A project to improve safety at a notorious junction has “reached a major milestone” with news that plans will be shown to the public early next year.
Transport Scotland has unveiled proposals for a new flyover at Laurencekirk.
The preferred option would see four trunk roads built on the A937 Laurencekirk to Montrose road and realign it to cross the dual carriageway.
Plans also indicate the necessary land, which could be acquired using compulsory purchase orders.
An environmental impact assessment has been published too, and Transport Scotland will hold a public exhibition on January 10 at the Dickson Memorial Hall in Laurencekirk from noon to 7pm.
Campaigner Jill Fotheringham has fought for improvements at the accident blackspot for 14 years but wants swifter action.
She said: “I understand that these public events are all part of the due process but it all seems to be stretching on a bit and I want them to just get on with it.
“I wish they would hurry up and make proper progress as everything has been going on so long.
“The junction gets worse and more dangerous every time the infrastructure changes and I normally wait there for 10 to 13 minutes a day.
“I’m pleased it is going ahead but it needs to move quicker.”
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The £300,000 project was announced in 2016 to improve safety for drivers crossing the busy A90, following a number of serious accidents over the years.
A grade-separated crossing will be installed that will also improve accessibility.
North-east Tory MSP Liam Kerr has helped with the campaign and welcomed the latest progress.
He said: “This news will be the perfect Christmas present for the people of Laurencekirk, and those who use this dangerous junction every day.
“I’d like to pay tribute to Jill Fotheringham and her active, committed campaigners for dragging this over the line. And I will pursue this at Holyrood until the first concrete is poured.”
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “We are continuing to progress the design work for the Laurencekirk Junction Improvement scheme, having let the public see and comment on the preferred option for the junction last summer.
“We are now able to publish draft orders for the scheme – a major milestone in delivering this much-needed upgrade for the north-east.
“I would encourage as many people as possible to attend the exhibition on January 10 to see our proposals, or view the material online and give us their views.”