Category Archives: Roads

New video starkly highlights need for Laurencekirk Flyover

We are repeating our calls on the SNP Government to build a flyover at Laurencekirk after a new video emerged showing a bus completely blocking the southbound fast lane on the A90 at the notorious junction, forcing drivers to come to a complete stop.

Seeing the video this evening on Facebook was unbelievable. Those of us who have backed Jill Fotheringham’s campaign for a flyover for many years know all too well how dangerous the junction is. But this video shows so clearly that there is a massive safety issue, it is a relief that no-one was hurt.

The SNP Government needs to immediately announce that a flyover will be built, without waiting on the results of the recent consultation, or we may well see a major accident at the junction.

However I do not believe the SNP Government want to be seen to back down, so it is vital that everyone who uses the junction makes their voices heard and give their feedback on the consultation by calling for a flyover.

Montrose Lib Dem Cllr David May said,

“That is one of the most terrifying pictures I have seen and what is truly startling is having it on video as well. This demonstrates the need for a flyover so much more clearly than we could ever do, even with thousands of signatures on Jill’s two petitions, hundreds of photos and 10 years of campaigning.”

“It puts the danger of the junction so starkly that it is plain to see for everyone. Thankfully there was no major accident arising from this.”

Scottish Government Underspend a body blow for Angus investment

Angus Liberal Democrats have reacted angrily to news that the SNP Government has left £444 million unspent last year, despite closing key services across Angus and failing to invest in local infrastructure.

Accounts have emerged showing that the Scottish Government has underspent:

  • £92 million on Justice
  • £10 million on the Procurator Fiscal Service
  • £102 million on Infrastructure
  • A whopping £165 million on Education
Sanjay Samani and Cllr David May visit the Closed Police Counter in Montrose

Sanjay Samani and Cllr David May visit the Closed Police Counter in Montrose

Lib Dem Campaigner for Angus, Sanjay Samani said,

“The SNP have been steadily closing down services in Angus. They have closed Sheriff’s Courts, Police Counters, Noranside Prison and Angus College. They have failed to build a flyover at Laurencekirk that we desperately need to protect drivers. Yet in all these departments there was plenty of money left to be spent.”

“Meanwhile our SNP elected representatives, Mike Weir MP, Nigel Don MSP and Graeme Dey MSP, have done absolutely nothing to stop the closure of key Angus services by their SNP colleagues in Edinburgh. This has cost Angus jobs, made it harder for students to study, left Laurencekirk junction unsafe and had a negative impact on our local economy.”

“The SNP have blamed all the cuts on Angus services on Westminster, and yet they had close to half a billion pounds left to invest.”

Lib Dem Montrose Cllr David May said,

“As an ex-teacher and head master, I am appalled to see £165 million go unspent on Education. The merger of Angus College with Dundee and loss of hundreds of college places has had a huge impact on our young people, just trying to get on in life.”

“In Montrose we have a major issue with parking on double yellow lines that are not being policed due to SNP cuts, that they have blamed on Westminster, despite having £92 million left over.”

“Sanjay and I have backed Jill Fotheringham’s campaign for a flyover at Laurencekirk for many years. The news that on Infrastructure £102 million was left unspent will be a body blow for those desperate to see safety at the junction improved.”

Sanjay Samani concluded,

“We have an SNP MP and two SNP MSPs who have badly failed Angus residents. This year they will blame cuts on Westminster to gain votes at the General Election. Then we will see a big spending spree in the run up to Scottish Elections in 2016 and they will try to claim the credit.”

“The SNP need to stop playing politics and start investing in Angus.”

Honoured to be selected as Angus candidate for 2015 General Election

Angus Liberal Democrats have reselected me to be their candidate for next year’s General Election.  I have campaigned on behalf of Angus residents for many years and as candidate at the 2010 General Election and again at the 2011 Scottish Elections.  
 
It is a real honour to be selected to represent the Angus Lib Dems again and I would like to thank the members for their continued support.
 
