Liberal Democrats in Angus and Mearns have always called for cross party support for Jill Campbell’s Laurencekirk Flyover Campaign. So it is welcome that SNP MSP Nigel Don has finally decided to lend his support. However, there are some serious questions about whether he fully understands the issues at hand.
Why has he TWICE suggested that Jill’s petition be closed whilst sitting on the Scottish Parliament’s Petitions Committee? Sitting with Jill Campbell and fellow campaigner Julie Watson in the public gallery at October’s Petitions Committee, we were all staggered to hear Nigel Don repeat this suggestion.
He claimed that the flyover will “eventually be built” at the Petitions Committee. How does he justify this when the SNP Government have categorically said that it will not be built, and have not included it in their Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR)?
Nigel Don has said that, “he treated it very seriously as a road safety campaign”, but then went on to link the flyover to the building of new homes in the area. Those of us who have been involved with the campaign for a long time, know that the flyover needs to be built for road safety, irrespective of any proposed housing developments.
Nigel Don has been an MSP for the region for 3 and 1/2 years, why has he only now lent his support to the campaign?
Liberal Democrat Mike Rumbles MSP has been holding the SNP Government to account, to ensure that they provide evidence of why other flyovers have been approved, but the one at Laurencekirk has not. Nigel Don should be doing the same.
It is clear that Nigel Don does not fully appreciate what is at stake – the lives of drivers in the region. Rather than trying to close down the petition and confusing the issue with house building, he should perhaps take the time to meet Laurencekirk Campaigners Jill Campbell and Julie Watson, Mike Rumbles MSP and myself. That way we can provide consistent, cross party support for the campaign.
The SNP Governement have overlooked the region and SNP representatives need to be doing much more to stand up for the people of Angus and Mearns.
Nigel Don needs to demonstrate that he understands the issues thoroughly and that he is willing to join in with the cross party campaign for a flyover.