Perthshire Advertiser

2024 now likely date for CTLR completion

PKC says ongoing pandemic has hit work schedule

- PAUL CARGILL

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.”

 ??  ?? Route The Cross Tay Link Road is now scheduled for completion no earlier than 2024
Route The Cross Tay Link Road is now scheduled for completion no earlier than 2024

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