North Glenrothes, Markinch and Pitteuchar, Stenton & Finglassie Community Councils

The A92 as Adjacent to Glenrothes

There are 5 specific points of concern to the above councils and therefore to the people of and around Glenrothes and to all those in and around Fife who use this part of the A92. The consensus of concern involves both safety and the economy.

1. The junction adjoining the Western Avenue, to the north of the new Tullis Russell roundabout, known as the Balfarg junction.

2. The junction at Cadham Road north of the new Tullis Russell roundabout.

3. The single lane stretch of road between the Preston roundabout and the new Tullis Russell roundabout.

4. The single lane north of the new Tullis Russell roundabout to Balbirnie Mains - i.e. where it becomes, briefly, a dual carriageway.

5. The whole A92 from Glenrothes to the Tay Bridge.

This paper sets out the various problems as exist currently as well as those from future developments.

This paper also sets out an unarguable case for curing the last of the local A92 problems - involving a major reconstruction and/or major rethink of this part of the A92 trunk road, for reasons such as safety and operational efficiency and both local and national economic improvement. An investment such as this will enhance and open up all sorts of economic and social developments in central Fife.

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1. A92 Junction at Western Avenue/Balfarg

Improvements have been made at this junction - but it remains a hazard in 2 respects:

1. For those entering Western Avenue, Glenrothes, from the north. In spite of the improved single lane entrance there is always uncertainty as to right of way. Motorists using this have to consider those travelling north on the A92 and when it is appropriate to cross into Western Avenue; also they have to consider those waiting entrance to the A92 travelling south, who might also be sitting on the crossing.

2. For those leaving Western Avenue and travelling south. These must wait on the Western Avenue until there is a space on the middle of the road junction - and they face both cars from the south and cars trying to enter the Western Avenue. And not all motorists “park” on the correct space in the middle of this road junction.

Whilst road and car regulations are clear on procedures at such a complicated junction motorists who use this junction are uncertain. And this is not good.

3. A new residential area has recently been built slightly to the south of this junction on the east side - Tofthill - at the east junction to the Star of Markinch. Drivers from here travelling south find the A92 OK - but those travelling north and/or travelling west into Glenrothes encounter the problems in 1.1.

4. An additional major housing development is currently being considered adjacent to Tofthill - and will add significantly to the local A92 concerns.

(A very temporary safety improvement would be traffic lights.)

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2. Cadham Road End Junction with A92.

The problems here were examined at the same time as those at the Markinch Road End, the latter leading to the construction of a large new roundabout. The problems remain, as witnessed by the current study/survey by BEAR.

1. Travellers from the north attempting to enter Cadham Road face those travelling north. Certainly the speed limit helps, but there are dangers and uncertainty.

2. Motorists exiting from Cadham Road travelling south face major hazards, with “fast” cars travelling both north and south. Queues are a common feature at this end of Cadham Road. These queues would be considerably bigger if very many local motorists from north Glenrothes did not take the long route to access the A92 via Western Avenue and the Leslie Road.

3. The existence of a new car wash at this junction exacerbates the hazard in a major way. Queues of motorists can gather on the A92 waiting entry to the car wash. The personnel of the car wash attempt to prevent this, but not always successfully. There must be a total examination of this aspect of the problem here. Again, as above, motorists from north Glenrothes prevent accidents by ignoring this exit to the A92, as well as the car wash.

4. Pedestrians and cyclists who wish to travel to Markinch from north Glenrothes, and vice versa, are not catered for in any safe way.

(A very temporary safety measure would be traffic lights. Also the banning of right turns from Cadham Road on to the A92 and the banning of entry to Cadham Road from the north A92. Thirdly, a uniform maximum road speed of 40 mph on the whole of this section of the A92.)

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3. The road between Preston and Tullis Russell roundabouts.

This is a single lane between dual carriageways and between 2 roundabouts. Traffic inevitably slows down.

1. Logic and safety would suggest either the finalising of the dual carriageway process along the whole A92 adjacent to Glenrothes - or the construction of a second road parallel to this part of the A92.

2. Tullis Russell are planning to embark on a new biomass energy system which will bring c.200 lorries daily to this specific part of the A92. While these will enter Tullis Russell via an improved access, this will bring a huge increase on the use of this single lane stretch of the A92.

