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Transport / Design work undertaken on improvements to Levenwick road

The issue of the A970 at Levenwick was raised again in early 2015 after a truck rolled down the embankment. Photo: Ronnie Robertson

WORK is progressing on a potential upgrade to the A970 above Levenwick – a piece of road which has previously been described as a “death trap”.

Members of Shetland Islands Council’s environment and transport committee heard on Tuesday that a strategic outline case for improvements to the road has now been developed.

The council’s asset investment group will assess this information to decide whether it has enough information for elected members to approve the development of an outline business case.

Shetland South councillor George Smith pressed officials on whether there are any timescales in place for the process.

Infrastructure director John Smith added that the case could come back to the committee in early summer.

Concerns have previously been raised by councillors over the piece of road above in Levenwick, with a blind summit an area of particular worry.

Tuesday’s meeting heard that design work has been undertaken on the Levenwick project, which is second in the list of major priority road upgrades in Shetland behind the B9082 Cullivoe road.

After questioning from Smith roads manager Dave Coupe said more survey and design work needs to be undertaken – adding that it would be “difficult to put a timeframe on it”.

Coupe also said the council is looking to take on new staff to help take forward road design projects.

“We are currently undertaking a recruitment process for design engineering staff which would then allow us to continue our good progress on work on the other schemes that are in the list,” he said.

A full business case on the new Cullivoe road, meanwhile, is due to go in front of councillors next week for their approval.

It says that the capital cost of the preferred option to create a new two-lane road is just over £5 million.

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