Bypass appeal refused

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THE Aberdeen Western Peripheral route looks set to finally go ahead following the decision by three of Scotland’s top judges to refuse an appeal which was attempting to block the plans.

The 28-mile Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) was originally given the go-ahead by Scottish ministers in December 2009 after a public inquiry.

Plans were then put on hold as William Walton, from protest group Road Sense, lodged a legal bid to block construction of the £400m road.

The appeal, before judges in Edinburgh, was heard in December after it had been agreed Mr Walton’s costs would be covered, win or lose. Road Sense argued the process of route selection was “fundamentally flawed and unjust”.

Mr Walton is now considering a further appeal to the Supreme Court.

The AWPR has been supported by a number of businesses in the Mearns area who hope that the route will ease congestion and make it easier for them to get to the other side of Aberdeen.

Local Councillor, Graeme Clark, who is also transport spokesman for the SNP in Aberdeenshire welcomed the news. He said: “At last it is some good news. Not only is it good news for the congestion into Aberdeen, which has been a real problem for local people for years, but it is also good news for the construction industry.

“I just hope that Mr Walton doesn’t go ahead with another appeal to the supreme court.”

Leader of Aberdeenshire Council Cllr Anne Robertson said: “I am delighted with today’s decision. The AWPR is of major strategic importance to the north-east and we are keen to see the project progress as quickly as possible. We are conscious that further routes of appeal remain, however, and we will await the outcome of the statutory processes.”