11th December 2018
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Work planned for road at Levenwick

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A Garriock Bros lorry toppled off the road at Levenwick last month. Photo: Dave Donaldson

A Garriock Bros lorry toppled off the road at Levenwick last month. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Verge improvements, new signs and road markings will be introduced on the notorious stretch of road above Levenwick to help improve safety.

It is hoped the short-term measures will cut down on the potential for accidents at a blind summit on the main A970 to and from the busy Sumburgh Airport.

The road has been causing concern among motorists for years. It came under the spotlight last month when a Garriock Bros low-loader carrying a digger tumbled over the lower side.

The issue was raised at yesterday’s meeting of the Community Safety and Resilience Board by Shetland South councillor Allison Duncan.

Shetland Islands Council roads manager Dave Coupe said the three-pronged approach would see:
• Road verge improvements introduced.
• A second blind summit sign to warn motorists of the nature and lay-out of the road.
• “Slow” markings in the approach to the summit.

Mr Duncan welcomed the decision, adding he had been pressing for action on the road improvements in the area since 2007. He said he hoped further upgrades would be made in the future if the budgets allowed.

“For the first time we’ve got progress on the blind summit there,” he said. “Not before time.

“It’s a short time arrangement but hopefully, if the money can be found in the finance budgets, I hope we can see, in the longer term, the Levenwick road being improved.”

Speaking about yesterday’s meeting, Mr Duncan said: “The result was that he [Dave Coupe] has agreed now to do work on that blind summit. That would involve signage, painted markings on the road, and verge markers.”

The road had never been busier, Mr Duncan said: “Look at the number of vehicles last year that carried stones to the airport for the runway.

“You’ve also to remember when Scatsta Airport is closed for weather, you get bus-loads of folk going down to Sumburgh, and then they are taking bus-loads back again.

“If you look at the statistics for HIAL, it’s one of the fastest growing airport in Scotland at the moment. I think it’s imperative that we get things done there.”

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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