A review into the timescale of upgrades at a major Aberdeen junction is being carried out – just months after delays were announced.
Now Transport Scotland – the Scottish Government’s transport body – has revealed the new date is now being reviewed in order to factor in “unforeseen circumstances” such as future Covid-19 restrictions or extreme weather.
Holyrood transport minister Michael Matheson said: “The construction of the A92/A96 Haudagain improvement project is progressing.
“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the measures to combat the impact of the pandemic, as confirmed in the recent publication of the Infrastructure Investment Plan in December 2020 completion has changed from the original published date of spring 2021 and is now anticipated in winter 2021.
“While this date is subject to any further impacts of the pandemic and unforeseen circumstances such as the effects of exceptional weather, Transport Scotland is working with the contractor to review the programme of work and identify any actions which may help to mitigate delays where possible.”
Meanwhile ministers have been urged to “come clean” over cost rises associated with any delays at the Aberdeen junction – amid fears the public could face an increased bill of millions of pounds because of the over-run.
Scottish Conservative candidate for Aberdeen Donside Harriet Cross said: “The SNP are burying their head in the sand with the cost projections of the Haudagain in the hope no one notices the increasing costs associated with the delays.
“It’s shocking and a slap in the face to the people of Aberdeen who have to deal with the ongoing disruption caused by these delays. They want to see this project finished as soon as possible but also want, and deserve, it to be value for money.
“I understand the impact of Covid but the project has been up and running for several months now – they can’t use that as a constant excuse for even more delays , especially given the disruption these are causing to those living and working in Aberdeen.
“Taxpayers were left millions of pounds out of pocket with the reckless spending that occurred for the AWPR and it seems like history will repeat itself with the Haudagain project.
“I’m calling on the SNP to do the decent thing and come clean about timescales and spending for the scheme.
“Motorists and residents in the likes of Bridge of Don and Woodside have had to wait 14 years for one of Europe’s worst roundabouts to finally be addressed – they don’t need another repeat of the out-of-control spending that has occurred in similar projects.”