Dual carriageway upgrade for A90 given go-ahead
A scheme to make the busy A90 between Balmedie and Tipperty in Aberdeenshire a dual carriageway is to proceed, the Scottish government has announced.
Transport Minister Keith Brown has given the go-ahead for the upgrade after considering the findings and recommendations of an inquiry.
It will provide continuous dual carriageway between Aberdeen and Ellon.
Mr Brown predicted the multi-million pound work would lead to improved safety and faster journey times.
There is not yet a definite time scale for the scheme, which is estimated to cost more than £50m.
The larger scale £400m Aberdeen bypass, aimed at creating a fast link to the north, west and south of Aberdeen, is currently the focus of a legal challenge.
A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: "Assuming a successful outcome to the appeal, the cost estimates for both this scheme and the A90 Balmedie to Tipperty scheme will be reviewed and updated prior to the commencement of the formal procurement process."
North East SNP MSP Maureen Watt said of the A90 upgrade: "Many people and businesses throughout the north east journey on that stretch of road on a daily basis and reducing the journey times they face will have a tangible economic benefit."
Scottish Lib Dem transport spokeswoman Alison McInnes said: "The decision to upgrade the A90 is of course to be welcomed as it will ease congestion in the area and make this stretch of road so much safer."
She urged that the upgrade be built as soon as possible.
Kevin Stewart, chairman of North East of Scotland Transport Partnership (Nestrans) said: "Naturally we welcome the news regarding the dualling of the A90 between Balmedie and Tipperty as this scheme has been of our main areas of priority for some time.
"It is obviously in the interests of the vast majority of those who use this extremely busy corridor that construction of the dual carriageway commences as soon as possible."
And Bob Collier, chief executive of Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, said: "The announcement that the transport minister has now confirmed the chosen route for the essential A90 upgrade between Balmedie and Tipperty is welcome news because it moves the project one step closer to becoming a reality.
"The dualling of this stretch of road is one of the priorities of the chamber's ongoing transport campaign as the improvements are crucial in order to tackle congestion, reduce journey times for commuters and improve safety for motorists."