Overview

The Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route /Balmedie to Tipperty (AWPR/B-T) is one of the largest infrastructure projects in Scotland. It's part of Transport Scotland's commitment to improving travel in the north east.

The new road will be 58km long and is expected to open in winter 2017/18. It will consist of four sections:

  • Balmedie to Tipperty: 12km from Blackdog to Tipperty
  • Northern Leg: 16.1km from North Kingswells to Blackdog
  • Southern Leg: 18.7km from Charleston to North Kingswells
  • Fastlink: 11.5km from Stonehaven to Cleanhill

The project is being delivered by Transport Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government and in partnership with Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council.

Aberdeen Roads Limited (Balfour Beatty Investments Ltd, Carillion Private Finance (Transport) Ltd and Galliford Try Investments Ltd) was awarded the contract to build the AWPR/B-T in December 2014. It has appointed AWPR Construction Joint Venture, which includes Balfour Beatty, Morrison Construction and Carillion) to construct the 58km road.

Aberdeen Roads Limited offer a quarterly newsletter in local libraries to keep the local community informed of the project's progress.

Introduction

The AWPR/B-T

Aberdeen lies at the intersection of several major roads, including the A90 and A96 trunk roads, which channel heavy traffic and pollution into the city centre.

The existing Balmedie to Tipperty single-carriageway road is a bottleneck, especially at peak times of day when 22,000 vehicles can join the morning commute.

Most of the new road will be dual carriageway, with three lanes operating in short sections. The road combines a bypass for long-distance traffic with peripheral, shorter journeys. This removes traffic from the city, as well as rural and urban local roads.

The new road will include:

  • 58km of new road
  • 40km of new side roads
  • 30km of access tracks
  • 12 junctions
  • 2 river crossings at the River Dee and the River Don
  • a bridge over the Aberdeen-Inverness Railway
  • 3 wildlife bridges
  • over 100 other structures

Travel in the north east

The AWPR/B-T is just one of several projects designed to improve travel in the north east.

Other projects in the region include:

Budget and funding

The overall estimated project costs amount to £745 million. The contract value with Aberdeen Roads Limited is around £530 million in net present value terms, almost £240 million less than the pre-tender estimate.

The key partners for the project are:

  • Transport Scotland (TS). TS are contributing 81% of the costs for the northern and southern legs of the AWPR and 100% of the other two legs. TS is also funding 100% of maintenance costs.
  • Aberdeen City Council (ACC). 9.5% of the costs for the northern and southern legs are provided by ACC. The Scottish Government has capped their contributions are £75m. ACC is also managing the delivery of the project as Managing Agent.
  • Aberdeenshire Council (AC). AC are also contributing 9.5% of the costs of the northern and southern legs, with a £75m cap. AC is committed to working alongside ACC and TS during the construction of the AWPR / B-T.
  • Scottish Futures Trust (SFT). The AWPR/B-T was procured through the SFT's Non Profit Distributing (NPD) model, which helps to deliver value for money for the taxpayer. As with all NPD projects, SFT provides support and implements strategic reviews.

Reduced congestion

AWPR

In the first year of opening, the number of vehicles using current trunk roads and local roads in Aberdeen is expected to be reduced by thousands:

  • 8,600 (31%) on the A90 North of Stonehaven
  • 4,500 (26%) on the Parkway
  • 2,900 (26%) on the A93 (at Milltimber)
  • 8,300 (22%) on Anderson Drive
  • 8,800 (20%) on the A90 North Anderson Drive approaching Haudagain roundabout
  • 6,800 (14%) at A96 Auchmill Road west of Haudagain roundabout
  • 5,600 (14%) on the A90 at Bridge of Dee roundabout
  • 5,600 (14%) on the A956 (River Don)

Thousands of vehicles are also expected to be removed from rural roads, which are unsuitable for high volumes of traffic. In the first year of opening, there will be an estimated reduction of:

  • 12,700 (74%) between Kingswells to Newhills / Bucksburn road
  • 5,700 (93%) between Peterculter and Elrick (B979)
  • 3,400 (72%) on Netherley Road (B979)

It is anticipated that the route will also remove a substantial number of heavy goods vehicles from key existing routes and rural roads in the first year of opening:

