Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Aberdeen By-Pass Approved

The long-awaited Aberdeen by-pass has been approved by the Scottish government. The Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, which is designed to be a fast link for towns north and south of Aberdeen, had been the subject of a four month public inquiry. Its supporters argue that it will reduce traffic congestion on the city's busy North Anderson Drive by 20%.

The Green MSP Patrick Harvie MSP condemned the decision as disgraceful in light of the climate summit failure and James of the Two Doctors tweeted yesterday, after I expressed my pleasure:

@scots_subrosa You're kidding, right? Congestion is in and out of Aberdeen, not around it. This is just a shameless development corridor.

The idea of the by-pass is to reduce congestion in and out of the city and I'm sure it will do exactly that. James doesn't seem to realise, if you're travelling by car (horror of horrors, sorry James) from the south the only access north or west is through the city or via the city by-pass of Anderson Drive. All traffic from the south must travel on the A90.

Then of course there is the accusation that the new road will increase emissions of carbon dioxide by 2026. That I don't understand unless there is to be an increase in traffic or perhaps it's because the emissions will be more dispersed.

Some years ago a close relative was dying in Aberdeen's hospice which is to the north west of the city. By car the journey for me was 67 miles and took around an hour and a half. My choice was to avoid Aberdeen by leaving the A90 at Stonehaven or go into the city then out. I visited most days for many weeks and one day, because of an ice warning, I decided to try public transport. The planning of the journey was a nightmare. Bus to Dundee, train to Aberdeen and bus to the hospice - a journey of nearly 5 hours. The return journey took 5 hours 45 minutes. To do a journey of 134 miles by public transport took 10 hours 45 minutes. The cost I can't quite remember but I know it was similar to a weekly supermarket shop. Never again will I undertake such a journey on public transport.

My car is a low-emission vehicle and I find the preaching of the Righteous more and more irritating when they insist we should all use public transport and roads shouldn't be built. All very sensible for city dwellers but realistically for those in rural areas it's not feasible, or are the Righteous determined to empty the countryside and make us all city dwellers?

The right decision has been made for the Aberdeen area. It deserves a modern road system and now it has been given the green light, I hope I live long enough to use it.


Robert said...

Can't please all the people all the time eh?
The Greens are so disingenuous here, any vehicle traveling on the bypass will be making much less in the way of harmful emissions because they'll all generally be running in top gear at low revs.

Anonymous said...

Ah the two doctors, the self-righteous brothers.

subrosa said...

Thanks for explaining that Robert. I didn't think they could increase unless traffic increased.

subrosa said...

Morning Bug, overcast here but still around zero. No thaw although only about an inch.

Anonymous said...

I a told that it is that inch which makes all the difference?

wv = rimbuff

How do you do it

Dark Lochnagar said...

Rosie, I agree with Robert above. I have never understood this arguement that building new roads increases pollution. Surely traffic sitting at 60mph is going to emit less pollution that one in a stop/start queue. Aberdeen is a nightmare to get through, but I do question how much through traffic there is. There's only basically two destinations Peterhead/Fraserburgh area or Banff/Moray and I'm not sure how much traffic would By-pass Aberdeen to get there. Lots of the traffic on the Peterhead route if either fish or oil traffic eminating from Aberdeen itself. Maybe what's needed is more a Glasgow M8 type route through the city centre.

subrosa said...

There is a tremendous traffic from the south DL. Most times of the day the traffic jam down to the Bridge of Dee is at least a mile long. That's people wanting to go north west as well as north of course, but because the road from Stonehaven 'over the top' is so narrow and quite dangerous with lorries etc, they prefer the wait at B of Dee.

You've Alford, Aboyne etc to the west don't forget.

subrosa said...

Well it certainly makes me tread more carefully this morning Bug. :)

Demetrius said...

With rising sea levels why not dig a number of canals? With global warming and vinyards on the hills beyond, Aberdeen could truly become the Venice of the North. Especially as the original by then will be well and truly under water.

subrosa said...

Now there's an idea Demetrius. You'd better phone John Swinney this morning.

