By-pass proposed in 1957 is approved

John Swinney, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth in the Scottish Goverment, has give the green light to a 28-mile, £395 million by-pass for Aberdeen.

The approval for the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route comes 52 years after the then Secretary of State for Scotland approved the new river crossing for the first by-pass proposal in 1957. It was never built.

Bridge of Dee

Built in 1527 the Bridge of Dee is the only break in trunk road dual carriageway from Pisa in Italy

The current by-pass was first proposed in the mid 1990s by the former Grampian Regional Council. But it was not until 2003 that then First Minister of Scotland Jack McConnell announced that the Scottish Government would pay 81% of the cost of the by-pass, with Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils paying the balance.

Today’s announcement follows a 10-week public local inquiry in 2008. The Scottish Government has set a target date of 2012 for the road to open.

Until the by-pass is built, Aberdeen – the principal centre for North Sea oil and gas – will continue to be connected to the European trunk road network by the Bridge of Dee built in 1527.

Having driven the road myself a few years ago, I know that the bridge is the first break in a dual carriageway roads that stretch (apart from the Channel) some 1,800 miles from Pisa in Italy.
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