The opening of a major stretch of Aberdeen bypass has already led to a considerable easing of tailbacks at one of the city’s worst traffic blackspots.
Drivers were finally able to use the 19.5-mile stretch of the road between Stonehaven and Craibstone yesterday, following months of delays. The effect of the route on other roads in and around Aberdeen was noticeable.
Motorists at the Bridge of Dee can typically expect queues around the evening rush-hour, however last night it appeared to be greatly reduced.
Google Maps’ traffic monitoring showed a stark contrast between traffic levels at around 5.30pm last night and on typical Wednesdays.
Elsewhere, however, roads leading to the new Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) were experiencing queues, as motorists tried out the road for the first time.
Larger-than-usual tailbacks could be seen stretching along the A944 from the new Kingswells junction back to, and onto, the Lang Stracht. And there were also delays approaching the Charleston junction, with motorists heading to join the new fastlink connecting with the bypass.
It meant drivers saw their travel times cut, with the journey time between Stonehaven and Craibstone taking just 15 minutes for the 19.2-mile stretch.
One motorist who used the road yesterday said said: “It only took about five minutes to drive from Peterculter to Kingswells. That may have been because the road was quiet but it would normally take at least double that – on a good day.”
The milestone came as a call was made for a public inquiry to be held into the project’s handling.
A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “It is not unusual for it to take some time before travel patterns are fully established as road users become familiar with the changes to the road network and they identify the routes that work best for them.
“We would also like to ask road users to continue to drive with caution and be considerate of other road users while they become accustomed to the new road and modify their journeys. Police Scotland and the North Safety Camera Unit will continue to monitor driver behaviour in the coming days and weeks to ensure the rules of the road are being followed.”