  • 82% on the A93 (Milltimber)
  • 23% on the A96 (Auchmill Road)
  • 12% on the A944 (Kingswells)

Heavy goods vehicles are expected to be removed from a number of key locations on the A90:

  • 36% at Denmore
  • 32% north of Stonehaven
  • 30% at North Anderson Drive
  • 28% at Anderson Drive,
  • 23% on the A956 (River Don)
  • 21% at King George VI Bridge

Balmedie to Tipperty

Once the new B-T section opens, the majority of the existing A90 on that route will become part of the local road network. The road will start catering mostly for local traffic, significantly reducing traffic flow in the area.

Estimated daily reductions on the existing A90 (to become local road):

  • 23,100 (97%) vehicles north of Balmedie will be transferred to the new A90
  • 18,700 fewer vehicles (95%) north of the A975 junction on the existing A90

The traffic on the B977 is also expected to reduce by approximately 80%.

Journey times

Shorter journeys lead to a better quality of life, a growth in local businesses and an improved infrastructure. The table below provides examples of how typical journeys should improve.

ORIGIN DESTINATION AVERAGE AM JOURNEY - NO AWPR AVERAGE AM JOURNEY - WITH AWPR SAVING
Stonehaven Dyce 55 mins 28 mins 27 mins (49%)
Ellon Portlethen 60 mins 38 mins 22 mins (36%)
Peterculter Bridge of Don 45 mins 24 mins 21 mins (46%)
Cove Kirkhill 43 mins 23 mins 20 mins (47%)
Westhill Altens 36 mins 26 mins 10 mins (28%)
Bridge of Don Altens 29 mins 19 mins 10 mins (35%)

Anticipated route improvements

Road users using the following roads are expected to experience shorter journey times as a result of the AWPR/B-T:

  • A956 North - 13% shorter journey times
  • A956 South - 16% shorter journey times
  • A944 - 9% shorter journey times
  • A93% - 8% shorter journey times

Economic growth

The AWPR/B-T project will bring substantial benefits to the whole of the north east of Scotland. Below are some of the many ways it will positively impact the region.

Once complete, the AWPR/B-T will boost the economy of the region by generating income through increased sales and reduced costs. This economic impact is expected to bring over £6 billion to the area, as well as 14,000 jobs over the next three decades. Additionally, new business investment is anticipated to bring in £105 million and 600 jobs in that period.

We also anticipate that the AWPR/B-T will improve business competitiveness and stimulate investment by:

  • enhancing market conditions for key sectors such as oil and gas exploration, fishing and tourism, while helping to retain and attract jobs in those sectors
  • guaranteeing a fast link for freight and goods from the north east to markets in the south
  • reducing business costs caused by congestion and inconsistent journey times such as fuel and driver costs
  • revitalising the Buchan area and protecting growing economies in towns such as Peterhead and Fraserburgh
  • attracting more people to work and live in the north east by expanding labour catchment areas and providing less stressful commuter journeys
  • developing industrial sites on the periphery of the city which are not currently viable due to poor transport links
  • improving access to the city centre and the area as a whole for residents, shoppers and tourists
  • enabling other elements of the Regional Transport Strategy to be completed, such as rail projects and ‘Park and Choose'

The impact on the region will be immediate and, five years after completion, we anticipate that:

  • the food and beverages industry will increase sales by 1% and reduce costs by 5%
  • non-food manufacturing will increase sales by 1.3% and reduce costs by 2.5%
  • retail will increase sales by around 5% and reduce costs by 1.7%
  • tourism will increase sales by 5.6% and reduce costs by 2.5%
  • haulage and distribution will reduce costs by around 3.3%
  • business services will reduce costs by around 5%

Environment

Free-flowing traffic generates lower carbon emissions. The AWPR/B-T will take slow-moving traffic away from city streets, thus improving the air quality for some 75,000 homes. This will make journeys into Aberdeen a safer and more enjoyable experience.

The project will also assist with the pedestrianisation of Broad Street and Union Street, making the city a more pleasant place for walking. The A90 will become safer for use by cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians because traffic levels will decrease.

