Junction change ruled out

THE possibility of changing the Stonehaven fastlink stretch of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) has been ruled out by a Scottish Government Minister.

Speaking at the Scottish Government general question time last week the Infastructure and capital Investment secretary, Alex Neil, suggested that any change could open up the AWPR to further legal action and delay.

In response to a question asked by Angus and North MSP Nigel Don, Mr Neil said: “Given the procedures we have just been through- the public enquiry and the various appeals in the Court of Session- I can say there will be no further change to the design on the AWPR.

“There have been enough delays in the project and we are anxious to move ahead and get this project under way.”

He explained that as long as the “small number of objectors” were willing to accept the most recent court judgement, the project would begin “as soon as possible.”

Mr Don accepted Mr Neil’s position that the priority is to get the by-pass built without any further delay. He said: ‘‘An alternative route for the Fastlink to the AWPR at Stonehaven has been brought forward and it does appear to have some merit, however, I accept the position of the Cabinet Secretary that the priority is to get this much delayed project started to ensure residents and businesses can feel the benefit as soon as possible.”

Objectors had hoped to see a different design for the junction off of the A90 North of Stonehaven as they fear the current design, a round-about with traffic lights, will cause congestion.