In response to questions lodged in the Scottish Parliament by Mike Rumbles MSP, the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for transport has admitted today that while the ‘remaining physical work’ has been completed, the AWPR Don Crossing will still not open.
The North East MSP, who is also transport spokesperson for the Scottish Liberal Democrats, has been pursuing the Cabinet Secretary for details of the bungled contract after it emerged at the end of 2018 that the final bill for the road could rise to as much as £1 billion.
Mr Rumbles said: “This situation is totally unacceptable. It is a disgrace. The public have been forced to put up with delay after delay and instead of admitting its failure and poor management of the project the Scottish Government continues to try to over complicate the whole process.
“Despite further promises that the road would be open by February, the Minister has admitted that the road is essentially ready for motorists but cannot be opened because of contractual issues that should have been sorted-out back in 2012.
“The Scottish Government needs to tell us how much the road will cost and why so many mistakes were made. But most of all, it really must get the road open to traffic immediately.”
Notes for editors:
- Mike Rumbles (North East Scotland) (Scottish Liberal Democrats) (05/02/19):
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the progress with the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR); when the crossing over the River Don will be completed; what the total additional cost for contractor claims will be, and, if the project exceeds the predicted £750 million set out in the contract, for what reason. S5W-21124
Michael Matheson: I provided a full update on project costs at my appearance at the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee on 5 December 2018. Please see a link to the Official Report for your reference: http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=11829 . With regard to the River Don Crossing, I can confirm ARL has undertaken the remaining physical works, with some survey and safety check activities still to conclude. However, ARL have yet to provide a legally binding commitment for the future maintenance of this structure. This is a fundamental requirement in order to protect the public purse from the cost of ARL’s mistakes. Notwithstanding this, I have called for a further meeting with ARL to ensure that they are doing everything that they can to get remaining section of the road opened at the earliest opportunity.