MSP urges Transport Scotland to take action on AWPR pedestrian safety

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A north-east MSP has demanded action over the “real alarm” over the impact of the AWPR on users of the Deeside Way.

The walkway, that leads along the north bank of the river from Aberdeen to Ballater, crosses the path of the new bypass.

In 2014 Transport Scotland held a community engagement session in Peterculter village hall regarding the AWPR project and showcased a design of a proposed crossing, which included a footpath promising the community a safe space.

And in 2016 residents of Cults, Bieldside and Milltimber rallied together to urge Aberdeen City Council to ensure a planned pedestrian bridge would be built.

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Lewis Macdonald

The path has still not been constructed two years later, with Mr Macdonald claiming that the area where it was meant to be built is currently “ploughed up.”

Lewis Macdonald has now written to Michael Matheson, cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity, to raise concerns about how the path’s users will be affected.

He said: “As a result of the new AWPR, a short but critical stretch of the Deeside Way has been removed and users have been diverted along the side of the B979 and then onto the bridge at Milltimber Brae.

“The nature of this diversion has caused real alarm among users to the Deeside Way.”

He told him: “My constituents highlight that this is a very busy road, with no permanent signs approaching the crossing point on the B979 to warn drivers that there could be pedestrians and cyclists crossing ahead.”

The MSP has now urged the Scottish Parliament, and Transport Scotland, to start work on the path.

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “We can confirm that there is a commitment to extend the footway on the east side of Milltimber Brae, down to the existing Deeside Way crossing point on the B979 Milltimber Brae.

Thousands mark completion of major stretch of AWPR with party on road

“This element of work falls outwith the scope of the AWPR/B-T project and is therefore being procured by alternative means.

“We are currently working with the local authority to enable this work to be carried out at the earliest opportunity.

“Once the AWPR/B-T is open to traffic, a significant reduction in traffic volume is expected, making local roads safer and more efficient for pedestrians and cyclists.

“The number of HGVs using the B979 is expected to reduce substantially.”

Lower Deeside councillor Marie Boulton recognised the concerns of local people.

She said: “Not having a timescale is not acceptable and I am continuing to chase a date for the work to be completed.”