GORDON MSP Alex Salmond has confirmed that plans for the Inverurie Transport Interchange and Relief Road are driving forward, bringing the town ever closer to vital improvements which will develop the town centre.
Once completed the project will open up the town centre for development and improve transport facilities, links to the station and help to resolve parking problems.
The proposed transport link will also significantly ease traffic flow and improve safety in an area with many pedestrians. The plans also include provision for a new bus facility at the railway station.
Following intervention from Mr Salmond in his capacity as MSP for Gordon, substantial progress has been made with land owners Tesco and Network Rail to relinquish land to the local authority to allow the project to proceed. The Council is finalising its land requirement with Network Rail, and Tesco has also been extremely positive about the project, with the transfer of their land to the Council due to take place next month.
Commenting Mr Salmond said: “The Inverurie Transport Interchange and Inner Relief Road will greatly improve traffic flow, transport links and open up Inverurie’s town centre for development. It’s an extremely exciting project for the town which will be of direct benefit to businesses, pedestrians and road users.
“A substantial volume of work has taken place for plans to reach such an advanced stage and it’s extremely encouraging to see all interested parties engaging positively with the process. Inverurie is expanding rapidly and it’s important that transport networks develop in line with the town’s growing population.
“The whole of Inverurie is set to greatly benefit from the developments and I look forward to continuing to support these vital improvements.”
Gordon MP Malcolm Bruce said Aberdeenshire Council “is to be congratulated” for its sustained effort to secure agreement from Network Rail and Tesco to acquire the land for the Inverurie inner relief road. There is still a long way to go to complete the project but the logjam has been breached through the skilled negotiation of council officials.
“There must be an election coming up for Mr Salmond to claim credit for something which has been achieved through the hard work of the local Liberal Democrat led Council with cross party support.”
SNP Inverurie councillor Bryan Stuart optimistic about the scheme, saying: “This project will transform the town centre and open up many new opportunities that were close to being lost given the ten year window for it to proceed was almost up. Our transportation and property staff at the Council have done an excellent job, especially over the last few months, in progressing matters to this stage.”
Graeme Ross, chairman of Inverurie Business Association (IBA) said: “Inverurie is a prosperous and expanding town.
“There are some very large developments proposed in the next local plan and we need to ensure that these developments happen in a way that builds on the town’s strengths and helps address current issues.
“Some of the key challenges include ensuring that future developments in retail are concentrated in close proximity and easy walking distance of the town centre, that adequate parking facilities are available and that steps are taken to address the volume of traffic travelling through the town centre.
“The transport interchange should go a long way to address these issues, in particular by freeing up land close to the town centre for parking and development and relieving congestion in the square.
“The recent announcement by International Paper that they had entered into an agreement with local firm Kirkwood is also highly encouraging and exciting. The papermill site is in a fantastic location for both road and rail.
“Hopefully this development, as well as bringing new investment into Inverurie and creating new jobs it will act as a catalyst in delivering the Inverurie Eastern bypass and relieve traffic congestion from the Oldmeldrum road.”