Aberdeen features little in NPF

Aberdeen City and Shire features little in the Scottish Government’s new National Planning Framework 2, published today.

Conspicuous by their absence are the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (which is due to open in just over two years time), or improvements to the notorious A96 Aberdeen to Inverness route.

Bridge of Dee
Until the AWPR opens in 2012, this remains the only trunk road link to Europe’s Energy Capital and all the businesses in North Aberdeenshire. Yet it the AWPR is conspicuous by its absence from the NPF

There is a commitment to a High Speed Rail Link to London. Very laudable, but this is a link from the Central Belt to London. I can see no reference to the disconnection of Aberdeen City and Shire from this high-speed network.

Should the new rail link go ahead you will get the nonsensical situation that it could take just three hours to travel from London to Edinburgh or Glasgow, but almost three hours more for your onward journey to Aberdeen! The potential to shift passenger traffic from road to rail will not be realised until our rail network north of the Central Belt is upgraded to 20th century, let alone 21st century, standards.

Indeed searching through the list, you will find that Aberdeen features only in the Strategic Airport Enhancements where there is, at least, reference to the need for improving national and international connections to support Aberdeen’s role as an international energy centre.

  • Replacement Forth Crossing
  • West of Scotland Strategic Rail Enhancements
  • High Speed Rail Link to London
  • Strategic Airport Enhancements (for access)
  • Grangemouth Freight Hub
  • Additional Container Freight Capacity on the Forth
  • Port developments on Loch Ryan
  • Scapa Flow Container Transhipment Facility
  • New Power Station and Transhipment Hub at Hunterston
  • New Non-Nuclear baseload Capacity at other existing
  • Power Station Sites
  • Electricity Grid Reinforcements
  • Central Scotland Green Network
  • Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Scheme
  • 2014 Commonwealth Games Facilities
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