Roadworks on horizon to unblock bottleneck

HOPES were raised yesterday of finally ridding Scotland's roads network of one of it major pinch points - the notorious bottleneck at the Haudagain roundabout in Aberdeen.

The Institute of Directors has warned that congestion at the roundabout in the north west of the Granite City is costing the local economy between 15 million and 30m a year as a result of severe traffic delays at peak periods.

And local business leaders, headed by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, recently claimed that delays to transport projects in the North east, including the Haudagain bottleneck and the Aberdeen bypass, were jeopardising Scotland's future economic prosperity. They called on transport minister Stewart Stevenson to do whatever he can "within his remit and sphere of influence" to tackle the delays head-on.

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The Haudagain roundabout is the meeting point for two major strategic roads in the area - the A96 Aberdeen to Inverness and the A90 Aberdeen to Peterhead - and traffic queues can reach more than a mile in length during rush hour periods.

Yesterday Mr Stevenson announced that he had decided to adopt proposals to improve the junction.

These will involve the construction of a new dual lane link road through the Middlefield area of the city for traffic approaching the roundabout from the south and turning west, and for traffic approaching from the west and turning south. The link road will connect North Anderson Drive, the southern arm of the roundabout, with Auchmill Road, the western arm.

But Mr Stevenson has also stressed that construction work on the roundabout project will not begin until the completion of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, a major project in the region which has been further delayed by the threat of a legal challenge by protesters from the pressure group Roadsense.

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