3. The same c.200 lorries will exit Tullis Russell at the new Tullis Russell roundabout “safely”, but not all of these lorries will travel north or west from here. Many will travel south and therefore add to the single lane traffic on the same stretch of the A92.

4. It is known that land to the east of the A92, i.e. north of and at Prestonhall and south, was examined, if not also purchased, for a road improvement several years ago.

5. Amazon.co.uk has now moved in to large premises at the Bankhead roundabout on the A92. This is a major distribution enterprise, and so once again the A92 traffic will increase substantially. This is but one example of the pending major developments of this whole area surrounding the Bankhead roundabout.

6. The recent 20-year plan for Fife envisages 2,500 houses in the south east of Glenrothes adjacent to Thornton and Coaltown-of-Balgonie - again adding pressure to the A92.

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4. The single lane stretch between Tullis Russell roundabout north to the Balfarg dual carriageway.

This winding single lane part of the A92 has many speed restriction and warning signs for those approaching the Cadham Road End junction, the car wash and the Tullis Russell roundabout.

It is known that land was purchased on the eastern side of this roadway from Balbirnie Golf Club for road development.

This land links with the land at Prestonhall (as in 3) and would “easily” allow for a second road to be constructed from the dual carriageway at Balbirnie Mains to the Preston roundabout - if there is a problem constructing a dual carriageway all the way of the A92 at Glenrothes/Markinch.

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5. The A92 north of Glenrothes to the Tay Bridge.

Currently this road leading to the north of Scotland is a single lane road. Yet roads north, east and west of the Tay Bridge are all dual carriageway.

The Tay and Forth bridges should in this 21st century be linked by a modern roadway able to cope with all modern traffic situations and assist in a plethora of economic and social improvements to the people of Fife, the Edinburgh and Dundee conurbations and indeed to the whole of Scotland. Current discussions relating to an additional Forth bridge support this whole thinking.

1. It is noted that the roadways to Monifeith and to Aberdeen are being comprehensively updated.

So why not this small stretch as well?

2. Also, the road south of Glenrothes to the Forth Bridge is dual carriageway, providing both safety and improved economic potential

3. This means that the A92 dual carriageway between the Forth and Tay bridges has one gap where it becomes single lane north of the Glenrothes area. And as said previously there are many reasons for updating this section of the A92.

4. All councillors in Fife and all community councils in Fife would argue for and support major improvement to this roadway section of the A92. All residents in Fife and all those travelling through Fife would benefit substantially socially, economically and safely.

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Addendum 1: A Glenrothes Bypass.

Discussions by the joint community councils have led to consideration of a totally different possible solution to most of the stated concerns, etc. - a totally new dual carriageway road bypassing Glenrothes.

This would be from the A92 before approaching the Red House roundabout and thereby linking with the A92 again north of the Balfarg junction.

For example, the bypass could link the Cluny roundabout with the Balfarg roundabout, or further north possibly at New Inn.

This could/would be a first step to the real linking of the Tay and Forth road bridges. It would bypass the residential communities in and around Glenrothes and resolve many of the local problems of the A92 running through these communities - although not that at the Cadham Road junction. Also, such a bypass would enhance access to the M90 to and from central, north and east Fife.

This could be stage one of the eventual logical dualling of the whole of the A92 from the Forth to the Tay!

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Addendum 2: A92 Road Safety and Accidents.

Statistically, while the Red House roundabout is the worst area by far for accidents, there are recorded accidents at all junctions on the A92 north of there.

Safety has indeed improved since the 2002 Glenrothes area alterations, but not enough. Accidents continue, as does the perception of this stretch of the A92 as very dangerous. Bankhead, Prestonhall, Tullis Russell, Cadham road and Balfarg all experience recorded accidents of varying degrees. And not recorded are the unreported accidents, near accidents and the perceptions of this stretch of the trunk road. Local people/the communities regard post 1990 improvements as patching.

Furthermore, despite the 2002 improvement at the Prestonhall roundabout and the construction of the new Tullis Russell roundabout, 2 lanes move into 1 from the Markinch roundabout moving south along the A92, and departing from the Prestonhall roundabout north means 3 lanes merging into 1.

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