Go ahead for A90 contractor

THE Scottish Government has given the go-ahead for a contractor to carry out ground investigation as part of the A90 duelling between Tipperty and Balmedie.

After the promise of a £580,000 award, by the government, Soil Mechanics can begin a survey of the carriageway’s route in anticipation of construction starting on the AWPR soon.

However, the announcement comes on the same day that pressure group Road Sense took their appeal against the Western Peripheral Route to the Supreme Court, in an attempt to halt the project. Although the hearing was concluded earlier this week, the result will not be known for a week or two.

With the Balmedie to Tipperty stretch of the A90 and the AWPR grouped together, critics have argued that the two projects should be disassociated, allowing the Balmedie-Tipperty project to go ahead immediately. The Government has argued that for budgetary reasons the two should be bundled together, and have said that it would make no sense to construct one without the other given the present traffic situation in Aberdeen.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “The £580,000 we have made available reinforces our commitment to improve both this and other major strategic roads in the North-east of Scotland, and I’m delighted this investment will allow our appointed contractors to begin the essential ground investigations work in the coming weeks to ensure the Balmedie-Tipperty scheme is up to the same level of readiness as the AWPR.

“In relation to the AWPR, the Scottish Government remains totally committed to the scheme being completed as soon as possible. Ministers have done everything in their power to progress the appeal hearing as soon as possible and welcome the start of the next stage of the process. We are prepared and ready to defend the appeal so that we can get on and build this much needed road as soon as possible.”

Ellon councillor Richard Thomson added that the news would be a welcome boost to the area.”