Unlocking funds from the TIF initiative

The accident closed part of the road for three-and-a-half hours
The accident closed part of the road for three-and-a-half hours

A three-vehicle collision on one of the area’s accident blackspots has strengthened calls for its speedy upgrade.

The A801 was closed at the Bowhouse roundabout for three-and-a-half hours last Wednesday after two cars and a van were involved in an accident near the Avon Gorge.

One man suffered a leg wound while another was treated for a pelvic injury.

The road closure at around 4 p.m. led to widespread disruption as queuing and slow-moving traffic snaked through Linlithgow and surrounding villages.

The latest incident has led to more calls for the road’s upgrade, a project planned as part of Falkirk Council’s innovative Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) scheme.

Michael Connarty, MP for Linlithgow and East Falkirk, said he has been calling for the “desperately-needed” upgrade for over 20 years.

He said: “Upgrading this road was one of my first campaigns as an MP in 1992. It stuck out like a sore thumb as a missing link in the road network.

“While I am pleased Falkirk Council has taken this on as part of the TIF project, I really feel this is something the Scottish Government should have undertaken.

“Money was available some time ago, but much of it was sent up north and to Aberdeen, which I thought was unfair. The roads around Grangemouth are recognised by the UN as a national hub in the transport system, yet the Avon Gorge is not a trunk road despite linking major routes.

“It seems unfair that Falkirk Council should have to carry this on their shoulders.”

Mr Connarty added: “There have been many bad accidents on this road. If you don’t know the area, the dip can be very deceptive. I’ve also heard of people coming from Torphichen and turning right at the Gorge heading for Falkirk and they are unaware that traffic is coming down in the other direction.”