Public transport

The AWPR/B-T is designed to enhance public transport networks in the north east. The road will improve Park & Ride links between Kingswells, Ellon and the Bridge of Don, as well as providing the opportunity for further sites south of the city.

The project will free up Anderson Drive, enabling much smoother and faster routes for buses travelling in and out of the city. Bus services should, as a result, become more reliable and frequent.

The AWPR will provide a fast, direct link to Aberdeen Airport. This will increase the airport's catchment area and potentially lead to inward investment, including new airlines and routes coming to the city.

Improved safety

The new road is expected to lead to a net reduction in 72 minor, nine serious and one fatal accident each year. The AWPR/B-T increases driver safety though:

  • custom-built, strategic design using best practices
  • reduced overall traffic on urban roads
  • decreased congestion on unsuitable rural roads
  • lowered stress levels as a result of reduced congestion

Community engagement

Community engagement is a vital part of the project. The contractor's Community Liaison Team regularly engages with local communities and businesses.

Maryculter Tree planting session

Maryculter tree plantingEleven workers from the AWPRB-T project have helped the Maryculter Woodlands Trust plant around 110 trees at Oldman Hill.

A variety of trees were planted, including dogwood, oak, hazel, holly, beech and chestnut, as well as Scots pine.

Duncan Gardner, from the Community Liaison Team, said: “It was a great opportunity to put something back into the community and everyone who took part enjoyed it immensely.”

The Maryculter Woodlands Trust was created in April 2007 to help manage the community woodland in conjunction with Forestry Commission Scotland by restoring the wood to mixed native species.

It recently won a Highly Commended award from the North East Scotland Biodiversity Partnership for its work after holding a community planting day to plant more than 1,000 trees.

Running workers raise almost £6K for local and national charities

Some of the runners from the AWPR projectTwenty five people from across the AWPR/B-T project recently took part in the 30th Aberdeen Baker Hughes 10k run, raising almost £6,000 for local and national charities.

The Aberdeen Baker Hughes run is Aberdeen’s most popular race with 3,190 runners taking part this year for 10 different charities.

Some of the runners ran in four teams: three people in Quads of Fury, who raised money for Macmillan Cancer Research Trust; five people for Hi Viz Heroes, who raised £900 for Cash for Kids; six people for Beach Babe Wannabes, who raised £385 for Mesothelioma UK Trust and eight people Can’t Stop Us Now, who raised £887 for CLAN.

25 runners from the AWPR project took partIndividual efforts included Hugh Dalgetty who raised £310 for Macmillan Cancer Research Trust, Emma Hendry who raised £1,120 for Alzheimer’s Research and Ryan Swan who, in the course of just three weeks, completed both the Aberdeen Baker Hughes 10k and the London Marathon, raising an amazing £2,195 for social care charity VSA.

The fastest time of the day came in at 45.06 with the remaining participants all finishing within 1 hour 46 minutes.

Malcolm Findlay, General Manager for Aberdeen Roads Limited said:

Michael Grimley of the AWPR CJV“Our workers have shown in the past that they are keen to dig in and do their bit for charity but the response we received for this opportunity to take part in the Aberdeen Baker Hughes 10k was incredible. And not just from the number of people wanting to take part, but also those who supported them on the day and gave donations. We are all very proud of them.”

Prince’s Trust and contractor’s celebration event

A celebration event was held for six people who completed a ‘Get into Civil Engineering ’ course, designed to help people gain experience of civil engineering within a real construction project.

The course was developed and delivered by the Prince’s Trust and the AWPR Construction Joint Venture (AWPR CJV). It is based on strong educational and practical learning which has achieved considerable success in other areas, such as retail.

The event, held at the project’s head office in Stonehaven, enabled the participants to share their experiences of the course with friends, family and representatives from the Prince’s Trust and AWPR CJV.

Georgia Black, 19, from Torry in Aberdeen said: “It’s been a wonderful experience and totally different from my current job. I have really enjoyed working with the structures team.”

Ruaridh Girvan, 24, from Stonehaven, said: “This offered a unique opportunity for me. I would love to work in planning or computer aided design and it gave me an insight into what is involved in road construction.”

Scott Yates, 23, from Bridge of Don, Aberdeen, said: “I’m hoping this course will give me a foot in the door. It’s been a great opportunity and the course has been brilliant.”

