A row over funding for an economy-boosting link road between the A90 and Montrose continues to rumble on.
Route options for the major project have been drawn up but Angus Council hopes of a Tay Cities Scottish Government contribution for the scheme look to have hit a barrier.
Angus finance spokesman Angus MacMillan Douglas told policy and resources committee councillors he and administration colleague, Montrose Independent councillor Mark Salmond enjoyed a “positive” meeting with the under Secretary of State Douglas Ross to discuss various matters around the Angus elements of the Tay Cities fund.
The ruling group pair also used the meeting to launch a bid for Montrose to become one of the UK’s free ports, a post-Brexit scheme allow firms to import goods and then re-export them outside normal tax and customs rules.
“We drew his attention to the problems around Montrose where there is no Scottish Government commitment to the rail link or the road link,” said the Kirriemuir Conservative.
Highlighting the selection of Montrose port as the preferred operations and maintenance base for the multi-billion pound Seagreen offshore wind farm, town Conservative councillor Ron Sturrock said: “Given the potential future, infrastructure connectivity is essential for promoting Montrose as a hub for further developments.
“We need to get it up and running as soon as possible.”
Montrose SNP member Bill Duff said: “I am a little bit confused because I was looking at our capital monitoring paper and under the A90 we say we are needing £10 million of Tay Cities money – perhaps the administration needs to get its ducks in a row on that one.”
Mr Macmillan Douglas responded: “We have our ducks in a row. While we are planning for this link road we haven’t got all the money for this devolved project.
“We are providing some, we need more,” he said.
A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “This is a local road project and would be for the local authority to consider appropriate funding.
“This Scottish Government has already invested £330 million to improve rail services in the north of Scotland.
“In addition, we are committed to completing the A90/A937 Laurencekirk junction improvement project for the people of the north east as soon as possible.
“The scheme will improve journey times, reduce delay and improve safety for all users. It will also improve transport links between Montrose and Laurencekirk and the A90 trunk road.”