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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...


Independence referendum results

September 19 2014

The final council-by-council independence referendum results. 1 ABERDEEN Yes 59,390 (41.39%) No 84,094 (58.61%) No majority 24,704 (17.22%) Electorate 175,745; Turnout 143,484 (81.64%) 2 ABERDEENSHIRE Yes 71,337 (39.64%) No 108,606 (60.36%) No majority 37,269 (20.71%) Electorate 206,486; Turnout 179,943 (87.15%) 3 ANGUS Yes 35,044 (43.68%) No 45,192 (56.32%) No majority 10,148 (12.65%) Electorate 93,551; Turnout 80,236 (85.77%) 4 ARGYLL & BUTE Yes 26,324 (41.48%) No 37,143 (58.52%) No majority 10,819 (17.05%) Electorate 72,002; Turnout 63,467 (88.15%) 5 CLACKMANNANSHIRE Yes 16,350 (46.20%) No 19,036 (53.80%) No majority 2,686 (7.59%) Electorate 39,972; Turnout 35,386 (88.53%) 6 COMHAIRLE NAN EILEAN SIAR Yes 9,195 (46.58%) No 10,544 (53.42%) No majority 1,349 (6.83%) Electorate 22,908; Turnout 19,739 (86.17%) 7 DUMFRIES & GALLOWAY Yes 36,614 (34.33%) No 70,039 (65.67%) No majority 33,425 (31.34%) Electorate 122,036; Turnout 106,653 (87.39%) 8 DUNDEE Yes 53,620 (57.35%) No 39,880 (42.65%) Yes majority 13,740 (14.70%) Electorate 118,729; Turnout 93,500 (78.75%) 9 EAST AYRSHIRE Yes 39,762 (47.22%) No 44,442 (52.78%) No majority 4,680 (5.56%) Electorate 99,664; Turnout 84,204 (84.49%) 10 EAST DUNBARTONSHIRE Yes 30,624 (38.80%) No 48,314 (61.20%) No majority 17,690 (22.41%) Electorate 86,836; Turnout 78,938 (90.90%) 11 EAST LOTHIAN Yes 27,467 (38.28%) No 44,283 (61.72%) No majority 16,816 (23.44%) Electorate 81,945; Turnout 71,750 (87.56%) 12 EAST RENFREWSHIRE Yes 24,287 (36.81%) No 41,690 (63.19%) No majority 17,403 (26.38%) Electorate 72,981; Turnout 65,977 (90.40%) 13 EDINBURGH Yes 123,927 (38.90%) No 194,638 (61.10%) No majority 70,711 (22.20%) Electorate 378,012; Turnout 318,565 (84.27%) 14 FALKIRK Yes 50,489 (46.53%) No 58,030 (53.47%) No majority 7,541 (6.95%) Electorate 122,457; Turnout 108,519 (88.62%) 15 FIFE Yes 114,148 (44.95%) No 139,788 (55.05%) No majority 25,640 (10.10%) Electorate 302,165; Turnout 253,936 (84.04%) 16 GLASGOW Yes 194,779 (53.49%) No 169,347 (46.51%) Yes majority 25,432 (6.98%) Electorate 486,219; Turnout 364,126 (74.89%) 17 HIGHLAND Yes 78,069 (47.08%) No 87,739 (52.92%) No majority 9,670 (5.83%) Electorate 190,778; Turnout 165,808 (86.91%) 18 INVERCLYDE Yes 27,243 (49.92%) No 27,329 (50.08%) No majority 86 (0.16%) Electorate 62,481; Turnout 54,572 (87.34%) 19 MIDLOTHIAN Yes 26,370 (43.70%) No 33,972 (56.30%) No majority 7,602 (12.60%) Electorate 69,617; Turnout 60,342 (86.68%) 20 MORAY Yes 27,232 (42.44%) No 36,935 (57.56%) No majority 9,703 (15.12%) Electorate 75,170; Turnout 64,167 (85.36%) 21 NORTH AYRSHIRE Yes 47,072 (48.99%) No 49,016 (51.01%) No majority 1,944 (2.02%) Electorate 113,923; Turnout 96,088 (84.34%) 22 NORTH LANARKSHIRE Yes 115,783 (51.07%) No 110,922 (48.93%) Yes majority 4,861 (2.14%) Electorate 268,704; Turnout 226,705 (84.37%) 23 ORKNEY Yes 4,883 (32.80%) No 10,004 (67.20%) No majority 5,121 (34.40%) Electorate 17,806; Turnout 14,887 (83.61%) 24 PERTH & KINROSS Yes 41,475 (39.81%) No 62,714 (60.19%) No majority 21,239 (20.39%) Electorate 120,015; Turnout 104,189 (86.81%) 25 RENFREWSHIRE Yes 55,466 (47.19%) No 62,067 (52.81%) No majority 6,601 (5.62%) Electorate 134,735; Turnout 117,533 (87.23%) 26 SCOTTISH BORDERS Yes 27,906 (33.44%) No 55,553 (66.56%) No majority 27,647 (33.13%) Electorate 95,533; Turnout 83,459 (87.36%) 27 SHETLAND Yes 5,669 (36.29%) No 9,951 (63.71%) No majority 4,282 (27.41%) Electorate 18,516; Turnout 15,620 (84.36%) 28 SOUTH AYRSHIRE Yes 34,402 (42.13%) No 47,247 (57.87%) No majority 12,845 (15.73%) Electorate 94,881; Turnout 81,649 (86.05%) 29 SOUTH LANARKSHIRE Yes 100,990 (45.33%) No 121,800 (54.67%) No majority 20,810 (9.34%) Electorate 261,157; Turnout 222,790 (85.31%) 30 STIRLING Yes 25,010 (40.23%) No 37,153 (59.77%) No majority 12,143 (19.53%) Electorate 69,033; Turnout 62,163 (90.05%) 31 WEST DUNBARTONSHIRE Yes 33,720 (53.96%) No 28,776 (46.04%) Yes majority 4,944 (7.91%) Electorate 71,109; Turnout 62,496 (87.89%) 32 WEST LOTHIAN Yes 53,342 (44.82%) No 65,682 (55.18%) No majority 12,340 (10.37%) Electorate 138,226; Turnout 119,024 (86.11%)

