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Council / Flea again calls for action on ‘death trap’ Levenwick road

A SOUTH mainland councillor has reiterated his calls for the main road at Levenwick to be made safer – describing it as a “death trap”.

Allison Duncan has repeatedly brought up the section of A970 to Shetland Islands Council officials over the years and on Monday he broached the subject again at the policy and resources committee.

Councillor Allison Duncan. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News

Noting that he himself was recently involved in an accident there – leading to the other car going off the road – he said the layout of the tight road could be fatal.

“It’s been a severe hazard for years,” Duncan said – calling the discussions around the road a “saga”.

The safety of the road was raised during a discussion on which core roads in Shetland are in line for possible upgrades in the future.

Fellow south mainland councillor George Smith brought up the Levenwick road last week when the same topic was discussed at the environment and transport committee.

An outline programme of road upgrades presented to councillors has selected the stretch in Yell which runs to the Cullivoe Pier as the priority.

The upgrade could move to a business case if members of the full council give it their backing on Wednesday.

The A970 between the north and south junctions at Levenwick is ranked third in the list of priorities.

A report to councillors highlighted that a road safety check was carried out in 2009 following a traffic accident at a blind summit.

In 2010 proposals were costed for improvements, such as widening the road, but they were called off when the council’s financial plan required that funds should be spent on maintaining new assets rather than the provision of new ones.

Duncan said speed cameras at accident hotspots such as Levenwick would be cheaper than rebuilding the narrow road - Photo: Ronnie RobertsonThe state of the A970 at Levenwick was raised in early 2015 after a truck rolled down the embankment. Photo: Ronnie Robertson

The issue was raised again in 2015 following an accident involving a truck which rolled down the embankment.

Duncan received no injuries after being involved in an accident on the road in May.

He told Monday’s meeting that you have “no idea where you are at” if you are driving at the blind summit in the dark while another vehicle travels in the opposite direction with headlights on.

He called for the road to at least be widened.

“The sooner we can look at this blind summit the better,” Duncan added.

“If there can be barriers put up in certain areas…it will be appreciated.”

His comments came after fellow south mainland member Robbie McGregor questioned if more of the council’s reserves could be spent in areas like roads.

George Smith added: “I think there’s a clear message coming here that there’s a political will to see something done with our roads infrastructure.”

North mainland member Alastair Cooper, meanwhile, wanted to see more clarity on the process around the way forward for the priority roads other than the one in Cullivoe.

General Election - 12 December 2019