Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route

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Milltimber Bridge in the centre of this picture, where the road will cross the river Dee
Aberdeen Greenbelt Alliance protest poster

The Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) is a major infrastructure development proposed to take place on the outskirts of Aberdeen, in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. First announced in January 2003,[1] the construction has not yet begun. It was approved by ministers in late 2009.[2]

It has been particularly supported by NESTRANS, the Scottish Executive's planning group for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

The high-speed dual carriageway is projected to cost £745 million [3] and create an alternative route from north to south Aberdeen, bypassing the city. Currently the only dual carriageway route from north to south is through the city itself, along the original 1930s bypass, Anderson Drive which is unsuitable for heavy goods vehicles as they cannot cross the Bridge of Dee at its South end. Since Anderson Drive was built, the city has expanded beyond the road considerably, In 2012 the project has going ahead, the construction will begin in 2014 and it will finish by 2018.

Congestion relief[edit]

The proposed development has been designed to have a positive impact on traffic along routes which are congested during rush hour, particularly Aberdeen's Anderson Drive, King Street and Union Street.

Other intentions of this project would be a slight reduction in traffic congestion on the bridges into central Aberdeen, which is sandwiched between the River Dee and the River Don, by reducing heavy goods vehicles that do not need to enter the city itself. There will also be a reduction in the volume of traffic heading towards Aberdeen Airport and the adjacent industrial estates at Dyce.

Local economy[edit]

It is argued by some that the road is important to keep the economy active.[4]

Controversy[edit]

The bypass has caused controversy among local people who live along the proposed route. Some of the areas affected are amongst the most expensive in the city and its surrounding area. It will particularly affect the people in Milltimber, Bieldside and Cults.[citation needed]

Given the number of objectors, a public local enquiry (PLI) was held in 2008-2009 although its limited remit was itself controversial. The PLI recommended adoption of the route [5] and Scottish Ministers approved the route, and it was passed by resolution of the Scottish Parliament on 3 March 2010. Thereafter an appeal was made to the Court of Session based on a number of points, including the limited remit of the PLI. The appeal was dismissed [6] and a further appeal was made to the appellate division the "Inner House" of the Court of Session. This also failed.[7] Undeterred, a yet further appeal was made to the UK Supreme Court. This appeal also failed [8] to overturn the decision to proceed with the route. It is not expected that further appeals will be made.

Construction[edit]

On 19 October 2012 a notice was published advising the market that expressions of interest for contractors to construct the route will be made in early 2013 with a view to start construction in Autumn 2014.[9] The initial shortlist of four preferred bidders was reduced to three with the withdrawal of the Scotia Roads Group consortia in September 2013.[10] This leaves North East Roads Partnership (Cintra / John Laing), Granite City (Kier / FCC / Dragage / Macquarie Capital) and Connect Roads (Balfour Beatty Investments / Carillion Private Finance / Galliford Try) as the remaining bidders. Keith Brown (Scottish Transport Secretary) has also advised that the scheme may open in stages where possible in an effort to relieve existing traffic, with the announcement of the preferred bidder for the contract now expected in summer 2014.[11]

The official estimate of the cost of the AWPR is £295 - £395 million,[12] although figures now being reported in the press are in the region of £653 million.[13] Transport Scotland quotes the scheme at £745 million in 2012 prices.[14] Contracts for associated preparation works have begun to be announced on the Public Contracts Scotland website.[15]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Anti-bypass pressure groups:

The bypass in the news:

Coordinates: 57°08′16″N 2°14′49″W / 57.13782°N 2.24697°W / 57.13782; -2.24697