Perth & Kinross

Online road camera service allows Perthshire motorists to spot traffic trouble

November 24 2015

Motorists in Perthshire will be able to spot winter traffic trouble from the comfort of their own homes thanks to live road camera feeds. Live action from nine key sites across the region will be posted on the local authority’s website. One of the live feeds which update every 15 minutes will run at the A93 at Glenshee which is often badly hit by harsh weather over the winter months. Other cameras are available at A93 at South Persie; A94 at Rosefield; A822 at Amulree; A977 at Gelvan; Kinloch Rannoch; A9 at Loaninghead; A90 at Starr Farm and the M90 at Glenfarg. The website also allows drivers to view footage from the A90 at Forfar. The cameras can be viewed at www.pkc.gov.uk/trafficcameras.


Courier Country hit by severe flooding

December 21 2012

TRAFFIC WAS brought to a standstill on one of Scotland’s busiest roads yesterday, with a van driver having to be rescued when his vehicle became partially submerged. The deluge arrived in Perthshire and the incessant rain led to the A9 Perth to Inverness road being closed for several hours near Ballinluig on Thursday as four fire appliances battled to pump water from the area, with driving conditions being described as “hazardous” by Traffic Scotland. Several other roads were either closed or were “passable with care” in Perthshire, and motorists were asked to take care when driving over the Friarton Bridge, Perth, due to high winds. Motorists faced lengthy delays as a result, with the A9 closed between the A822 junction at Dunkeld and A827 junction at Ballinluig. Traffic was diverted off the Jubilee Bridge and via Logierait for a period. A motorist described back roads near Ballinluig as “more like sailing” than driving and said that traffic was at a standstill both northbound and southbound. Roads at Tullimet and Guay were closed due to flooding, and Stormont Road, Scone, was closed between Abbey Road and the A94. In addition, the A94 Perth Road, Scone, and the A93 at Upper Springland were both passable with care, while flooding also caused difficulties on the A94 Scone to Balbeggie road and on the A824 Auchterarder to Aberuthven road. Also closed in the early hours of this morning were the A92 Dundee to Arbroath road northbound at Ethiebeaton, the A90 Glamis junction, the B954 Alyth to Meigle, the A911 Scotlandwell to Milnathort, A913 Newburgh to Abernethy. The A85 St Fillans to Lochearnhead was also closed due to a landslide. In Fife, various roads were closed, including the A91 West of Dairsie to Pitscottie route, part of the A915 and the Easter Lumbennie road in North-East Fife. The road between Pittenweem Recycling Centre and Grangemuir Caravan Park also had to be closed due to a fallen tree. Huntsmans Road in Glenrothes was shut to all traffic for much of last night. There were bad flooding patches on roads throughout West Fife, particularly on the A907 Dunfermline to Alloa route. North-East Fife roads were also badly affected, with severe surface water in and around Cupar and on roads between Melville Lodges roundabout and the Tay Bridge. Fife Police told The Courier they had dealt with “numerous” accidents on the region’s roads including a man being hit by a car outside the Windsor Hotel on Victoria Road in Kirkcaldy. The man is understood to have suffered a bump to his head and leg after being struck by the vehicle just after 5pm. He was taken to Victoria Hospital by ambulance but his injuries were described as “minor”. There was also a three-car accident at about 5pm on the Standing Stane Road between Leven and Kirkcaldy which caused long tailbacks for some time. A Fife Police spokesman said flooding had caused problems “all over Fife”. The rain is forecast to ease off into the afternoon today, but further heavy rain is expected on Saturday. For the latest flood warnings visit floodline.sepa.org.uk/floodupdates and for traffic news see trafficscotland.org

