Early start on Haudagain Roundabout upgrade is still being considered

Artist impression of the planned dual carriageway to bypass the Haudagain.

Transport chiefs have signalled that preparatory work is “progressing well” on a scheme to finally ease congestion at Aberdeen’s notorious Haudagain roundabout.

It was revealed last night that procurement is “well under way” on the £30million upgrade of the pinch-point in the Middlefield area of the city,

The reassurances were offered after concerns were expressed about the impact of a potential delay to the opening date for the city’s long-awaited western bypass.

A new link road has been proposed to take pressure off the busy roundabout, and work was due to start when the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) was completed this spring.

But the collapse of key contractor Carillion has cast doubt over the opening date for the bypass, leading north-east MSP Peter Chapman to warn yesterday of “further delays” to the Haudagain scheme.

The Scottish Conservative said: “The Balmedie-Tipperty section of the AWPR was supposed to be open to traffic last spring, and that has still not happened, and we are just a few months away from the overall completion date.

“Businesses and commuters want certainty on when this project will be finished. There is also the issue of the Haudagain upgrade in Aberdeen.

“Work to address congestion at that notorious bottleneck won’t start until the AWPR is complete.

“That means further delays – not just to the bypass, but to the very important work within the city as well.”

Mr Chapman added: “People in the north-east have been waiting for a long time for these improvements, and it is high time the government gave us a clear idea of when we can expect work to come to an end.”

However, Transport Scotland insisted last night that the Haudagain work was already moving forward.

A sppokesman said: “We are continuing to work closely with Aberdeen Roads Limited to identify any impacts on delivery following Carillion’s announcement earlier this year. We will then consider the necessary mitigation that may arise as a consequence of this issue, if required.

“The main construction work on the A90/A96 Haudagain Improvement Project is planned to get under way following the opening of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route. Work to bring Haudagain forward is progressing well, with the procurement well under way.

“Opportunities are being considered to prepare the site in advance of the main construction.”