Page last updated at 18:16 GMT, Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Aberdeen bypass 'starts next year'

Traffic in Aberdeen
The bypass is aimed at easing traffic and improving business

Finance Secretary John Swinney has told the Scottish Parliament that work on the controversial Aberdeen bypass will begin next year.

Ministers announced just before Christmas that they were approving the route scrutinised by an inquiry.

Mr Swinney said the bypass would boost the north east economy by more than £6bn.

However, doubts have been expressed if it can still be completed for the earlier estimated cost of £395m.

Opponents have criticised the cost and the environmental impact of the 28-mile bypass, and have threatened legal action.

The road is aimed at providing a fast link between towns to the north, west and south of Aberdeen.

A long-running public inquiry was held in Aberdeen in 2008. The Scottish government said the probe was necessary because of the public response.

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