Angus & The Mearns

FULL LIST: Snow drifts and abandoned cars force closure of string of local roads

March 1 2018

A series of roads across Fife and Perthshire have been force to close due to a blast of winter weather. Snow drifts and abandoned cars have left routes across Courier Country completely blocked as the "Beast from the East" hits Scotland. The A92 St Andrews to Dundee road was closed between the A91 Mawcarse to St Andrews route and the A912 at Muirhead at about 9pm after being left impassible. It is now passable with care. Several vehicles are said to have "lost traction" on the road. The A921 between Kircaldy to Kinghorn road was also said to be blocked on Thursday morning, as was the A976 route between Kennoway and Cupar. Tayside Police Division said they have been called to a number of minor incidents across the region, but nothing major. Traffic Scotland said the A90 Aberdeen to Dundee road between Laurencekirk and Stonehaven is hazardous due to "wintry conditions".   Full list of local road closures as of 4.45pm: Passable with care: A92 St Andrews to Dundee road between the A91 Mawcarse to St Andrews route and the A912 at Muirhead (snow) The A93 Braemar to Perth road closed "for the foreseeable future" around the Spittal of Glenshee (snow) The A93 is passable with care between Blackwater and the Spittal of Glenshee.  B918 Between A977 and A91 Kinross (snow drifts) C413 Stronachie (snow drifts) U142 Westown (snow drifts) B919 Mawcarse - Balgedie (snow drifts) B996 Kinross - Gairneybridge (snow drifts) B920 Scotlandwell - C501 Righead (snow drifts) U243 Glenlomond (snow drifts and abandoned cars) A911 Scotlandwell - Milnathort (snow drifts and abandoned cars) B827 Langside - Comrie (drifting snow) A94 Scone to Burrelton (drifting snow/vehicles off road) Passable with care/"essential travel" only: A924 Pitlochry to Kirkmichael, A826 Kinloch to Aberfeldy, A822 Kinloch to Dunkeld. Gritters are said to be at work on most of the routes Perth and Kinross Council said "all other roads" within its boundary are passable with care but should only be used for "essential travel". All Stageocach East Scotland services through Perthshire and Fife were suspended until "at least" 10am. Buses in Perth began running just before 10am. However at 10.30am the firm said it is "unlikely" any of its services through Fife would operate on Thursday. Additionally "most" rural services through Perthshire have been called off. A statement from Stagecoach said: "In consultation with Police Scotland, Transport Scotland and similar to other transport operators, no services are operating across Fife at present and it is highly unlikely this situation will change for the remainder of the day as conditions remain the same, or are deteriorating in some areas of Fife. "We will continue to review the weather and road conditions and post any updates to our position on this page throughout the day. "Perthshire: Most rural services are not operating, however some services in the city are now operating." More updates on local Stagecoach services can be found here. https://twitter.com/StagecoachEScot/status/969156686001987584 https://twitter.com/StagecoachEScot/status/969100893504376836 A Met Office red alert for snow across Central Scotland, Tayside and Fife was in place until 10am. A further amber warning predicting "heavy snow showers" is in force until 6pm. More to follow.


