Page last updated at 15:51 GMT, Thursday, 17 April 2008 16:51 UK

City bypass inquiry date welcomed

Route map
The bypass is aimed at easing traffic congestion and aiding business

The public local inquiry into the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) is likely to start in August, it has been confirmed.

Ministers have appointed reporters David Gordon and Scott Ferrie to conduct the inquiry.

The hearing will focus on the technical and environmental aspects around the choice of route.

The Scottish Government said the inquiry was necessary because of the thousands of public responses received.

A completion date of 2012 has been targeted for the bypass, which aims to ease traffic and improve business.

A pre-inquiry meeting will be held on Tuesday 13 May at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre.

The pre-inquiry meeting is solely to discuss the administrative arrangements for the inquiry.

The fact that we now have a date means everybody can have their say and we can move on from there
Kate Dean
Aberdeen City Council leader

An exact timescale for the inquiry will only be available after the pre-inquiry meeting.

Letters are being sent to interested parties to keep them informed.

Campaigners from Road Sense, a group opposed to the proposed AWPR, welcomed the news.

Chairman William Walton said: "We look forward to having the opportunity to make our case."

Aberdeen City Council leader Kate Dean said: "Congestion continues to stifle the economic competitiveness and quality of life in the region, so I am pleased to see things moving forward to the next stage.

"The fact that we now have a date means everybody can have their say and we can move on from there."

Leader of Aberdeenshire Council, Anne Robertson, said: "We as a council are glad to see this extremely important project progressing.

"It is important to put arrangements for the inquiry in place as soon as possible to ensure there are no delays in the project's determination."

'Region's prosperity'

Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Forum (ACSEF) also welcomed the development.

Development manager Rita Stephen said: "The inquiry will focus on the technical and environmental issues around the selected route. We hope that this will lead to a more focused and therefore shorter inquiry so that the timescales of 2012 for completion can still be met.

"ACSEF's manifesto for securing the long-term prosperity of the region has transport as a major priority and the AWPR is the foundation on which our future modern transport strategy will be built."

Geoff Runcie, chief executive of Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, said: "Anyone who is trying to get anywhere in and around the city and its immediate environs at the moment knows that this development is long overdue."


SEE ALSO
Homes purchased on bypass route
23 Jan 08 |  Scotland
Inquiry into Aberdeen bypass plan
12 Oct 07 |  North East/N Isles
New plan for city bypass unveiled
11 Sep 07 |  North East/N Isles
Aberdeen bypass delayed by a year
28 Jun 07 |  North East/N Isles

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