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Will 2018 be a ‘defining’ year for transport in the North East?

According to Keith Brown, the minister responsible for the AWPR (Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route) project, 2018 will be a ‘defining year’.

Will 2018 be a ‘defining’ year for transport in the North East?

There have been a lot of roadworks in the North East over the past year or so, and 2018 will be no different.

However, according to Keith Brown, the minister responsible for the AWPR (Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route) project, 2018 will be a ‘defining year’.

The project is set to be completed in spring – but I assume this should be taken with a slight pinch of salt, given that the Balmedie to Tipperty stretch was originally due to be finished in spring 2017, and was delayed after it was found earthworks hadn’t been carried out in time for winter.

Overall, the Aberdeen bypass has been a huge project for the North East, with almost 37 miles of dual carriageway, 25 miles of access roads and two new river crossings, costing over £700m.

Transport Scotland, who is working on the project, has said there will be many benefits to the scheme, including boosting the economy, reducing congestion, improving journey times, cutting pollution in the city centre and improving road safety.

Brown suggests the project will provide £6bn to the local economy over the next 30 years.

You may be thinking that roadworks will be finished in spring (or at least summer).

Not so.

Once work on the AWPR has been completed, improvements will begin on the Haudagain roundabout.

We mentioned in September 2015 that the Scottish Government had given the go-ahead for “improvement works” to the notorious roundabout, and this is scheduled for this year.

It took until February 2017 for the plans to be revealed for the £30m scheme, which bears a strong resemblance to the dual carriageway proposal which I suggested was the front runner in 2015.

The plans (pictured) aim to cut back on the tailbacks and delays that have been faced by commuters for years at the A90/A96 Haudagain roundabout.

Haudagain roundabout plans

While minimal disruption to road users is promised, disturbance will be caused for residents, with planned demolition of over 100 residential/community premises and garden land-take from a further 100 residential properties.

In April 2017, Transport Scotland announced it had awarded a £213,000 ground investigation contract to Environmental Reclamation Services (ERS) Ltd.

While it is good to see work on the AWPR come to completion, I still feel an opportunity was missed to address fundamental difficulties faced by the Haudagain layout. It will be interesting to see how the completed project serves the area.

Do you think the completion of the AWPR work and the start of the Haudagain roundabout improvements make 2018 a ‘defining year’ for transport? Let us know your thoughts about the work in the comments.


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