It said that huge journey time reductions and eased congestion on local roads are “everything the North East hoped for” following the opening of more than 85% of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route on 12 December.
However, cautious hopes that the final 4.5-mile section between Parkhill and Craibstone would open before Christmas have been dashed. Contractor Aberdeen Roads Limited (ARL) has this week informed Transport Scotland it will not meet the deadline it set itself at the Scottish Parliament’s rural economy & connectivity committee on 5 December.
Cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity Michael Matheson said: “This week, ARL informed us it was no longer able to meet its own deadline of concluding works at the Don Crossing before Christmas. This is just over a fortnight since it set this deadline publicly in Parliament. I have consistently urged caution and realism about ARL’s ambitious timescales. Unfortunately, as disappointing as this news is, it comes as no surprise to me it has been unable to achieve this.
He added: “It is well known that ARL has experienced a series of technical issues during the construction of the Don Crossing. In order for this government to protect the public purse, it is imperative that ARL provides the necessary technical and commercial assurances for the Don Crossing. We cannot and will not contemplate releasing payments for this structure without these critical assurances.”
ARL is forecasting opening the final section in January 2019.