2024 now likely date for CTLR completion
PKC says ongoing pandemic has hit work schedule
Perth and Kinross Council has admitted the new Cross Tay Link Road will not be fully built until at least 2024 after it was challenged to come up with a more“realistic”completion date.
Bridgend, Gannochy and Kinnoull Community Council (BGKCC) said the local authority ought to formally revise an earlier prediction the route would be finished by 2023 in its response to a company’s planning application to build a new 77-bed care home on Perth’s Dundee Road.
The group questioned whether the earlier date was now achievable in its objection to the care home proposal going ahead as planned after noting it was mentioned in a transport assessment accompanying the bid.
The document said: “The CTLR, promoted by PKC, is scheduled for delivery by 2023. The CTLR has been designed to reduce traffic flows on the A85, and should therefore provide capacity on the local road network for further development.”
BGKCC also questioned whether PKC was best placed to check the findings of the traffic study, which concluded any extra vehicle movements associated with the development would have an “imperceptible” impact on the local road network.
The group claimed the council could have a potential conflict of interest in accepting the conclusions of the transport assessment as it was completed by SYSTRA, an engineering and consultancy group who PKC pays hundreds of thousands of pounds a year to do its traffic modelling.
Details of invoices paid by PKC over the last three years seen by the PA, show it paid SYSTRA £249,441 in 2017/18, another £273,260 in 2019/20 and a further £377,473 in 2019/20.
A council spokesperson has since said, however, that any claim of a conflict of interest in accepting studies from SYSTRA “would be incorrect”.
BGKCC said in its objection: “The study claims that the [CTLR] will be in place by 2023. This is no longer a realistic date and PKC needs to formally update this status. Indeed, we need to confront the possibility that this link will not be constructed in the foreseeable future.
“PKC must also admit the reality that the CTLR will not fully ease the congestion on the east side of the river.”
Their objection added: “The report states that peak hour traffic will only increase by three per cent, which is deemed to be trivial. Unfortunately, when one adds up all [the] trivial traffic additions associated with our local developments, you arrive at a large increment. This point is never acknowledged.”
A PKC spokesperson told the PA: “The CTLR has been shown as having both a significant impact on overall traffic levels within Perth city centre and a marked improvement on the road network in and around the Bridgend area. Changes in traffic and road usage as a result of the coronavirus pandemic are being closely monitored for any indications of longerterm trends that may happen.
“The overall CTLR programme has shifted, due primarily to the impact of the ongoing pandemic with completion now anticipated in 2024. At this time there is no indication to suggest this will not be achieved. The tender process is underway for stage one of the contract (detailed design and advance works), with stage two (construction) planned to start in 2022.”
The spokesperson added: “It is entirely reasonable for any developer to appoint consultants as they see fit to carry out specific tasks. As a council we will encourage any consultant to use the traffic model, where it is deemed appropriate, given that it has been previously validated by council officers.
“It is also standard practice to take into account the cumulative impact of other anticipated changes on the road network when considering applications put before us.
“In terms of the specific application, the supporting information has used the traffic model as advised. However, this material is assessed and considered only by the council and not any other part of SYSTRA, so suggesting any conflict of interest exists here would be incorrect.”