Letter dated 24 August 2015
A977 Signage and Mitigation Measures
I feel I must respond to the letter of 24/4/15 you wrote to Jim Valentine at Perth and Kinross Council, copied to me by your colleague Gemma Montrose on 31/7/15.
As the local ward Councillor who attended the Public Inquiry in November 2004 into the new Clackmannanshire Bridge when the above issues were raised, I am dismayed that both PKC & Transport Scotland appear to have changed their position on these matters.
Local concerns about the speed and volume of HGV’s on the A977 are well documented and relate to Blairgingone, Powmill and Balado, as well as Crook of Devon; we are well aware of the attractiveness of this route to HGV’s as being a shorter link between the central belt and M90 – hence the demand for alternative signage and mitigation measures.
The request for a review of signage at Gartarry roundabout failed to mention the need for earlier signage on the motorway network at junction 5 (where the M80 leaves the M876) where only Perth is signed for the M9 (when clearly it should also mention Aberdeen, Dundee and Inverness).
The A907 has never been suggested, only the A985 and A9 as per Transport Scotland’s previous position. I realise that use of satellite navigation devices by HGV drivers complicates the effectiveness of signage, often negating it and causing significant problems on inappropriate routes; I have raised this matter at the regional transport partnership without success.
It is also clear that you regard the views of Clackmannan and Fife Council’s as paramount over PKC in the protection afforded to their residential amenity. PKC regrettably have changed their position recently on major mitigation measures for the A977 (supported by the Reporter’s Unit and included in our Local Development Plan) rejecting the need for large roundabouts they had argued for at the afore-mentioned public inquiry. Neither the Scottish Government nor PKC appear to have any sympathy or preparedness to address these matters despite numerous representations over the years from the community, including a petition to Parliament. I enclose background correspondence that shows in full light the change in their positions.
Cllr Michael Barnacle
Independent Member for Kinross-shire
cc Jim Valentine, PKC
Gemma Montrose, Network Manager, Transport Scotland
Roseanna Cunningham MSP
Councillors Dave Cuthbert, Joe Giacopazzi, Willie Robertson
Kevin Borthwick, Fossoway Community Council
Note for Editor re A977 Mitigation Measures
These communications elicited a disappointing and negative response from both PKC and Transport Scotland. I had written in July 2014 giving a full history of the situation since 1996 and got nowhere with my request for an outline business case to fund mitigation measures, stated as required in our Local Development Plan. There is clearly no political will from the SNP administration at Perth to address this issue and I am reluctantly forced to conclude that local members should now lobby for the road to be re-trunked as part of a current review of the strategic road network; I had previously thought that such a course would send the ‘wrong message’ about the suitability of HGV’s increased usage of the road but I now conclude, after consultation with Fossoway and Kinross Community Councils, it is the more likely option to secure funding for the measures needed. I remain sceptical, however, that the Government will re-trunk the road, preferring to pass the buck to PKC who won’t fund the measures needed either.