Date lodged: 28 September 2018
To ask the Scottish Government what impact the reported pay disputes between Transport Scotland and the contractor are having on the opening of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR).
Answered by: Michael Matheson 12 October 2018
There are no disputes impacting on the opening of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR). While Aberdeen Roads Limited (ARL) reports that the project is on target to open in late autumn 2018, they are unable to estimate a precise opening date while remedial work continues at the River Don Crossing.
Construction issues such as that experienced on the structure over the Don are regrettable but not unusual on a project of this scale and complexity. These defects must be taken seriously, investigated thoroughly and remedied appropriately. The cost of these repairs will be borne by the contractor and the public purse will not be impacted by this work, as payment is made as sections of the road become available for traffic.
I understand and share the public frustration that the road has not yet opened, and can confirm that Transport Scotland is doing everything possible to deliver the benefits of the new road at the earliest opportunity, once the outstanding repairs are properly completed.
I have instructed Transport Scotland to investigate the potential to open the 31.5km section of new road from Craibstone to Stonehaven and Charleston as soon as possible, while remedial work at the Don progresses. Discussions have taken place with ARL and they are currently progressing this matter through the necessary governance channels within their organisations. It is right and important that ARL considers this matter carefully; but I urge them to conclude their deliberations swiftly so the people of the north east can start to benefit from the new road as soon as possible.