Angus & Mearns Select Sanjay Samani as their General Election candidate
 
There has been a clear message from voters in every election since 2010.  We are all fed up with the the same old politics, where our voices are not heard and we feel we cannot make a difference.
 
Angus voters made it very clear that we want to remain part of the UK at the Independence Referendum, but also that we want the way we do politics to change.  All political parties are committed to further devolution to Scotland and, as a Lib Dem MP, I would work for Home Rule for Scotland.
 
But that does not go far enough.
 
Only the Lib Dems are both committed to changing politics and could also be in government to force through the changes we all need.  Labour and the Tories have repeatedly blocked change.  The SNP cannot and will not be part of the government.  The Lib Dems gave you a say on voting change, but our plans for giving you real power to sack your MP, clean up money in politics and having an elected House of Lords have all been blocked, by hard right wing Tories and Labour – desperate to hold on to power.
 
With only 6 MPs, the SNP cannot make a difference and as they are determined to split our country apart, are not worried about how Westminster is run.
 
Only with a Scottish Lib Dem can people in Angus be confident that their MP is working for real change to make sure their voice is heard.
 
Montrose Lib Dem Cllr David May welcomed my selection, saying,
 
“Sanjay has backed keys campaigns in Angus and in particular the Montrose area.  This includes better funding for flood prevention and coastal erosion across Angus and the need to back plans to develop the Harbour here in Montrose.  He has backed small businesses, the need to reinstate traffic wardens and backed the need to ban Legal Highs.”
 
Sanjay has also criticised the SNP for their huge cuts on college places, closure of our police counters and lack of action on a flyover at Laurencekirk. 
 
“Sanjay understands that all MPs should work hard on local issues for their constituents, but that they also need to drive through changes at Westminster so that our views are heard.  All too often SNP MPs sit on their hands on Westminster issues because they are only worried about independence. Angus voters gave a huge majority for being part of the UK and they need an MP who can and will deliver more powers for Scotland and clean up politics at Westminster.” 
 
Chair of the Angus & Mearns Lib Dems, Clive Sneddon said,
 
“Sanjay is a worthy candidate and I am delighted that he has agreed to represent the party again at the General Election. Sanjay has stood up for families working in Angus and the elderly. He will work hard to represent everyone in Angus at Westminster.”
 

Angus Lib Dems back Courier Fight for Fairer Fuel

Senior members of the Lib Dems in Angus are backing The Courier’s drive to put the brakes on crippling fuel prices.

Angus Councillors David May and Alison Andrews are squarely behind the newspaper’s Fight for fairer Fuel .

They praised The Courier’s stand and urged widespread public endorsement for it, a move echoed by Sanjay Samani, Liberal Democrat campaigner for Angus North and Mearns.

Mr Samani explained,

“I have signed the paper’s petition and applaud The Courier for taking this initiative.”

“There is no doubt that a fuel duty stabiliser will reduce the impact of fuel price rises, making a real difference to hard-pressed families and boost businesses in our rural area.”

“I would encourage people in Angus, Tayside and the North East to sign the petition and show their support for this excellent Courier campaign.”

Sign up your support for the campaign by clicking here for the Fight for Fairer Fuel petition on The Courier website.

Montrose member Mr May, Angus Council’s convener of infrastructure services, has added his signature to the petition as a mark of his full support for fairer fuel.

“As Angus is a rural area, our residents and businesses are at the mercy of rocketing fuel costs,” he explained.

“I call on the UK Government to take urgent action to address the rising price of fuel by postponing the scheduled duty increase in April.

“In my view, this would help stimulate the Angus economy as well as that of wider Tayside by protecting motorists, road hauliers and, in particular, our many remote, rural communities from high and volatile fuel costs.”

His colleague Mrs Andrews, who represents Kirriemuir and Dean on the local authority, said a fuel duty stabiliser was essential for fragile communities buckling under soaring prices at the pumps. She commented,

“Where I live in rural Angus, it’s impossible to manage without a private car.  The area I represent has a high proportion of remote communities where petrol and diesel are a necessity, not a luxury. Families and local businesses are all struggling as it is, and rising fuel costs impact painfully on everyone.”

