The pressure group Road Sense has lost its appeal against the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR), a new £400 million road designed to bypass congested roads in Aberdeen by routing through traffic to the west of the city. 

The group had argued that local people were not given the opportunity to challenge the plans during the public enquiry and raised concerns about the environmental impact of the new road.  However on Wednesday the Court of Session in Edinburgh rejected the appeal, allowing the development to go ahead.

The Scottish government had approved the new route in 2009, despite vocal objections from some local residents and environmental groups.  William Walton, from the protest group Road Sense, took his fight to the courts last year, but his case was rejected by judges.  Mr Walton then appealed to the Court of Session.

Rejecting the appeal, Lord Clarke of the Court of Session stated in a written judgement: “It seems to us that, on the basis of the information before the court, the reclaimer [Mr Watson] has been an implacable opponent to the AWPR from its inception and by himself, and previously also through the agency of an organisation with which he was closely connected, has sought to resist it at every opportunity and on whatever ground appeared to be open to be argued.”

Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “We welcome today’s Court of Session judgment in relation to the further appeal against the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route.  The Scottish Government remain totally committed to the AWPR being built as soon as possible and we are pleased that we can now move forward with this project which is vital to the future prosperity of the north east and Scotland as a whole.

“In August 2011, Lord Tyre refused the challenges against the AWPR and now yet again the Court of Session has refused the subsequent appeal.  It is hoped that the small number of objectors opposed to the AWPR will be willing to accept the decision of the Court of Session, so that we can get on and build the road.”

Anne Robertson, leader of Aberdeenshire Council, said: “I am delighted with today’s decision.  The AWPR is of major strategic importance to the north-east and we are keen to see the project progress as quickly as possible.  We are conscious that further routes of appeal remain, however, and we will await the outcome of the statutory processes.”

Local MSP Maureen Watt also welcomed the decision of the Court of Session.  Ms Watt, the SNP MSP for Aberdeen South and Kincardine, said:

“The majority of people in the North East will welcome this decision today, which brings the construction of the AWPR that bit closer.

“This important infrastructure project for Aberdeen was given the go-ahead in 2009 and the legitimacy of that decision has now been scrutinised and tested thoroughly in the courts. I hope that the objectors to the scheme will accept today’s outcome at the Court of Session and allow construction to go ahead as soon as possible.

“The AWPR is an essential link in the transport infrastructure of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, which will help to maximise our growth potential and future economic success.  I look forward to seeing work on this vital project begin soon.”


2012-03-01 07:51

What’s the betting Non Sense will try to find a human rights angle and take it to the UK Supreme Court? As we are being stuck with their legal fees they have absolutely no reason to stop their ever more desperate manoeuvres.
2012-03-01 10:18

It is completely outrageous that a handful of people can delay a major public infrastructure project in such a way and as you point out Holebender at great expense to the public purse.
I am certain that as usual a great deal of self interest motivates these people and has little to do with environmental impact or anything else which is in the public interest.
If they are allowed to take this to the court in london (at our expense again) we can expect further delays.
Maybe Donald Trump might even fund them if they were somehow to contrive a link between the proposed bypass and windmills.
Our planning process is in dire need of overhaul to prevent this sort of thing happening again.
People are entitled to object but must not be allowed to cause the sort of lengthy delays we have seen here.
2012-03-01 12:12

I agree bringiton – the folk of Aberdeen and the NE have needed this road for years. Edinburgh and Glasgow have bypasses, why is Aberdeen any different?
Edna Caine
2012-03-01 21:35

megsmaw –

And Dundee has had one since the 1930s!
2012-03-01 22:44

I forgot about Dundee there! Daft really since we have to use the bypass to get up to Fraserburgh. I cannot imagine the gridlock Dundee would have if it wasn’t there.

2012-03-01 12:27

It is scandalous that you can drive from the south coast of England to the southern outskirts of Aberdeen on motorway/dual carriageway the entire way but as soon as you reach the Aberdeen City limit you are forced to drive through the city on normal streets. And all roads north and west of Aberdeen are beyond parody.

All this in the area which has been one of the biggest contributors to the UK’s economy over the past 40 years. By the time the bypass is ready the oil will be gone!
2012-03-01 15:39

I know 2.5 hrs from Glagow to Aberdeen and then another hour or more to get to the North end of town 🙁

Why we are paying the fees of objectors is beyond me. The were awarded a cash limit exposure last time – it should not happen again. Those North of Aberdeen including Peterhead and Fraserburgh need this by-pass.
2012-03-01 16:14

I think Peterhead and Fraserburgh could do with a rail link to Aberdeen too. Would save them time and money re: taking the bus/car into Aberdeen for work/uni/shopping.

2012-03-01 12:37

Walton should be paying for this.
Aberdeen should have had a bypass 30 years ago, the roads are grid locked at rush hour, even outwith rush hour.
A so called oil capital!
2012-03-01 15:45

I suppose you would all be shouting for them to get on with it if it was going to be built 30ft outside your living room window.

