A major milestone for the Berryden Corridor Improvement Project has been reached as Scottish Ministers have given their go-ahead for Aberdeen City Council to progress with the compulsory purchase order for the project.
The project will be a major upgrade to the city’s roads network as Berryden Road and nearby roads operate beyond capacity leading to significant congestion and journey time delays, particularly at peak times. It will improve the efficiency of the road, cycleway and pavement network through improving journey time reliability, relieving congestion, and improving infrastructure for walking and cycling.
Now, Transport Scotland is writing to people and organisations which took part in a public local inquiry in February regarding the compulsory purchase order to inform them of the decision which permits the City Council to acquire the land required for the improvements, it said.
Last August, planning permission was given for formation of a section of the road with associated footways, cycle tracks, street lighting, drainage, landscaping, earthworks and associated works for the section from Kittybrewster/St Machar roundabout to Ashgrove Road.
Aberdeen City Council transport spokesperson Councillor Sandra Macdonald said: “This is fantastic news for the Berryden Corridor Improvement Project and is a significant step forward. This project which will help journey time reliability, relieve congestion, and improve infrastructure for walking and cycling, and is part of a wider scheme for improving the roads network across the city. I look forward to the next stage of the project.”
A timescale for the construction of the Berryden Corridor Improvement Project is due to be considered at a committee meeting in August.
The Berryden Corridor Improvement Project involves widening the existing road and junction improvements between Skene Square and Ashgrove Road, and the construction of a new section of road between Ashgrove Road and Kittybrewster roundabout adding more than 1.7miles of additional lane capacity in total. The improved section of road would have traffic light junctions instead of roundabouts, except for the Kittybrewster/St Machar roundabout which will remain.
Once complete, the project will provide more than 10 new pedestrian crossings, about one mile of additional pavements, and more than two miles of new cycle tracks, all aimed at encouraging people to walk and cycle more.
The improved road will build on the benefits gained from the opening of Diamond Bridge, which has about 12,000 vehicles going over it daily, relieving congestion at the Bridge of the Don and the Haudagain roundabout, while further improving connections within the city.
The submissions to the inquiry were supported by various assessments including those considering noise, flooding, ecology and heritage implications and proposals for mitigation. The submitted traffic modelling appraisal details the project will lead to increased traffic along the corridor however, there will be journey time reductions from 5% to 40% along the Corridor at the busiest times of day. Across the wider local area radiating from the Corridor, the traffic modelling indicates numbers of vehicles queueing will be lower, with peak period queueing reduced by from 7% to 20%.
In the letter to objectors, Transport Scotland confirmed the Scottish Ministers have accepted the reasoning, conclusions and recommendation of the inquiry’s Reporter which included the long term planning of proposals to improve the important transportation corridor at and around Berryden Road, the raft of transportation and planning policies that support its completion, and the importance that the construction of the Berryden project would vastly reduce traffic congestion in the northern part of Aberdeen.
The Scottish Ministers said they have also taken into consideration the risk of increased congestion beyond the immediate Berryden corridor, extending from the A96 Great Northern Road southwards to the B986 at Skene Square, which would result if the project were not to be constructed. The Scottish Ministers have agreed that acquisition of the land by compulsory means is “proportionate and in the public interest”.
The Berryden Corridor Improvement Project is one of several major capital projects being undertaken by ACC as part of a £1billion transformational programme across the city, including the Diamond Bridge, the city bypass (AWPR B/T), the airport link road, the TECA complex, the Art Gallery, and the Music Hall.