Transport Scotland says roundabouts will be considered for Tain junctions

A range of improvements, including roundabouts, are to be considered for improving the safety at two Tain junctions, an MSP has discovered.

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, wrote to Transport Scotland after the community backed putting in roundabouts for the Tain A9 Asda and Lidl junctions.

Mrs Grant had already been told about planned improvements including reducing the speed limit to 50mph on a 3km stretch of the A9 – 260 metres south of the A9 junction with the B9174 Knockbreak Road and continuing until 180 metres north of the A9 junction with the B9174 Morangie Road. This is to be put out to consultation.

Now Transport Scotland’s Chief Executive, Roy Brannen, says it is looking for a consultant to review long-term engineering options for the stretch and this will include a range of junction improvement, including roundabouts.

“This is good news, but I have to raise a note of caution as Transport Scotland has told me that any larger scale projects will be subject to funding and will compete with other priorities on the trunk road network,” said Mrs Grant.

“I do hope the Scottish Government will see this as a priority for funding given the number of accidents and near misses on this stretch.

“The community is anxious to avoid a serious accident or a fatality at these junctions, so I hope planning these longer-term improvements will not take long.

“I hope that Transport Scotland will also look at other alternatives in the long term that provide safety as well as ensuring the journey north is not permanently lengthened.”

Last year Mrs Grant was contacted by constituents who told her that ‘nearly every week’ an incident happens’ around the Asda and Lidl junctions.

She has highlighted recent publicity about 11 accidents at the Tain Asda junction, labelled the worst A9 hotspot.