Scottish Trunk Road Infrastructure Project Evaluation 1YA Evaluation Report for A9(T) Crubenmore Extension

Summary of Impacts

1 Summary of impacts

This section provides a short summary of the key elements contained within this One Year After Evaluation report of the A9(T) Crubenmore Extension scheme.

1.1 Operational Indicators - How is the scheme operating?

The scheme has had no significant impact on traffic volumes within the vicinity of the scheme. Given the improvement incorporates an on-line upgrade of the existing carriageway from single to dual carriageway, this is as expected.

Average journey times for strategic traffic using the A9(T) have reduced following the opening of the scheme, with savings of between approximately 30 seconds and 2 minutes observed on the section between Dalwhinnie and Kingussie.

The scheme is operating safely in its first year of operation, with only 1 accident occurring within the vicinity of the scheme. This accident was not attributable to the design or layout of the scheme.

1.2 Process Indicators - How well was the scheme implemented?

Process Indicators provide evaluation across the key elements of project cost, programme and process.

The scheme followed standard processes with the Environmental Statement and Draft Side Roads Order published on 27th February 2007. The Draft Compulsory Purchase Order was published in 21st March 2008. The made Side Roads Order and Compulsory Purchase Order were published on 27 November 2009. It was tendered as a Fixed Price Lump Sum, Employer's Design Contract. Construction commenced in January 2011 and the scheme was delivered on programme in September 2011 at a lower cost than predicted.

The majority of the mitigation which was included within the Environmental Statement has been implemented on site, is in good condition and is operating as expected. Whilst some variations from the proposed mitigation measures had been identified, these were not considered to have had a material detrimental impact on the general integration of the project into its surroundings.

A Stage 4 RSA was carried out within the vicinity of the scheme and confirmed that one minor accident has occurred in the period 1 year after opening, however no conclusions can be drawn that would suggest road safety deficiencies in the scheme.

A Stage 3 Cycle Audit was carried out and considered the specific cycle facilities provided as part of the proposals. The audit concluded that the cycling provision included as part of the project were satisfactory.

No Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) Audit was carried out, as no relevant interested user groups were identified within the extents of this rural scheme.

1.3 Objectives - Is the scheme on track to meet its objectives?

The nature of the scheme (dual carriageway in both northbound and southbound directions) has enhanced overtaking opportunities.

Journey time data (before and after the scheme implementation) suggest that the scheme has been successful in reducing journey times for car traffic, a key objective of the scheme.

As part of the scheme, a dedicated cycle and footway was maintained, albeit for the low numbers of cyclists and pedestrians believed to use the route.

Whilst the scheme is operating safely with only one accident occurring in its first year of operation, it is too early to determine whether the scheme has delivered any road safety benefits, a sub-objective of the scheme. This will be determined after at least three years when the number of accidents can be compared pre and post scheme.

1.4 Costs to Government - Is the scheme delivering value for money?

In combination with other overtaking projects previously implemented on the A9 (T) such as at Carrbridge and Moy and the strategic dualling programme of the route currently being progressed by Transport Scotland, the Crubenmore scheme can be expected to provide benefits to transport users and help encourage economic development within northern Scotland and beyond. The NPV and BCR for this scheme in particular may be greater than those predicted at the time of assessment which suggests that the scheme provides value for money.