Walton and Road-Sense have done nothing more that follow due procedure AND the law. People have a right to appeal against these things and that right is there for a reason.

In this particular case the reason is that Tavish Scott and Transport Scotland bent or broke practically every rule in the planning book and since then the authorities have tried to bulldoze the project through regardless. Had Tavish done things properly in the first place we wouldn’t be in the position we are in.

As one of those whose property is severely affected by the road I can tell you now that I am very grateful for what Willaim Walton has done. I am not the only one either. Because of the cack handed and potentially illegal way that Tavish Scott and Transport Scotland have tried to steamroller myself and the others who are affected we WILL take the case as far as we possibly can – hopefully now on to the Supreme Court where we might at last get an unbiased and fair hearing.

We certainly haven’t had that yet in Scotland. This is not a good sign for the independent Scotland I want, one where fairness and justice actually mean something and are not just things to be cast aside by those with vested interests.

And, by the way, you are all going to be very dissapointed with this road if it goes ahead. It will NOT do what it says on the tin and will make little or no difference to the traffic in Aberdeen. it will also cost a lot more than is being admitted to. Your grandchildren will still be paying for it.
2012-03-01 17:05

I don’t disagree that Tavish and his buddy Nicole made a complete bollox of the whole thing, but that doesn’t alter the fact that Aberdeen needs a bypass (and the Haudagain Roundabout needs a small nuclear device planted in the middle of it).

And it’ll cost a lot more than initially stated because of all the delays your endless appeals have caused, so I wouldn’t be shouting too loudly about that if I were you!
2012-03-01 22:32

Roadsense have never disagreed that Aberdeen needs a bypass. They are just disagreeing with the bypass that Tavish is imposing on us – in our view illegally.

Roadsense hasn’t caused the delays, Tavish Scott and Transport Scotland have.

2012-03-01 17:50

Not sure if your issue is with the planning process or the fact that the bypass will directly affect your property.
If it is the latter,then you should definitely consider taking legal action against the solicitor who handled the purchase of your property.It has been known for a very long time that the bypass was going to be built in roughly the area where it is now proposed so should have been pointed out to you at the time of purchase.
If the planning process has been mishandled then,of course,this should be brought to public attention so that similar problems can be avoided in future.
2012-03-01 22:39

My issue is both with the planning process and with the fact that I will lose somewhere between 30-40% of the value of my property, not to mention our environment.

We have lived her for over 20 years, long before Tavish Scott came along.

If Transport Scotland had offered us a decent price for our property we would probably have moved on and saved ourselves a great deal of grief and expense. They cynically planned the route to avoid taking any of our land, so they don’t have to compensate or offer compulsory purchase.

As it stands we have no choice to fight this all the way, and I will fight it all the way to the European Court if need be.

What Tavish did was WRONG. What is being done to those affected by ther road is WRONG. It’s that simple.

2012-03-01 20:58


“and will make little or no difference to the traffic in Aberdeen”

You lost all credability with that remark. The heavy road haulage traffic alone would make a diffenence – I would not be surprised to see a 50 – 60% plus drop in total traffic in the town centre.
2012-03-01 22:50

No I didn’t clootie, and time will prove me right. You will be lucky to see a 10% reduction in traffic in Aberdeen.

The road and its poor access/exit points are far too far west to make a significant difference. The choice of route was made for political reasons, not for good road planning reasons and that will affect its efficacy.

2012-03-01 21:04

So all the traffic from Inverurie, Peterhead etc will not benefit at all from the bypass, I will still take an hour to get from the south of Aberdeen to Bucksburn? Close one road in Aberdeen and the whole city grinds to a halt, the bypass will give an alternative and I am sure that it will be used and appreciated by those of us who have to travel through Aberdeen to destinations beyond.
2012-03-01 22:45

Don’t disagree peter, we all know a bypass is needed. Roadsense has never said anything contrary to that.

What I will not accept is the way Tavish Scott, Transport Scotland and now the Scottish Government and legal system totally ignored all process, protocol and law and are attempting to steamrtoller us all into submission.

I guarentee if you were in my shoes you would fight it all the way too.

edinburgh quine
2012-03-02 10:54

Wow, what an excellent debate. Having tried on a few occasions to fight my way through Aberdeen traffic I can see the sense of a bypass.

I do believe a centre for people with learning difficulties was/is in danger which cant be a good thing. Also, I cant help agreeing with X-Sticks Manys the time I’ve travelled on a motorway (usually in england) and been able to look into second-storey windows of folks homes they are so close to said motorway. Not a happy thought. Perhaps there should be compensation for people who bought homes in quiet areas and find their peace is permanently disrupted.

I dont know the geography well enough to comment on the rights and wrongs of the route but surely, surely there is a compromise somewhere.

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