Transport Scotland agrees settlement with two companies over construction of Aberdeen bypass

The Craibstone to Parkhill section was the final part of the bypass to open
The Craibstone to Parkhill section was the final part of the bypass to open
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Transport Scotland has avoided a litigation battle after agreeing a settlement with two companies responsible for the construction of a 36-mile bypass in Aberdeen.

Galliford Try and Balfour Beattie will each receive around £32 million to cover additional costs of constructing the £745 million Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR).

The bypass was fully opened in February, having initially been expected to be completed by spring 2018.

It was delayed by factors such as the weather and the collapse of construction firm Carillion, a partner in the project.

Announcing settlement terms, Galliford Try said it expects to receive a cash payment of around £32 million and incur a write-off of £52 million.

"The settlement brings to a conclusion a complex and challenging project, averting a lengthy and costly litigation process," the company said in a statement.

• READ MORE: Row over Aberdeen bypass cost as traffic finally able to use full length of road
"The settlement also removes a significant distraction and uncertainty, allowing the construction business to focus on its core business, current and new projects."

A Transport Scotland spokesman said it had reached a "strictly commercial settlement with no admission of liability by either party".

"The detailed terms of this settlement are now being developed between the parties as quickly as possible. Due to this ongoing legal discussion, it would be inappropriate to comment on the terms of the settlement at this time," he said.

"As the first anniversary of the full opening of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmedie to Tipperty project approaches, it is important to recognise the transformational effect this project has had on people's daily lives in the north east, as evidenced through the widespread public support for the completed project.

"These effects have been seen in reduced and more reliable journey times; reduced congestion and hence improved public transport reliability as well as opportunities for future service expansion; and more people experiencing improved air quality and lowered levels of road traffic noise.

"Overall, the benefits of the project are plain for everyone to see, as it improves quality of life and supports the wider economy as a whole."