Haudagain delay extends Aberdeen roads problem

Councillor Kate Dean’s statement that work on Britain’s newly-crowned worst roundabout – the Haudagain at the junction of the A96 and A90 trunk roads – cannot begin until the Aberdeen by-pass is completed, underlines the fragile nature of Aberdeen’s roads infrastructure.

The Haudagain roundabout has been allowed to get to the stage where any roadworks here would effectively paralyse the whole of the north of Aberdeen. The Haudagain is not only at a key trunk road junction, it is also the converging point for most of the traffic circulating in the north of the city. Any closures or restriction on it are guaranteed to cause chaos.

The hope, presumably, is that the Aberdeen by-pass will take sufficient traffic away from this key junction to reduce the chaos caused by road works.

roundabout sign
Still going round in circles and getting nowhere with the AWPR and the Haudgain

The trouble with taking that view is that we face, at best, between three and six more years of chaos and financial losses, with estimates that the by-pass now cannot be completed any earlier than 2017. In 2007, the delays at this junction were estimated to be costing the economy between £15 and £30 million a year.

Also, many, including myself, view the proposed link road with some concern. It is hard to see how adding additional junctions and traffic lights are going to improve congestion.

For many of us, the logic of a flyover seems inescapable.

With the AWPR still stuck in the courts and no sign of the queues reducing at the Haudagain, it seems that Europe’s Energy Capital is still being overlooked by our governments in Holyrood and Westmister.

Transport infrastructure improvements are urgent and vital if the oil and gas industry are to extend the life of the North Sea and help the economy of UK plc recover from the recession.

Meanwhile, across the North Sea, the Norwegian Government has recognised just that, by investing in the infrastructure of their energy city, Stavanger. Is it surprising that the Norwegian oil and gas industry and Stavanger’s role as an oil and gas centre are in the ascendancy?

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