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.