Construction contractor raises almost £40,000

The AWPR/B-T construction contractor has raised £37,339 in just two years for 19 charity projects.

Among the charities and organisations who have benefited are:

  • CLAN Cancer Support
  • The Red Cross
  • Camphill School
  • Aberdeen Cyrenians
  • Cornerstone
  • The Archie Foundation
  • Cancer Research UK
  • Maryculter Woodland Trust
  • Maggie’s Aberdeen
  • The Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Workers have contributed either individually or in small groups through a variety of ways, by:

  • taking part in charity events
  • donating money
  • giving up their own time to assist good causes

Events have included cycling the length of mainland Britain, running half marathons, repairing woodland walks and even taking part in lifeboat rescue missions.

John Guild, Technical Director for the project, raised £1,000 for Cancer Research UK by taking part in a non-stop cycle relay from Land’s End to John O’Groats. He completed the 981-mile route in just 84 hours.

Staff have also taken part in Christmas food delivery convoys from Balmedie to Aberdeen for Aberdeen Cyrenians.

Sustainability

Over the course of the project, the Aberdeen Roads Limited team have got involved with local sustainability projects. Around 20 workers helped to build a car park for Maryculter Community Woodland, using a digger from the site and supplying pipes for drainage purposes.

The team have also donated cable drums to Kingswell Primary School for use in its nursery gardens and stacks of wood to Scoltly Hill Community Group and local scouts groups. Any local groups interested in receiving donations of wood, metal or plastic piping should contact Sonja Shand, the AWPR/B-T contractor’s sustainability manager, on 0800 058 8350.

Open days and exhibitions

Aberdeen Roads Limited and its construction contractor, AWPR CJV, held a series of open days across the north east at the end of January and the beginning of February 2016. This gave the opportunity for around 800 attendees to ask questions about the road and its impact.

We also held public exhibitions at various locations across the north east in June 2014. The exhibitions provided another chance to find out about the project before work began on the road.

Stay safe

Children from Kirkhill Primary School and Foveran Primary School visited the AWPR/B-T main site office at Stonehaven to hear about the dangers of construction sites and how they can Stay Safe themselves.

Caitlin McKay (10) from Foveran Primary School said: "It was great fun learning about how many new things are being built like new bridges, underpasses and even wildlife tunnels. I had no idea badgers and squirrels will have their own tunnels under the new road!

"I also learned that safety is very important and there are lots of dangers on a building site like falling down holes, tripping up, and even sand that can hurt your skin. I think I'll be safe and just keep away until the road is finished!"

Neve Flynn (10) from Kirkhill Primary School added: "I thought today's visit very interesting and I learned lots about the dangers on a construction site. I will certainly think twice about going near the AWPR while it's being built!"

Updates

Follow our progress by signing up to Route Ahead, our monthly e-zine. By giving us your details we can also send you alerts and updates as we go. Aberdeen Roads Limited also offer a quarterly newsletter in local libraries to keep the local community informed of the project's progress.

Project history

The AWPR/B-T is the largest Non Profit Distributing (NPD) contract in Scotland. Aberdeen Roads Limited was appointed in December 2014, following a 23-month procurement period.

The first section of the AWPR/B-T project to open to traffic included the Craibstone and Dyce Drive Junctions. This section was brought forward following requests from stakeholders and subsequent discussions with the contractor.

Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (2005-2011)

Aberdeen lies at the intersection of several major roads, including the A90 and A96 trunk roads. The resulting traffic travels through Aberdeen, making journeys more difficult and time consuming.

Following years of development, the preferred route corridor was announced in December 2005 and the preferred route in May 2006. Draft orders and the Environmental Statement were published in December 2006, September 2007 and May 2008.

A Public Local Inquiry was held between September 2008 and February 2009 and Scottish Ministers decided to proceed with the project in December 2009. Made Orders were published in March 2010.

A lengthy legal process began in May 2010 and were finally resolved on 17 October 2012 when the Supreme Court unanimously refused the subsequent appeal against the AWPR.

The AWPR/B-T will consist mainly of a new two-lane dual carriageway in each direction. Three lanes will operate for a short section between the North Kingswells and Craibstone Junctions and between Charleston and the next junction to the south at Findon on the existing A90.

