SCOTLAND’S Transport Minister, Keith Brown MSP visited Laurencekirk on Tuesday evening where he met with junction campaigner Jill Campbell.
Mr Brown accompanied Jill on a visit to the notorious A90/A937 junction, scene of a number of fatalities over the years and the subject of an intense local campaign for grade separation.
The Minister said: “I wanted to respond to Jill’s invitation to meet her and see the junction before I am due to appear at a meeting of the Public Petitions Committee to give evidence.
“I am already familiar with the junction having passed it many times over the years.”
The visit of the Minister has been viewed positively by all political parties, but Mr Brown was making no promises.
“I am simply responding to the invitation to come to Laurencekirk and no one should read any more into my visit,” he said.
West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine MSP Mike Rumbles held talks with Mr Brown earlier that day.
Mr Rumbles said: “These were very positive discussions and I am pleased that Keith Brown has taken an interest in Laurencekirk so early in his career as Transport Minister.
“This was a useful opportunity to provide the Minister with information on why we so desperately need a flyover on the A90.
“It is refreshing to have a Minister who is positive and keen to listen after three and a half years of simply being told ‘no’ by the previous Minister.”
Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone welcomed the visit of Mr Brown.
Mr Johnstone said: “I am delighted the Minister has made the effort to visit the junction and meet with local campaigners. This cross party campaign has support across the board and it is essential that we all work together to achieve a positive outcome at a notorious accident blackspot.”
SNP MSP Nigel Don also welcomed the visit. Mr Don has held detailed discussions with both Mr Brown and his predecessor Stewart Stevenson on the issue.
Mr Don said: “I am very grateful that the minister has chosen to personally visit the junction, and to meet with local campaigners ahead of consideration of the petition next week.
“I am sure that this will have helped the minister to gain a greater understanding of the problems that exist at the junction and I am sure people in the community will be glad that he has come to the North East to see the situation first hand.”