North-east business leaders and hotels have said that a campaign paving the way for the opening of the new bypass symbolises a “rebirth of the region”.
The Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmedie to Tipperty (AWPR/B-T) is set to open this autumn and the GoNorthEast campaign was launched in the run-up to its completion.
The project is looking to underline the benefits of the project and show how it will positively impact on people’s lives and the future of businesses.
The Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI), and Aberdeen City and Shire Hotels Association hailed the AWPR/B-T as a strong statement to the world the north-east is thriving and open for business.
The £745 million bypass is one of the largest road construction projects currently ongoing in Europe.
Ian Armstrong, regional director of SCDI, pictured, said: “Journey reliability time, access to markets and better connectivity in and around the city from north to south and across the region will be hugely beneficial to the business community.
“The fact this huge project has been committed to and invested in during the recent downturn in the energy sector is a hugely positive sign to companies who might want to come to the area and invest or create jobs.”
He also said the AWPR/B-T represented more than “just a road”.
Ian said: “I think it’s a symbol of the renaissance, some kind of rebirth of the region and the fact there is still confidence among businesses and the government that they want to invest in the north-east – combined with the new expansion of Aberdeen Harbour, Peterhead Port’s £50m investment in their fish processing and harbour deepening, the airport expansion and the new exhibition centre.”
Dr Andrew Martin, vice-chairman of Aberdeen City and Shire Hotels Association, also said the bypass would help improve tourism in the region.
He said: “The AWPR is going to have a very positive impact to hotels in the region. Any 21st Century tourism destination needs great connectivity and we also need to support the new routes coming into Aberdeen International Airport – which is what we are getting with this road.
“It’s important for business tourism, leisure tourism, day visitors and the host community. Visitors and tourists who want to spend money on hotels need to get to where they want to be quickly and easily, and that delivers for us. Businesses are looking forward to more business coming to Aberdeen.
“Hopefully we will be drawing business from the south as our tourist attractions, hotels and businesses become more accessible. For me, it is more than a road project – it’s a statement.”