The AWPR combines a bypass for long-distance traffic while facilitating peripheral movement for shorter journeys, therefore removing traffic from both the city areas and unsuitable rural and urban local roads.

Balmedie to Tipperty 2005-2011

The existing Balmedie to Tipperty road is a bottleneck. The single carriageway, which carries some 22,000 vehicles per day, is heavily affected by peak travel flow during the morning commute.

Scottish Ministers approved the development of the Balmedie to Tipperty project in June 2005 and a route was selected just over a year later in November 2006. In November 2007 draft orders and the Environmental Statement were published. A Public Local Inquiry was held in August 2009.

Scottish Ministers then made the decision in November 2010 to combine the Balmedie to Tipperty project and approved the project for construction in January 2011.

The B-T section will provide a continuous dual carriageway between Aberdeen and Ellon, which will remove the bottleneck caused by the existing single carriageway.

Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmedie to Tipperty project (2011 – 2016)

In October 2012 a Prior Information Notice was published, followed by an Industry Day and the publication of an OJEU (Official Journal of the European Union) Notice in January 2013. An Invitation to Tender was issued in May 2013. The preferred bidder was appointed in June 2014 and Scotland’s largest Non Profit Distributing (NPD) contract was awarded to Aberdeen Roads Limited in December 2014. The procurement process took just 23 months, making it one of the quickest for a contract of this size and complexity.

The first section of the AWPR/B-T works opened to traffic included the Craibstone and Dyce Junctions in August 2016. This section was brought forward following requests from stakeholders and subsequent discussions with the contractor.

 

Traffic management

Search for traffic management updates for the AWPR project

AWPR/B-T Construction Works

All traffic management is planned and coordinated through a Traffic Management Review Panel, chaired by the contractor and attended by Transport Scotland representatives, Traffic Scotland, both local Councils, and Police Scotland.

In addition, Transport Scotland, Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council have been working closely with Aberdeen Roads Limited (ARL) to ensure the safety of road users and the workforce during traffic management, whilst keeping disruption to a minimum.

As the project develops, updates on major temporary traffic management, which will allow the project to be constructed, will be provided - this is updated weekly for the following fortnight. The dates given are as accurate as possible but are subject to change at short notice.

Access to local businesses across the north east will be maintained at all times.

For enquiries relating to traffic management, please contact Aberdeen Roads Limited on 0800 058 8350 or at enquiries@aberdeenroads.com

Major Works at Charleston Junction - Significant changes to road layout

These works will include the construction of a new bridge to carry road users over the existing A90 and existing Charleston Junction slip roads, the realignment of the A956 and widening the A90 to three lanes in each direction.

Due to the proximity of these works to live traffic on the A90, major traffic management is required to enhance the safety of construction workers and road users. These measures will include closing the access from Lochton to Auchlunies to Nigg Road (C5K Banchory – Devenick Road) to the A90; opening a new signed diversion for road users; and the implementation of a 50mph speed restriction on the A90 at Charleston.

Access closure / Diversion

From early November, access to the A90 from Lochton to Auchlunies to Nigg Road (C5K Banchory – Devenick Road) will be permanently closed in line with the previously published project details. Signed diversions will be in place to help road users join and leave the A90.

Maps showing the diversion routes

Speed restriction / Designated lanes

From early November, a 50mph speed restriction will be in place on the A90 at Charleston 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Road users will be advised via signage to ‘Get In Lane, Stay In Lane’. Road users heading northbound can remain on the A90 by using the outside lane while road users on the inside lane can choose to stay on the A90 or to join the A956 (Wellington Road). Work is also ongoing with a view to installing average speed cameras on the A90 through this section to enhance safety for construction workers and road users. Further details on this will be available shortly.

Additional safety measures for the A90

Average speed cameras are now operational between Blackdog and Balmedie,at Charleston and at Stonehaven. It is expected that these will enhance safety of construction workers and road users, as well as improve safety, traffic flow and journey time reliability.

Aberdeen Roads Limited has been working closely with Transport Scotland, Aberdeenshire Council, Police Scotland and the North Safety Camera Unit over the use of average speed cameras.