Improvements to an accident blackspot on the A92 in Fife have been described as a “sticking plaster”.
Work to improve the notorious Balfarg junction will go ahead next month after years of campaigning by local residents.
While welcoming the project, which will include pedestrian crossings and extensions to turning lanes at the staggered junction, Ron Page, who chairs North Glenrothes Community Council and also represents Glenrothes Area Futures Group, said he would rather have seen the stretch made a dual carriageway.
“We welcome it as a slight safety improvement, but it’s a sticking plaster,” he said.
“If all the sticking plasters that they’ve put on the A92 at Glenrothes were put together, I’m sure they could have afforded a dual carriageway.”
Local campaigners have called for the stretch between the Balfarg junction and Preston roundabout – a distance just more than a mile and a half – to be dualled.
“That would resolve all sorts of problems, and accidents and near accidents, and it was envisioned in our plans about 20 years ago,” said Mr Page.
“Everything was there except the money.”
Two years ago, Humza Yousaf, who was Scotland’s transport minister at the time, pledged to consider a roundabout as an option for improving safety at Balfarg after visiting the site with members of the community council and local SNP MSP Jenny Gilruth.
However, this idea was shelved in favour of the improvements now set to go ahead over 12 weeks starting next month.
Ms Gilruth discussed the need to upgrade the junction with Transport Scotland and Bear Scotland in December.
She said: “I have been working closely with the local community, including Glenrothes Area Futures Group and North Glenrothes Community Council, since 2016 to make a compelling case for improving the A92 junctions in Glenrothes.
“I’m delighted that the Scottish Government transport secretary listened to our case and has taken decisive action to improve safety on the A92 for road users and pedestrians.
“I know the investment in this improvement work will be welcomed by everyone in the community.
“Looking beyond this work, there are other areas of the A92 as it passes through alongside Glenrothes that still require to be looked at, including at the Bankhead roundabout and at Leven Bridge.
“I will continue to liaise with Transport Scotland and Bear Scotland as the work at the junctions gets underway next month and to ensure work is progressed as quickly as possible. I am really grateful to Glenrothes Area Futures Group and to the community council for their persistent work on highlighting the need for these essential improvements to the A92.”