>> 20 December 2009

Aberdeenshire councillors representing communities along the A90 have dismissed comments from anti-Aberdeen bypass campaigners Road Sense and Friends of the Earth attempting to link the AWPR with climate change.

Councillor Rob Merson (Ellon & District) and Councillor Stephen Smith (Peterhead South & Cruden) have dismissed claims from anti-bypass groups that the AWPR will cause Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils to miss their own targets on emissions.

Commenting, Councillor Rob Merson said:

"The objectors to this essential project are entitled to their point of view but it is arrant nonsense to suggest that the AWPR will lead to local councils missing their emissions reductions targets.

"The AWPR will reduce traffic congestion in the city. It will result in 20 per cent less traffic at the Haudagain Roundabout alone. Having traffic idling at traffic lights or in congestion in the city only leads to more emissions, not less.

"Indeed, the carbon impact of the AWPR will be many times less than that of the global climate change conference which was held last week!

"Many of the objectors to the AWPR did not even have an AB postal code and have cost the taxpayer many millions of pounds for the public enquiry and for the delay they have caused in moving this project forward."

Peterhead South & Cruden councillor Stephen Smith added:

"The AWPR will be welcomed by my constituents in Peterhead and elsewhere in the North-east as a long-overdue investment in Europe's energy capital.

"Businesses in my ward have had to suffer too long with the bottleneck that is Aberdeen city centre when transporting their goods south. This project is good news for the whole North-east and is vital in moving the regional economy forward, so I hope that the go ahead is given very soon."

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