Delays expected as gantry installed near Queensferry Crossing

August 24 2016

Motorists are warned to expect delays as an overhead gantry is installed on the A90 near South Queensferry this weekend. The gantry is part of work on the new Queensferry Crossing and will be installed on the southbound carriageway at the point where the A90 to Edinburgh and the M90 Spur separate. On Saturday and Sunday, contraflows will be in place from 8pm, with full closure of the A90 southbound from 11pm, until 5am. The southbound carriageway on the M90 spur will completely close between 9pm and 5pm. Traffic approaching the Forth Road Bridge from the north will be re-directed via Kincardine Bridge. The outside lane on the M90 spur northbound will also close during these times. Steven Brown, Transport Scotland roads and infrastructure manager, said: “This work has been planned to take place overnight and at the weekend to minimise restrictions and delays for road users as far as possible. “The timing of the work takes account of performance times at the Edinburgh Festival and at the Military tattoo. “Due to the closure of the A90 and M90 Spur southbound after South Queensferry, a diversion will be in place for strategic southbound traffic via the Kincardine Bridge while the Forth Road Bridge southbound will be open for local traffic only. “Northbound traffic on the A90 and the M90 Spur will have at least one lane available throughout the operations except for short periods while the gantry is moved from its current storage area into position for lifting. "The Forth Road Bridge will remain fully open for northbound traffic during the operations. “We recognise this could result in some disruption and we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. Our advice to road users is to plan ahead, check travel information from Traffic Scotland and allow extra time where necessary.” A second gantry installation above the northbound carriageway is scheduled for overnight on Saturday the following weekend.


Average speed cameras to be introduced on A90 between Dundee and Stonehaven

March 28 2017

Average speed cameras are to be introduced on the A90 between Dundee and Stonehaven before the end of the year. Transport Scotland said work to install 30 cameras on the 50-mile stretch of road will begin soon with the system operational by the autumn. The project will cost just under £2 million. Transport Scotland said it expects the cameras will reduce the number of collisions on the road and result in fewer drivers getting caught speeding. The speed limit will remain at 70mph. The move follows the successful introduction of average speed cameras on the A9 and A77. https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/local/angus-mearns/395400/comment-case-average-speed-cameras-a90-clear/ Transport Scotland said the network will replace 40 fixed and mobile speed camera points currently used or the A90. The 30 cameras will be placed between three to four miles apart with 15 on each side of the carriageway, similar to the system already in place between Perth and Dunblane. Luke Macauley, head of the Scottish Safety Camera Programme, said more than 60% of drivers speed on A90 between Stonehaven and Dundee, with 20% hitting speeds of more than 80mph between speed cameras.. He said: "There are average speed cameras on the A9 and A77 and while it's not appropriate to make direct comparisons between different roads, we know there has been a reduction in casualties since average speed cameras were introduced. "On the A90 there were three fatal collisions and six serious collisions in 2015. "More than three out of five vehicles are exceeding the speed limit and more than one in five are exceeding the speed limit by more than 10 miles per hour." Transport Scotland said it hopes the average speed cameras will help change driver behaviour so that instead of breaking the speed limit and then slamming on the brakes as they approach a speed camera, motorists will maintain a steady speed instead. The organisation also said the introduction of average speed cameras elsewhere has led to a fall in the number of drivers being penalised for speeding, with around 60% fewer motorists caught on the A9 since average speed cameras were introduced. Mr Macauley added: "We are confident there will be a significant reduction in the number of offenders." He added the network will be continually monitored to gauge its effectiveness and said average speed cameras could be introduced on other Scottish roads where it is deemed appropriate. Scottish Government transport minister Humza Yousaf said: “The Scottish Government is committed, through Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2020, to achieving safer road travel and working towards an ultimate vision of zero fatalities and reducing the number of serious injuries on our roads. “Installing average speed cameras on the A90 will make the road safer for everyone travelling along the route. We already know from our experience with the A9 that average speed cameras encourage better driver behaviour, with the number of fatal casualties down by over 37% and serious injury casualties by 45%. "We can also expect to see improved journey time reliability and reductions in the number of people getting points on their licence and a fine. “There have been 60 fatal and serious collisions on the A90 between Dundee and Stonehaven in the last five years alone. "Any death on our roads is one too many, and I look forward to seeing similar results on the A90 as we’ve seen on the A77 and A9 in reducing casualties and improving driver behaviour.” The Road Haulage Association has said the introduction of average speed cameras on the A9 has helped to ease congestion and reduce journey times.


