Government's hollow infrastructure promises

North-east Scotland MSP Nanette Milne has voiced the feeling of disappointment that many of us have about the infrastructure promises by the Scottish Government. As the SNP begin their second term, with a considerable majority, lets hope that they start to deliver some of the urgent infrastructure improvements in Aberdeen City and Shire.

Most obvious and urgent is the Aberdeen by-pass (Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route). At the beginning of the last session, Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson announced the road would not open in 2011 and pointed to errors in the paperwork as the reason. But, he reassured us, the Aberdeen by-pass would open in 2012.

That’s next year!

Going nowhere... the Aberdeen economy is grinding to a halt along with its family and businesses road users

So where are the bulldozers, cranes and tarmac-laying machines? Still waiting for the go-ahead. The contracts haven’t even gone out!

When the Road Sense (a misnomer if every there was one) objection finally got to court in February, we could be forgiven for thinking we were on the home straight. But, no. After four months of silence, the Court of Session still has not given its verdict.

As a result thousands of families and businesses still face up to an hour-long journey just to get from one side of Aberdeen to the other. This interminable delay is costing our economy millions of pounds each year.

“North East residents are tired of waiting for the SNP to deliver on its transport promises to voters across the North East – a situation which is holding the economy and North East businesses back” Nanette Milne says. “To date we have seen no progress of delivering the AWPR, dualing of the A90, addressing the Inveramsay Bridge bottleneck, or meeting the SNP Governments own target of reducing journey times between Aberdeen and the central belt by twenty minutes.”

With a clear majority in Holyrood and an unprecedented clean sweep of all the constituency seats in the area, the expectations are still high.

Will the new SNP government finally deliver the improvements we so urgently need, if Aberdeen City and Shire is to continue as the powerhouse of the Scottish (and UK) economy?

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