Keith Brown and the AWPR - look ahead to 2014
From Transport Minister, Keith Brown
“After getting the go-ahead for this project 2012, and moved rapidly through various stages of procurement this year, 2014 will, I believe, prove to be a seminal year for the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route.
“Let me first clarify a few misconceptions.
“There have been some who have criticised the Scottish Government’s efforts to get this road built. Let’s not rewrite history. This kind of investment should have been carried out decades ago when it became apparent that the oil boom would create the kinds of pressures we now see on our roads in and around Aberdeen on a daily basis.
“The city has been at the very heart of that boom and is a major driver for the Scottish economy. We recognise that. We also recognise that good transport links lie at the heart of continued and sustainable growth.
“So since coming to power in 2007, the Scottish Government has done everything we can to redress that neglect and push forward major transport investment and improvements in the north east. The AWPR is key to this - it will, after all, deliver over £6 billion of investment to the north east over the next thirty years.
“There is much to do in 2014 for the scheme, but everyone involved is relishing the task ahead and I am encouraged by that enthusiasm and by the support that the project is receiving from the north east.
“We will continue the bidding process with the parties vying for the contract through the early part of next year. Archaelogical surveys and environmental mitigation work will continue alongside this to ensure no time is lost. By summer, we expect to be in a position to announce the preferred bidder who will build the new road.
“Once we they have been selected, we will then be in a position to look at what refinements can be made to the delivery programme for specific elements of the scheme. There is no cast iron guarantee I can give at this stage, but we will do everything we can to work with the preferred bidder to see what can be done without compromising the project completion date of Spring 2018 or produce unnecessary disruption or congestion. Where possible, this could mean sections of the new road opening earlier than the completion date and benefits for road users being delivered much sooner.
“2014 promises to be an exciting year for Scotland with a referendum, the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup just some of the major highlights to look forward to.
“It also promises to be exciting for road users in Aberdeen who we expect will see the first spades going into the ground later in the year to start work on this long awaited road improvement for Aberdeen and the north east.”
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