Friday, 21 May 2010

Road (Non)Sense

Back in December I was happy to report the long-awaited Aberdeen by-pass had been approved by the Scottish Government.

Now a group, calling themselves Road Sense, has lodged papers with the Court of Session in a last-ditch attempt to scupper the project. This group is the only objector to challenge government compulsory purchase orders for the 28-mile route.

Road Sense said a key element of its argument will be that government ministers restricted the remit of the public inquiry to the line of the route rather than whether the road was needed or not.

When asked about the impact of the legal action at Holyrood Stewart Stevenson, Transport Secretary, said: "It is likely that the actions of the objectors will significantly delay the construction of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route.

"However, until we consider the terms of the challenge, it is difficult to be precise about the impact on the project timetable."

He reiterated that both Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire councils were committed to providing 9.5% of the funding each, leaving the Scottish Government to cover 81%. The government will provide all of the money for the so-called fastlink from Stonehaven. Also he stated that ministers had deliberately split the project into chunks in order to safeguard the scheme in case of any legal challenge.

Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce chief executive Bob Collier said any further delays will add to the cost and inconvenience local business. "Debate on the AWPR has already gone through all the hoops imaginable and all the issues relating to the road were brought forward at the £2.5 million inquiry," he said.

I entirely concur with his final statement: "Further significant delay if the Road Sense challenge is upheld will result in a significant increase in costs and quite considerably frustration to potential users - in particular businesses in the north-east who have suffered for far too long from poor transport infrastructure."

Thank goodness the likes of Road Sense weren't around back in 1910 when Dundee built the Kingsway, the first ring road in Britain. That city's development would have been strangled without it.


Apogee said...

One does wonder who "Road Sense" represents, or "fronts" for, and their interest in this matter,as they would appear to be the only objectors.
The name of the group hints at a "political motive".
Is this only being done for political motives, "because they can" with no care for the cost to the public purse, already running at two and a half million pounds and the extra cost to the public who need this bypass to improve their daily lives?

subrosa said...

Morning Apogee. This bunch must be well funded to put forward such a case to the Court of Session don't you think?

They have a website but there's nothing about basic funding. All they say is that they want a minimum of £150 per household.

Dramfineday said...

Name the "drivers" of this oposition............are they locals? A bit like the Balinluig improvements...a number of objections came from people living in London. Meantime people continued to be injured or killed while "due process" was operated.

subrosa said...

The website gives a local address for donations Dram but, as I said to Apogee, these legal papers don't come cheap. On the site they're asking for a minimum of £150 per household. I've yet to hear more than a couple of folk not happy and I have plenty contacts there.

The environment is what they're trying to protect. I wonder if they've always lived there and understand what the local folk have had to tolerate for many years, being without a decent bypass.

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