The harbour will be possibly be down by the Bridge of Dee by then anyway. )

The Filthy Engineer said...

"I find the preaching of the Righteous more and more irritating when they insist we should all use public transport and roads shouldn't be built."

Public transport! It all stopped where I live at the first snowfall.

subrosa said...

Up here it does keep going most of the time FE but it's not feasible to run many services. If you live in a rural area you have to be prepared to make your own arrangements for travel and not rely on public transport.

Anonymous said...

Aboot time tae. They were speirin aboot this when I wis a lassie back in the sixties. Mind you, a fifty year wait isnae bad fae Aiberdeen cooncillors.

As for the envirobandits, they object tae onything and a'thing that looks like makin' oor lives easier. They're just the same old marxists and trotskyists ah mind fae ma student days, objecting tae capitalism in aw its guises.

subrosa said...

Aye Frances, I can remember the Dundee bus being held up for ages at the bridge and that's 55 years ago.

Long past time this and it will bring a great deal to the area. Aberdeen hasn't had much especially when it's the oil city of Europe.

Clarinda said...

I'm surprised only that it has taken this long to plan the bypass properly as it should have been a first priority in the early days of the oil industry.
Take a look at the A1,in particular, and the A9 etc. to get a picture of the old central government's attitude to transport necessity for Scottish industry, commerce and travel.
Mind you - central government are pretty nifty in bypassing political difficulties in their latest move to bypass the SNP in what will probably turn out to be a hideous three-way spectacle of the insufferable berating the inadequate bemoaning the insignificant.
I wonder if, this time, Mr Salmond would be better to remain outside this tent doing what comes naturally!

subrosa said...

In some ways I'm not surprised Clarinda, after all they can't spend money on SNP supporting areas.

It will be hideous, I can even hear the soundbites now. All the questions will be vetted of course.

My thought is that none of the 'three' want to debate with Alex Salmond. He'd knock spots off the three of them - without even trying!

CrazyDaisy said...


This should have been built in the 80s with Oil Money, oh it didn't, why? Thatcher robbed it to buld the M25, Channel Tunnel and other projects south of the border, while systematically destroying core manufacturing in Scotland to the benefit of developing nations.

To have a dual carriageway running from Edinburgh and Glasgow north is an absolute disgrace, it should be 3 lanes minimum - second class treatment for Scots despite being among the top net contributors to the Treasury.

Oil logistics have to get North to Peterhead another good reason for this going ahead, Greens - yawn!


Leg-iron said...

Anderson Drive isn't a bypass any more - the city's overlapped it by some distance! It ends at the Haudagain Roundabout and pretty much all Northwest traffic goes through there.

Even on a bus, in the bus lane, there's a long wait at that roundabout. In a car it's terrifying.

If you want to go directly North you have to go right through Aberdeen. There's no other realistic way.

The map does show another way North from Perth, through the mountains, but I travelled that road once and won't again. It's the sort of road they use for sports car adverts.

As it is, pretty much all North-South traffic has to go through Aberdeen unless they're brave enough to try the back roads - and those roads will be deadly at the moment. They can be scary enough in the summer.

The only worry for me is that the road looks like it goes straight through the lab I'm renting. Then again, there's no shortage of underused lab space in Aberdeen at the moment. Still, if I have to move labs, it'll be worth it if the new road makes it easier to get there.

subrosa said...

Aye leg-Iron, there's the route through the Grampians, Braemar, Tomintoul etc. Not a road in winter but quite beautiful in summer. Slower than the A90 of course, but when you add the queues in Aberdeen, it can be quicker to go via Glenshee rather than the A90 and you can have a wee ski if there's snow about.

Have you seen a decent map? I couldn't find one.

That's a pest having to move labs. Be quick finding another though because the rents will go sky high the nearer the completion date.

This can only do Aberdeen good and it's long overdue.


I worked for the P&J in 1996 and I wrote stories about the Western Peripheral then.
It is excellent to see the road is to be built. Aberdeen was a congested place then, so I dread to think what it is like today.

subrosa said...

Think it's a lot more congested these days Fairfacts, but then I travelled up and down from Aberdeen a lot on the 90s too.

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