I live fairly close to the Balfarg junction on the A92 out of Glenrothes and regularly see fresh bits of car, near misses, and general confusion when people are attempting to navigate their way across this bit of road.
I know quite a few people who live around the area will go out of their way to avoid crossing, and when arriving at the junction from the Balfarg side, will head left up to the New Inn roundabout where they complete a 180 degree turn and head back down the other side rather than taking their chances on the crossing itself.
There have been a few changes to the junction over time, and I wondered if the recent changes to the road have made any difference to the number of accidents (didn’t seem like it) so back in April I filed a freedom of information request and then promptly forgot all about it until I discovered it had been answered a few days ago.
They gave me information on all the accidents (recorded by the police at least) from 2004 to 2014. A total of 259.
I’ve organised the information a bit and stuck it on here, where I’ll update it once new data is available (e.g. 2015 stats)
Here we go:
This shows where the accidents happen – red shows the hotspots, which are probably pretty familiar to anyone who drives around here regularly.
Here’s a Google map that shows each accident’s specific location. If you click on any of them you’ll see some of the relevant data. Try zooming in a bit and having a look around.
Accidents Over Time
a fatal accident is an accident in which at least one person is fatally injured;
a serious accident is one in which at least one person is seriously injured, but no-one suffers a fatal injury;
a slight accident is one in which at least one person suffers slight injuries, but no-one is seriously injured, or fatally injured.
damage indicates damage only.
Day Of The Week
A lot of accidents, increasing in number considerably in 2014.
Nothing that suggests they were mainly due to weather, light or road conditions.
It’s basically a very dangerous bit of confusing, badly designed road.
Let’s see what’s happening with it then…
What's happening with the Glenrothes A92?
So the most recent relevant thing I could find via Google was this dated 8th of April 2015, where Glenrothes Councillor Altany Craik was “calling for the Scottish Government to commit “significant investment to improving the road”.”
That was a couple of months after a wee boy was killed in an accident on the road.
It also mentions Ron Page, convener of the A92 campaign for the Glenrothes Area Futures Group (click on the A92 bit in the menu, though it all seems a bit out of date).
So – that article finishes up with a quote from Ron: “We have already requested a meeting with the minister as soon as is possible once our action plan for improvements is completed, which will be soon.”
And concludes with: “The Futures Group is currently working with Fife Council’s head of transportation, Bob McLellan, to create an action plan.”
The Action Plan
So I had a look around, and eventually managed to find the Action Plan – looks like it was published (as a draft) in August 2015.
I’ve stuck it on Google Drive so it’s easy to read and you don’t have to faff about with pdfs – click here to open it in a new tab.
Here are a few takeaways:
As a Local Authority, Fife Council cannot fund or implement any improvement works to the A92 as it is owned and operated as part of the Transport Scotland trunk road network. However, what Fife Council can do is raise local concerns with Scottish Government and work in partnership to support the Glenrothes Area Futures Group (GAFG) and other interested parties in the desire for improvements.
Transport Scotland Planned Actions:
• Preston Roundabout – New signing and road markings
• New Inn Roundabout – New signing and road markings
• Freuchie – Improved signing and report on pedestrian and traffic surveys
• Grip testing – Bankhead Roundabout (A92 northbound exit) and bend north of Cadham junction.
These latest improvement works are now virtually completed. Local individuals and groups nevertheless regard them as a patching exercise, with the five hazards listed in the North Glenrothes Community Council report in Appendix D still remaining and highlighted by a spate of recent serious and fatal accidents.
There’s a list of priority actions on there too which you’ll want to have a read over if you’re interested enough in this to have read this far. They include banning right turns at the Balfarg junction and installing a roundabout. I was going to copy them all here, but you might as well just open it and scroll to section 8. Here’s the link again.
There’s a Next Steps section that reads:
9. Action Plan – Next Steps
This Action Plan will be presented to the Minister of Transport and to Transport and BEAR Scotland. Fife Council has also agreed to produce a leaflet to support the campaign for improvements on the A92, and to invite the Transport Minister Derek MacKay to Fife or arrange a meeting at the Scottish Parliament before September / October 2015 to further discuss the Action Plan.
So – turns out it has been presented, and the most recent update I could find was this question from the Scottish Parliament’s website, answered by Derek Mackay on 25/09/2015
Question S4W-27565: Liz Smith, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 17/09/2015
To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the A92 action plan submitted by Fife Council.
Answered by Derek Mackay (25/09/2015):
“The Scottish Government is committed to working with Fife Council to ensure that the most comprehensive approach possible is taken to the safety of roads in the area, including the A92.
Transport Scotland received the A92 action plan in mid-August 2015 and is currently reviewing the suite of proposals which the council and local community groups would like to see made to the route in the short, medium and longer term. Once this work has completed, I will meet with the council and other local representatives to discuss the next steps.”
In the meantime, Derek, don’t forget what you said when you visited in July:
“We want to hear the council’s assessment of what is needed and we will work with them and take their proposals seriously”.
PS – while you’re here, if you want to know when this gets updated, or other similar stuff gets posted, like our facebook page here. This site is still a bit of a work in progress, but the facebook page has been going a while and automatically updates with the latest Glenrothes news from around the internet, so it’s handy for non-car accident related Glenrothes news too…
PPS Photo credit