Firm ‘must get a grip’ on AWPR, says Aberdeen MSP

An Aberdeen MSP has called on an AWPR contractor to give assurances on the future maintenance of the bypass.

Kevin Stewart, MSP for Aberdeen Central, has written to Galliford Try, part of Aberdeen Roads Ltd, over the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR).

It comes after reports it is failing to provide fundamental assurances regarding future maintenance of the new road.

Mr Stewart contacted the chief executive calling for him to take action and ensure the last remaining part of the bypass is opened.

The new Aberdeen bypass bridge over the River Don

He said: “Aberdeen Roads Ltd has had every opportunity to get a grip of this project, yet here we are waiting for them to make the fundamental commitments needed to get the Don Crossing open and have the road functioning in its entirety.

“The AWPR is a colossal infrastructure project delivered by an SNP Scottish Government that is already having a positive effect on Aberdeen and the north-east, with commuting and travel times cut considerably.

“Folk deserve to experience the full benefit of this huge investment and that can only happen if the contractors provide the fundamental assurances on future maintenance for the River Don crossing, which they must do as soon as possible.”

Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter

Around 85% of the bypass has already opened, with the Don Crossing the only remaining closed portion.

The road between Parkhill and Blackdog welcomed traffic for the first time in June.

A 20-mile stretch between Craibstone and Stonehaven followed in December.

At last week’s First Minister’s Questions, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the Don Crossing section would be open when essential assurances were given over the maintenance of the road, which was previously found to have cracks in it – pushing the opening date back.

John Swinney

He said: “Aberdeen Roads Ltd is paid only when sections of the road are opened to traffic.

“In that way, it is incentivised to open the road at the earliest opportunity on which it is safe to do so. Aberdeen Roads still has work to do to provide fundamental assurances about future maintenance of the River Don crossing that will sufficiently protect the public purse.

“Once that commitment has been received, there will be no further barrier to opening the remainder of the road without delay.”

The AWPR was initially estimated to be completed by Winter 2018. This was later changed to January, however the road is still not open.

A spokesman for Galliford Try said: “Aberdeen Roads Limited’s contract with Transport Scotland expressly prevents Galliford Try and its joint venture partner from commenting on issues relating to the AWPR project.”