Courier country a hotspot for speeding drivers

August 18 2014

Reckless drivers travelling through Courier country at speeds of up to 129mph dominated four out of five positions in a new Scottish league of shame. Figures from the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) revealed the 20 worst speeding offences recorded in Scotland over the past 15 months. Those included two offences on the A90 near Brechin (129mph) and Stonehaven (122mph), an incident on the A9 at Moulinearn, Perthshire (127mph) and a detection between Crossgates and Cowdenbeath in Fife (125mph) on the A92. IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “These speeds show there are still drivers out there displaying a contempt for the law and for the safety of their fellow road users. “This is made doubly worse by the fact the vast majority of the incidents took place on A roads, therefore putting oncoming motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians at greater risk.” The data covered April 1 2013 to June 30 this year and was provided by Police Scotland following a freedom of information request. The highest figure was a driver recorded at 139mph on a 60mph stretch of the A96 Keith to Huntly Road, one mile east of the B9115 Junction in Aberdeenshire on a mobile speed camera. Other sites that made the top 20 in Scotland included the A9 near Pitlochry (118mph), the A90 at Finavon (121mph), another incident at Moulinearn (120mph), and a detection at Windyedge Farm (118mph) on the A9. The highest speed recorded on a road in England and Wales was 149mph, by a motorist on the M25 at Swanley between April 2013 and May 2014.

Angus & The Mearns

A90 partially closed after tractor, van and lorry collide

September 19 2016

Part of the A90 dual carriageway has reopened in Angus following a collision between a lorry, van and tractor. It is understood drivers of all three vehicles were treated at the scene of the collision, near the A94 junction by Forfar, but escaped serious injury. A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Police Scotland attended on the A90 between the Glamis and Kirriemuir junctions at about 11.30am this morning, following a report of a collision involving a van, lorry and a tractor. "The occupants sustained minor injuries. "The southbound carriageway was closed to allow recovery of the tractor and has since been reopened.” The road was closed southbound while the tractor awaited recovery.

Angus & The Mearns

Motorists warned of delays during work on £60 million windfarm near Cairngorms

June 10 2014

Motorists across Tayside are being warned of delays as work on a £60 million windfarm progresses. Lorries carrying wind turbine parts will be making their way from Inverness and Grangemouth to Clashindarroch Forest, near Huntly. The site, on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park, is earmarked for 18 wind turbines, measuring 360ft. Energy firm Vattenfall laid the first foundations for the development last month, and are now pushing on with their plans. The first lorries began making the journey to the site on Monday and police are warning motorists they are likely to face similar delays over the next two months. The blades will be transported from Inverness harbour via the A9 between the city and Perth and the A96 Inverness-Aberdeen road on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 9.30am. They are expected to arrive in the Huntly area at about 1pm. Other components will make their way north from Grangemouth using the A90 Dundee to Aberdeen road and A96 going via the B9001 Inverurie to Meikle Wartle and the A920 Oldmeldrum to Culsalmond roads to avoid Inveramsay Bridge arriving at about 1.45pm. It is expected the windfarm will start generating electricity later this year, with developers claiming it could eventually power more than 24,000 homes.