Page last updated at 15:37 GMT, Tuesday, 9 September 2008 16:37 UK

Legal bypass challenge launched

Bypass protestors
The planned bypass has divided opinion in the area

Campaigners mounted a legal challenge to the remit of the Aberdeen bypass, as a public inquiry into the plans got under way.

They highlighted legislation which they claim requires the inquiry to consider options other than a new road.

The two Reporters are taking legal advice and are expected to make a statement on Wednesday. The process has not been halted as a result.

The inquiry at the Hilton Aberdeen Treetops Hotel may run until December.

Transport Scotland, the agency charged with delivering the road, has said only technical and environmental aspects of the proposed route will be examined at the inquiry.

Dozens of protesters used shop dummies to illustrate their claims the inquiry is just "window dressing" by Scottish ministers.

'Not happy'

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

The bypass aims to ease traffic and improve business.

Protest group Road Sense has criticised the cost and environmental impact of the plans, and said it believed it could make strong arguments against the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) during the inquiry.

Route map
The bypass is aimed at easing traffic and improving business

Road Sense member Sheona Warnock said more groups should have been represented.

She told BBC Scotland: "We want to really make a point to Alex Salmond and the government that we are not happy with the restricted scope [of the inquiry].

"The inquiry is window dressing."

However First Minister Alex Salmond said: "This is a properly set-up public local inquiry."

Rita Stephen, development manager of Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Forum, said: "The AWPR is pivotal to making many of the other transport solutions happen.

"It is the lynchpin for ensuring we have a modern transport strategy that allows for integrated modes of transport that will improve public transport and reduce journey times. We must deliver it as soon as possible."

A Transport Scotland spokesman said. "Transport Scotland has its case in place and we are looking forward to the start of the public local inquiry, where the technical and environmental aspects of the route selection will be examined in full."

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06 Feb 07 |  North East/N Isles
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03 Oct 06 |  North East/N Isles


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