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MP FOR GORDON, ALEX SALMOND, HAILS SNP EFFORTS TO RESOLVE DECADES OF TRAFFIC PROBLEMS AT A96 INVERAMSAY BRIDGE

MP for Gordon, Alex Salmond, visited the upgraded site which includes 1.5km of new road, and a new bridge enabling the A96 trunk road to be realigned over the Aberdeen to Inverness railway. An underpass has also been incorporated into the upgrade to allow for more efficient farm access.

A notorious bottleneck, the route has was popularly known as being one of the worst areas for delays in the North East of Scotland.

The new bridges will dramatically improve the reliability of journey times. 

Commenting on the new bridge, Mr Salmond said: 

"This is a great step forward for infrastructure in the North East of Scotland. I inspected the new route today and contractors and workers should be congratulated for bringing this project forward on time and within budget. 

"In the 50 years since the discovery of North Sea Oil the Tories ran Scottish roads for 22 years and Labour for twenty, eight of these hand in glove with the Liberals. In that entire time they did not build a single centimetre of the AWPR while bottlenecks like the Inveramsay Bridge were an embarrassment to the North East.

"Indeed, the Liberals represented this area for over 30 years with no action whatsoever on Inveramsay. 

"Now after nine years of SNP Government we can see the AWPR take shape before our eyes in one of the greatest road investments in Scottish history. The new Inveramsay Bridge is nearing completion and the route to Ellon has been prioritised in the building of the AWPR. These investments are transformational for transport in our corner.

"That is a legacy of achievement of which the SNP can be proud just as our opponents should be ashamed of their years of negligence.

"However, the SNP have shown yet again, that a proactive approach is the only way to solve issues like those which have plagued motorists at the Inveramsie Bridge. 

"I am fully confident that road-users will immediately feel the benefits of the upgrades, and they are but part of the SNP's wider transport plans for the North-East." 

MSP for Aberdeenshire West, Dennis Robertson, who was also in attendance added: 

“These improvements will be hugely beneficial to those who live and travel in Aberdeenshire West. The new route will see reduced congestion and an end to unnecessary delays, and I am sure will be warmly welcomed by those who regularly use the A96, both for personal and business reasons.
 
“The project proves the commitment of the SNP Scottish Government to improving infrastructure throughout the North East, and I am delighted to see it finished within this Parliamentary term.”
 

In a previous statement, Transport Minister Derek Mackay MSP added:

“For years drivers and local communities who use this section of the A96 have endured delays to their journeys with this bottleneck earning notoriety as one of the worst in the country. The old rail bridge was simply not fit for purpose and is why the Scottish Government committed to tackling a unique set of engineering challenges to help bring the A96 at this location up to 21st century standards.

“We wanted to ensure drivers and local communities who have waited patiently for the upgrade feel the benefits at the earliest opportunity, so I'm delighted that in just a few hours time, they will get the green light to drive on the new road.

“Inversamsay, which is on time and on budget, is emblematic of our wider commitment to delivering transport improvements right across the region."

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS 

An audio clip from Transport Minister Derek Mackay is availabe at: https://audioboom.com/transcotland

The new road is planned to open under traffic management with a 30mph speed restriction, to allow tie-in, bridge parapet and other offline works to be completed in the coming weeks by the contractor, Balfour Beatty. Finishing works are subject to weather conditions.

Traffic management is required to ensure the safety of road users and construction workers.

The £10.2 million Inveramsay Bridge improvement delivers approximately 1.5km of new road, including a new bridge that will carry the A96 trunk road over the Aberdeen to Inverness railway. Local businesses and communities will benefit from the improvements with congestion removed at the bridge and traffic able to flow freely along the route. Delivery of this scheme will also benefit the economy with improved journey time reliability.

For further information on the A96 Inveramsay project, please visit: http://www.transport.gov.scot/project/a96-inveramsay-bridge

A full transcript of Transport Minister Derek Mackay's statement on March 17 can be found below.

Transport Minister Derek MacKay, who visited the site today to see the final touches being put in place, said:

“For years drivers and local communities who use this section of the A96 have endured delays to their journeys with this bottleneck earning notoriety as one of the worst in the country. The old rail bridge was simply not fit for purpose and is why the Scottish Government committed to tackling a unique set of engineering challenges to help bring the A96 at this location up to 21st century standards.

“We wanted to ensure drivers and local communities who have waited patiently for the upgrade feel the benefits at the earliest opportunity, so I’m delighted that in just a few hours time, they will get the green light to drive on the new road.

“Inversamsay, which is on time and on budget, is emblematic of our wider commitment to delivering transport improvements right across the region.

"The 58km £745 million Aberdeen bypass is on schedule to open to traffic in winter 2017, preparatory work is ongoing which will allow us to start construction of an upgraded Haudagain roundabout on completion of the new bypass, and early design and assessment work to dual the full length of the A96 from Aberdeen to Inverness is making good headway. We are also investing £170 million to strengthen rail infrastructure between both cities to help make journeys shorter, more frequent and more comfortable, and have committed £200m through the City Deal to upgrade the rail line between Aberdeen and the central belt. We have also invested in more trains which will mean from 2018 more local rail services across the north east rail network, and faster, more frequent links from Aberdeen to the central belt."

Mr Mackay added:

“We are determined to transform transport infrastructure right across the region and this much needed improvement here at Inveramsay Bridge underlines that the Scottish Government is getting on and doing just that.”