Aberdeen City Council has welcomed a ruling by the Supreme Court which rejects the third legal challenge against the £400m Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR).
Judges in the UK’s highest court today supported two separate rulings by Scottish judges and rejected the appeal by campaigners who argued that the public inquiry and public consultation into the AWPR had been flawed.
Scottish Ministers gave the scheme the go-ahead in December 2009, following a lengthy public inquiry, but it was delayed by two sets of legal proceedings at the Court of Session in Edinburgh and again by the Supreme Court action.
Aberdeen City Council Leader Councillor Barney Crockett said: “Today’s announcement marks the end of a long, drawn-out and very frustrating process for the people and businesses of Aberdeen, the North-east and indeed most of Scotland. I think most people in the region will join me in celebrating this victory for common sense.
“We have waited many years to finally get to this stage and, as a small number of objectors have finally exhausted the legal process, we can now concentrate on getting this crucial road built.
“The AWPR will have a major and very positive effect on traffic and congestion levels in and around Aberdeen. It is a key piece of the region’s infrastructure jigsaw which will allow better access to and movement around the city, creating an even more attractive business, leisure, retail, and tourism destination.
“We will be working closely with our partners in the scheme, Aberdeenshire Council and the Scottish Government, to move as fast as we can to get construction underway and allow easier and better access to the many exciting developments in and around the city.”
Aberdeen City Council chief executive Valerie Watts said: “I am really pleased that today’s ruling means that the debate on whether the road should go ahead is finally at an end and we can now focus on getting on with it.
“We will be working closely with our partners in Aberdeenshire Council and the Scottish Government to start work as soon as is humanly possibly to give this international energy city the up-to-date transport system it needs and deserves.
“The AWPR will transform the North-east’s transportation system, making journeys into the city and shire easier, encourage business growth and boost the local, Scottish and UK economy by making this area even more attractive to business than it already is.”
The 28-mile road, which will be developed by Transport Scotland and for which Aberdeen City Council is the Appointed Agent for Scottish Ministers, is one of a number of transport projects planned to help improve road safety and accessibility, reduce congestion and grow the local economy.
It will link major roads and take in strategic points including Aberdeen Airport, large industrial estates, and Park-and-Choose sites. These linkages are integral to delivering the Structure Plan and the recently adopted Aberdeen Local Development Plan.