“I would urge the chancellor to apply his imagination to this problem and introduce a fuel duty stabiliser in his budget.”

Sanjay Samani fills up with fuel

Fight For Fairer Fuel

New Transport Minister must take action on Laurencekirk flyover

Supporters of the Laurencekirk flyover campaign are delighted that a new minster has replaced the heavily criticised  Stewart Stevenson MSP.

Angus and Mearns Lib Dem campaigner, Sanjay Samani commented:

“Laurencekirk junction has been the scene of several fatalities and many serious accidents in recent years, but has been ignored by the previous SNP minister.”

“This is a great opportunity to restore credibility to Transport Scotland’s road safety reputation. The previous SNP minister claimed flyover decisions were made on the basis of safety, but when forced to reveal accident figures by Laurencekirk campaigners, it was clear that congestion was of higher priority to Mr Stevenson.”

“A Transport Scotland spokesperson has stated that the new minister, Keith Brown MSP, will be reviewing all issues under his new portfolio, including  Laurencekirk junction. This is welcome news but Mr Brown needs to take action quickly to prevent further accidents at the junction.”

“Supporters of the campaign, like myself, will be bitterly disappointed by any further delaying tactics. As one MSP on the Petitions Committee put it, Mr Stevenson treated the Committee with “contempt”.  Mr Brown needs to distance himself from his predecessor, by being open and decisive.”

Angus Councillor David May has joined Mr Samani in inviting the new minister, Keith Brown MSP, to see the crossing at rush-hour when it is at its busiest.

Cllr May commented

“I will be writing to the petitions committee to make the offer of that meeting and would be delighted if the new minister would accept. Perhaps I am being a little cycnical but I am concerned that this will once again be kicked into the long grass by the SNP.”

“It is absolutely crucial that this junction is in the 20-year strategic plan — the evidence for the need for the flyover is all there.”

Cllr May added, “Unfortunately the fatalities and the accidents are here and now, this should have been addressed by now.”

Transport Secretary recalled by Petitions Committee to justify Laurencekirk Flyover decision

Supporters have expressed huge relief that Jill Campbell’s petition for a flyover at Laurencekirk has not been closed.  There were real concerns after Nigel Don MSP had twice suggested it be closed at previous meetings of the Scottish Parliament’s Petitions Committee.

Furthermore, supporters were delighted to learn that the Committee has asked Transport Minister, Stewart Stevenson to appear before them to explain his decision not to build a flyover at Laurencekirk.

Safety figures, finally released by the Scottish Government, revealed that there have been no fatal accidents at three flyovers approved by the Minister, in comparison to four tragic fatalities at Laurencekirk, including one just last year.

Lib Dem Campaigner for Angus and Mearns, Sanjay Samani has joined local Montrose councillor David May in welcoming the news.

Commenting on the news, Sanjay said:

“Mr Stevenson has been forced to admit that congestion played a big part in his decision making.  Given that he has previously stated that safety was the main criteria, it is absolutely right that he be recalled to justify his decisions to the Petitions Committee.”

“Others, like Mr Don, have also confused safety with congestion, by linking the need for a flyover to the building of new houses near Laurencekirk. Those who have supported Jill’s campaign for a long time know that the flyover needs to be built on safety grounds alone. The Government’s own figures back that up.”

Cllr May, who wrote again to the petitions committee with further evidence justifying the need for action on the junction, added:

“I am pleased that developments in Montrose have been recognised as adding to the risks of further tragic accidents at Laurencekirk.  It still beggars belief that the Transport Minister has chosen to ignore the evidence he has always had in front of him.”

“I have said before that both Sanjay and I are willing to meet the SNP minister any week-day morning at 7.30 at the junction and he could see for himself the need for a flyover.”

North East MSP and Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson, Alison McInnes also commented:

“The Minister has let down everyone in the area with his cavalier approach to road safety improvements. No one locally doubts the need for proper safe junctions on this stretch of road, it is a pity that Stewart Stevenson isn’t listening.”