Aberdeen bypass: No date yet for opening

A section of the bypass south of Milltimber
A section of the bypass south of Milltimber

North-East MSPs have met Transport Secretary Michael Matheson to emphasise the urgency of work to ensure the Aberdeen bypass is opened as soon as possible.

It comes after Mr Matheson gave a ministerial statement on the AWPR this afternoon.

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin, Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson and Aberdeen South and Kincardine MSP Maureen Watt spoke with the minister following First Minister’s Questions.

Mr Matheson told the chamber there was no definitive date for opening the route.

He urged the AWPR contractor to ‘stop deliberating and start acting’ and ‘get on’ with delivering the road.

During discussions with the three politicians, the minister reiterated the Scottish Government was doing all it can to negotiate progress on the £745 million project.

Mr Matheson has asked for a meeting with the contractor to discuss the scope of works necessary to repair defects to the River Don crossing, and to progress the 20-mile section from Craibstone to Stonehaven and Charleston as soon as possible.

In a joint statement following the meeting the MSPs said: “Both weather and the economic challenges of partner company Balfour Beatty have created unprecedented issues for the project but during the meeting we were keen to stress the impact and difference it will have for people once it is fully opened.

“The minister was able to reaffirm his commitment to doing all he can to ensure the remaining work is completed as soon as possible.”