Lib-Dems welcome recall of minister

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Angus and Mearns Lib-Dems have welcomed the Petitions Committee decision to recall Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson to justify his stance over the Laurencekirk Junction.

Lib-dem Supporters have expressed relief that Jill Campbell’s petition for a flyover at Laurencekirk has not been closed. They say there were concerns after Nigel Don MSP twice suggested it be closed at previous meetings of the Petitions Committee.

supporters were delighted to learn that the Committee has asked Mr Stevenson to appear before them to explain his decision not to build a flyover at Laurencekirk.

Safety figures, finally released by the Scottish Government, revealed that there have been no fatal accidents at three junctions where flyovers have been approved by the Minister, in comparison to four tragic fatalities at Laurencekirk, including one just last year.

Lib Dem Campaigner for Angus and Mearns, Sanjay Samani has joined local Montrose councillor David May in welcoming the news.

Mr Samani said: “Mr Stevenson has been forced to admit that congestion played a big part in his decision making. Given that he has previously stated that safety was the main criteria, it is absolutely right that he be recalled to justify his decisions to the Petitions Committee.

“Others, like Mr Don, have also confused safety with congestion, by linking the need for a flyover to the building of new houses near Laurencekirk. Those who have supported Jill’s campaign for a long time know that the flyover needs to be built on safety grounds alone. The Government’s own figures back that up.”

Councillor May, who wrote to the petitions committee with further evidence justifying the need for action on the junction, added: “I am pleased that developments in Montrose have been recognised as adding to the risks of further tragic accidents at Laurencekirk. It still beggars belief that the Transport Minister has chosen to ignore the evidence he has always had in front of him.

“I have said before that Sanjay and I are willing to meet the minister any week-day morning at 7.30 at the junction and he could see for himself the need for a flyover.”

North East MSP and Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson, Alison McInnes commented: “The Minister has let down everyone in the area with his cavalier approach to road safety improvements. No one locally doubts the need for proper safe junctions on this stretch of road, it is a pity that Stewart Stevenson isn’t listening.”