9 January 2015

Embarrassment for Tory MSP Over Road-Dualling Call

North-east Tory MSP Nanette Milne suffered embarrassment today when it was revealed her call for “early work to commence to look into a feasibility study to dual the A90” made yesterday was, in fact, several months too late.

Statutory body NESTRANS – the North East of Scotland Transport Partnership – which is chaired by a member of the Tory-led administration of Aberdeenshire Council has already started the process of a feasibility study looking at transport links from Aberdeen into Buchan.

SNP councillors on Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee secured cross-party support for the feasibility study in 2013 and it then became council policy to press NESTRANS to take action and include it in their strategic plan. This culminated in a client group meeting in July 2014 consisting of NESTRANS, Transport Scotland, Aberdeen City Council and Tory-led Aberdeenshire Council, which issued a tender for the work involved in September, with consultants appointed to start work in November 2014. The feasibility study is expected to report later in 2015.

Commenting, Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson said:

“In their rush to try to make political capital out of the issue, the Tories have overlooked an important detail – work on a feasibility study into transport links from Aberdeen into Buchan actually started last year.

“NESTRANS is a statutory body and has responsibility for producing the strategic transport plan for the North-east. If NESTRANS don’t put it in their strategic plan, then it’s indicative that NESTRANS don’t regard it as a priority. It tells us something about the priorities of the Tory-led administration of Aberdeenshire Council that it took SNP councillors to push for this at a local level.

“Nanette Milne’s party had 18 years in government during which time they could have pressed ahead with dualling Balmedie to Tipperty or building the Aberdeen by-pass. The fact is, they did neither and it is hypocritical of them to now that it is the SNP in government pushing these things forward to complain about the A90 when the fact is that the initial study on this is already underway.”

Stewart Stevenson
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