed.
Transport Scotland’s proposals for the £24 million A90/A937 junction at Laurencekirk have gone on display for members of the community.
The preferred flyover option replacing the existing junction south of Laurencekirk has been chosen by Transport Scotland.
The A937 carries over the A90 on a new bridge with a roundabout either side of the bridge.
A link road would provide replacement access to Johnston Lodge and Johnston Mains from the eastern roundabout.
The centre and north junctions at Laurencekirk from the A90 would remain open.
Three options had been put on display last year for members of the community to have their say on.
Campaigners have been calling for a flyover at the A90/A937 road for nearly 15 years.
Jill Fotheringham from Laurencekirk, who spearheaded the campaign, got involved in 2004 after a number of deaths on the route.
The florist, who has a shop in Montrose, was one of the first in line to see the plans for the route having been outside the Dickson Hall since 10.50am.
The 53-year-old said: “After a family came into my shop to get flowers after their young boy died I didn’t want to see another death and I was angry.
“So, my thoughts were to get a petition together with a few hundred signatures and hand it in and see what would happen.
“I had no idea at the time how big this would become.
“I’ve been at this since I was in my thirties.
“However, seeing the plans today and to know that the flyover is happening is fantastic.
“I’m happy to see it finally coming and mad that it has taken so long.
“When I saw the preferred option I was delighted as it is the option that I wanted to happen. It is in the right location.”
Exhibition documents said the preferred option has the least impact on the environment, would reduce delays and was the cheapest of the three possibilities.
It was announced in January 2016 the road upgrade would be part of £504m of investments allocated to the north-east to improve infrastructure and attract jobs.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “Having put a number of options for the planned improvements at Laurencekirk on display last year and considered the feedback following the public exhibition, we are now able to let the public see and comment on the preferred option that has been identified for this much-needed upgrade.
“The plans on display will help reduce accidents and delays by preventing traffic turning or crossing at the busy A90 junction to the south of the town.
“This will be achieved by grade-separating it which will also improve safety and accessibility for all active travel users.
“I would encourage as many people as possible to attend the exhibitions to see the preferred option or view the material online and give us their views.
“All comments we receive will be considered as we develop the preferred option in greater detail and look to publish draft orders for the scheme in 2019.”
Aberdeenshire Lord Provost Bill Howatson, who represents the Mearns, said: “I think this is long overdue and we have been waiting for this for some time, but this is a positive step forward.
“It still has to go through due process but with all going well and all boxes being ticked work could start in 2020 or 2021.”
Councillor Jeff Hutchison, who represents the Mearns ward, said: “There is still a small consultation to go but I am happy with the junction that has come forward and the residents also seem happy. It is a horrendous junction and this is a step in the right direction and allows the town to move on and plan its future.”
Fellow ward councillor Leigh Wilson said: “After speaking to members of the public they appear to be happy with the preferred option.
“This is a positive move for Laurencekirk.”
Mearns councillor George Carr said: “It will be welcomed by the community. It’s been a long campaign to get the junction to this point.”
Another exhibition will take place in the Dickson Hall in Laurencekirk on August 24.