Aberdeen bypass successfully reducing HGVs through city

The Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route was opened on February 19, 2019.

Aberdeen bypass successfully reducing HGVs through city
Scotland: The Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route.

The Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route has successfully cut the number of HGVs passing through the city.

On the first anniversary of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmedie to Tipperty (AWPR/B-T) opening to traffic, a data snapshot released on Wednesday by Transport Scotland showed a significant reduction of trucks on the A92 corridor through the city.

Depending on the location, HGV traffic has reduced between 49% and 61% when comparing January to June 2019 data with comparable 2014 data.

This reduction is greater than the 20-36% reduction originally predicted and suggests that the AWPR/B-T may be more successful than anticipated in attracting HGV traffic from the local road network.

The data covers the A92 – previously the A90 – from Stonehaven to Blackdog via Anderson Drive and The Parkway and vice versa.

Transport secretary Michael Matheson branded it a “significant milestone”.

He said: “The benefits of the project are plain for everyone to see, enhancing the quality of life for tens of thousands of people.

“In addition to the widely reported improvements to journey times for drivers using the AWPR/B-T, it is clear from the reduction in the proportion of HGVs on the A92 that businesses are benefitting from the option of a faster and more reliable route to and from the North East.

“Equally, other road users and communities alike benefit greatly from HGVs transferring to the new trunk road.

“This is supported by initial reporting which shows a reduction in congestion through the city, including areas which are susceptible to congestion such as the Bridge of Dee, where there has been noticeable reductions in queue lengths and durations.

“The AWPR is also providing the local authorities with an opportunity to improve and expand public transport and active travel, as traffic has been moved to a more appropriate route.”

First announced in January 2003, the AWPR was approved by ministers in late 2009.

Construction began in 2015, but extensive delays and cost overruns brought condemnation from opposition parties as Carillion collapsed, the Beast from the East shut down building works, and the final price rose above the £1bn mark.

A series of snagging issues on a bridge over the River Don also held up the opening of the final sections of road.

It officially opened on February 19, 2019.

Martin Reid, director of Road Haulage Association Ltd, highlighted the AWPR now allows road freight to keep moving to avoid the bottleneck hold-ups that “were all too familiar on the old A90”.

He added: “There is also little doubt that the reduction in traffic congestion will have a positive effect on air quality and quality of life in general for the residents who live along the old route.

“The AWPR is delivering what we all hoped it would; improving journey times and reducing congestion, meaning businesses can be more certain in terms of delivery times and costs.”