Scottish green activists condemn controversial road decision

By agency reporter
5 Sep 2011

The North-east of Scotland has been let down by the recent decision by the Court of Session to reject the objections of local residents to the controversial Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, say Scottish green activists.

Environment campaigners remain doubtful that the vastly expensive and counter-productive road will ever be built, given the financial impact it would have on both national and local government.

Patrick Harvie MSP, co-leder of the Scottish Green Party, commented: "Scotland has never had a government with half a clue about what a modern transport network looks like, nor one that understands the long-term economic, social and environmental costs of a transport policy stuck in the 1960s. This ill-conceived project is a perfect example of this Ministerial addiction to tarmac at all costs."

He continued: "Successive Ministers since 1999 have been desperate to ram this scheme through, no matter the scale of the objections from the community, no matter the stress it will place on local transport routes, and no matter the countryside that they have to tear up. The last saving grace is that the squeeze on local and national budgets will make it hard for them to justify blowing so much money for this scheme, especially at the same time as budgets for education are being squeezed as never before.

"Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire have been desperate for decades for a real answer to the region's transport problems, a solution based on Crossrail and other investment in public transport. Those vital projects have gone nowhere, though, and instead Ministers are imposing a development corridor that will lead to even worse congestion in and around the city.

"The Court of Session has delivered yet another body-blow North-east communities. Local residents are right to feel that their concerns have been ignored by successive local and national governments, and that they will pay a heavy price for today's bizarre decision," said Mr Harvie.

[Ekk/3]

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