Legal challenge to £400m bypass lost

Campaigners trying to prevent the construction of the Aberdeen bypass have lost their legal challenge.

The 28-mile Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) was originally given the go-ahead by Scottish ministers in 2009.

Campaigner William Walton, from the protest group Road Sense, has been fighting to block construction of the £400m road.

He argued that the public inquiry into the project had been flawed, but this argument was rejected by a judge last year. Mr Walton then appealed against that decision.

The appeal, before judges in Edinburgh, was heard in December after it had been agreed that Mr Walton’s costs would be covered, win or lose.

Road Sense argued the process of route selection was “fundamentally flawed and unjust”.

However, many business leaders in the area support the scheme.

Mr Walton told BBC Scotland he was “disappointed” at the decision of the judges and may consider an appeal to the Supreme Court, but will consult members before making a final decision.

He said: “We will have to look at the judgement in detail.

“We still believe this road is unaffordable and ineffective.”

Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “We welcome today’s judgment. The Scottish government remain totally committed to the AWPR being built as soon as possible and we are pleased that we can now move forward with this project which is vital to the future prosperity of the north east and Scotland as a whole.

“It is hoped that the small number of objectors opposed to the AWPR will be willing to accept the decision, so that we can get on and build the road.”

 

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