Demolition work has begun as part of a £30 million project to improve a notorious Aberdeen roundabout.
The long-awaited works to the often-gridlocked Haudagain roundabout have got under way with empty properties being torn down in the area.
A £30m Scottish Government-backed improvement scheme will see a new link road built to take pressure off the roundabout.
The nearby flats have been boarded up for some time as the residents moved out ahead the demolition.
Yesterday work started to tear down the homes on Logie Avenue.
Dubbed the Haudagain bypass, the project will be financed by Transport Scotland and allow motorists to drive from North Anderson Drive directly to Auchmill Road.
The demolition is expected to last around four months before the construction work can start.
A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “The start of site clearance work at Haudagain sends the clearest message of this Government’s commitment to provide much-needed relief for the north-east community who will welcome real progress on this essential improvement scheme.
“This will allow the contractor to hit the ground running and the local community and road users will be able to see visible progress over the coming months.
“We will then be ready to start construction when the AWPR is completed in late autumn.”
Jenny Laing, co-leader of Aberdeen City Council, said: “We are pleased that Transport Scotland has finally started works associated with the Haudagain roundabout improvements.
“This project will complement the AWPR, Third Don Crossing and other transport infrastructure works already undertaken by Aberdeen City Council which are vital to the long-term economic prosperity of the city.”
Councillor Neil MacGregor, who represents the Bucksburn area, said: “It’s a funny business, when we’re short of houses there’s houses getting knocked down, but it’s for the greater good. We do need an improvement.
“Coming in yesterday at the back of two, even at that time in the middle of the week when the schools are on holiday there’s queues up Auchmill Road. Really the whole problem is that the roundabout itself is far too small in diameter.
“Folk are terrified other drivers are going to come round and crash into them.”
Mr MacGregor said improvements to the roundabout and traffic flow may help alleviate other issues such as motorists using residential streets as rat runs.
He said: “It would be nice to get things moving again. Other cities seem to be able to get their traffic moving about.
“This is the key issue. If we could have Auchmill Road moving at a decent rate then you wouldn’t have folk rat running.
“You want to give them alternatives but you don’t want the alternatives just to be jam packed and you don’t want to be pushing people through residential areas.
“We’ve seen the computer simulations –you can say what you like about computer simulations but they show that it’s going to be wonderful.
“There’s scope for it to be much better. This will be an improvement.”
Councillor Gordon Graham, who represents the Northfield area, also welcomed the development.
He said: “It’s good news. It’s good to see the work is now progressing.”
However, Mr Graham said he had doubts over how effective the improvements would be.
He added: “When it was first approved I wanted a bigger roundabout. I believe it would have been better.”
Bucksburn councillor Avril MacKenzie was delighted to see progression on the “horrendous” roundabout.
She said: “I’m glad at long last the work is starting.
“That roundabout is pretty horrendous so it can only be a step in the right direction.”
Asked if she was confident the work would alleviate the congestion issues in the area, she added: “I certainly hope so.
“Anything to improve the flow of traffic. I’m ever the optimist.”