Aberdeen drops off Edinburgh's radar

The National Planning Framework has gone out for consultation. It identifies nine infrastructure developments of national significance. Guess what? None of them are in Aberdeen City and Shire!

The projects include facilities and infrastructure for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the new Forth bridge (definitely!), enhancements to Edinburgh and Glasgow Airport (not Aberdeen?). Oh, and the Glasgow Strategic Drainage Scheme.

What about the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route? Not there!
Or the development of international air links at Aberdeen Airport, or the connection of the airport to the transport network? Eh, no!
Maybe the speeding up of the rail link from Aberdeen to Edinburgh? Nope!
Dualling of the A90 to Peterhead? Sorry!
Dualling of the A96 to Inverness? Sorry, no!

"Enhancing our national infrastructure with National Developments will create a more successful country, increase sustainable economic growth and create opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish," said Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, John Swinney.

Note the phrase "all of Scotland"... not just the Central Belt!

There can be no more important industry to Scotland than the offshore oil and gas industry. It provides 75% of the UK's prime energy needs.

How about some priority for this most strategically important industry?

The AWPR must be one of the very top strategically important national projects if we are serious about helping to sustain the oil industry into the future. Its importance to the agriculture, fish and food industry just adds to the priority – let alone its significant importance to the Trump International Golf Links.

We have from now until April 15 to persuade the Scottish Government of the need to include Aberdeen City and Shire in their priorities. Responses should go to Graeme Purves, Planning, Scottish Executive Development Department, 2-H Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ or e-mail to graeme.purves@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

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