McInnes calls for funding clarity

NORTH-EAST MSP Alison McInnes has called for clarification on how the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route will be funded, following the Supreme Court’s decision last week to throw out legal challenges against the project.

Ms McInnes said that the Scottish Government needed to clarify the status of the project, which had grown in both scope and size since the proposals received government backing three years ago.

Originally, Aberdeen City and Shire Councils had both agreed to contribute 9.5% of the funding for the project each - however, this was prior to the addition of the ‘fastlink’ road running between Stonehaven and Milltimber.

Ms McInnes said: “Having rolled up the A90 Balmedie-Tipperty improvements and now, potentially, the third Don crossing into the AWPR tender, the Transport Minister has failed to put a mechanism in place to make clear exactly how the costs of the expanded project are broken down.

“The Government is already responsible for delaying the much-needed Balmedie-Tipperty works. They cannot now be allowed to try and pass on some of the cost of that and other vital road projects to local taxpayers.”

Speaking after the judgement in London last week, Ms McInnes had said that the news that the legal challenge had been dropped was welcome, and that the project needed to progress quickly.

“I welcome the Supreme Court’s judgement and sincerely hope that Mr Walton will accept it and allow this vital project to proceed without further delay.

“The Scottish Government must now act quickly to drive this project forward. It has had months to finalise its plans while awaiting this latest appeal. It needs to finally provide a concrete timetable, details of the construction costs and explain how it will fund the project.

“It can no longer blame legal gridlock for its inaction.”

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government’s Transport and Infrastructure ministry told the Times that the revised costs were being assessed in the wake of the Supreme Court’s judgement, and that an announcement would be made shortly on what those revised costs would be.