1 March 2018
North East Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald today welcomed Keith Brown’s repeated commitment that the AWPR is due to be open and operational in Spring, but insisted that must mean the whole road and warned that that proposals to open some sections before others need to be planned properly to prevent further traffic problems.
After raising the issue in a question at parliament today, Lewis said:
“Today’s commitment from the Scottish Government that the AWPR is still due to be operational in Spring is welcome, but drivers across the North East will quite rightly expect that the Minister’s words means the whole route will be fully open before the start of the Summer.
“The Scottish Government’s proposal to make some sections operational ahead of others, as they are completed, will only work if adequate preparations have been made to allow drivers to safely join and exit the AWPR, as well as ensuring that existing access routes can cope with the additional traffic using the new road.
“Without such plans, opening the AWPR section by section could easily end up creating more traffic problems, not less. This must be addressed by Scottish Ministers before any plans to open some sections earlier than others can be implemented.”
Lewis Macdonald (North East Scotland) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Government in which month it anticipates the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route will be fully open.
Keith Brown: We have always been clear about the timescale for this project.
I have previously stated the intention to open the AWPR this Spring and indeed, on a recent site visit, I saw for myself that work has been progressing in recent months and the new road is now clearly visible to local communities.
However, it is becoming apparent that Carillion’s announcement may have some impact on this programme indirectly through the effect on the supply chain and we are working closely with Aberdeen Roads Limited to mitigate those impacts where we can.
Clearly, on a site like this, extreme weather events such as Storm Frank in 2015 and this week’s exceptional weather conditions will have consequential impacts on progress. However, we are continuing to work with the contractor and our stakeholders, with a view to delivering the benefits associated with opening sections of the project as soon as it is safe to do so.