>> 30 October 2009

SNP councillor for Ellon & District Rob Merson has welcomed the statement in Parliament from the Minister for Transport that he expects to conclude consideration of the Reporters' findings and recommendations from the AWPR public inquiry by the end of this year.

Commenting, Councillor Rob Merson said:

"It is only right and proper that the Inquiry Reporters and the Scottish Government gave full and proper consideration to these concerns in the context of the inquiry, as a result of which, this was a substantial Public Inquiry which had to plough through the objections of more than 9000 people.

"However, from my point of view as a local councillor, the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route has been on the drawing board for decades and successive Tory, and Labour/Lib Dem governments have ignored this vital piece of infrastructure for the North-east. Now that we have a Scottish Government which recognises the importance of taking action on such matters, I want to see this project move forward as quickly as possible for the sake of my constituents and local businesses."

Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson said:

"We expect to conclude our consideration of the reporters' findings and recommendations this calendar year. The report is, of course, substantial, and reflects the concerns of more than 9,000 objectors.

"It is important that we ensure that we have a robust decision-making process that does not lead us into interminable court actions, as happened with the M74, which would compromise our ability to deliver this vital project at the earliest possible date."

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