Driv­ers stuck in miles of mis­ery

Trans­port: AECC con­trac­tor Robert­son Group tweak sets of traf­fic lights

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen) - - FRONT PAGE - BY KIERAN BEAT­TIE

CON­TRAC­TORS work­ing on the £333mil­lion Aberdeen Ex­hi­bi­tion and Con­fer­ence Cen­tre were forced to take ac­tion last night to save com­muters from hours of mis­ery.

Hun­dreds of mo­torists were caught up in three-mile tail­backs yes­ter­day morn­ing, due to the two-week clo­sure of Dyce Drive be­tween its junc­tion with Well­heads Drive and the A96 Aberdeen to In­verurie road.

At one point, traf­fic stretched all the way from Dyce Drive to be­yond the Mur­dos round­about on North An­der­son Drive.

Last night, AECC con­trac­tor Robert­son Group ad­justed the traf­fic lights at the A96 to re­duce con­ges­tion, but mo­torists were still fac­ing lengthy queues.

Con­trac­tors work­ing on the new £333mil­lion Aberdeen Ex­hi­bi­tion and Con­fer­ence Cen­tre (AECC) were forced to take ac­tion last night to spare com­muters mis­ery on their run home.

Hun­dreds of mo­torists were caught up in tail­backs as they headed into Aberdeen yes­ter­day morn­ing, due to the clo­sure of Dyce Drive.

The busy road has closed for two weeks, be­tween its junc­tion with Well­heads Drive and the A96 Aberdeen to In­verurie road, while work on the new AECC pro­gresses.

Some driv­ers were spend­ing more than an

“We ap­pre­ci­ate road users’ frus­tra­tion and apol­o­gise”

hour get­ting from one side of the traf­fic jam to the other – with re­ports that traf­fic stretched from Dyce Drive to be­yond Mur­dos round­about on North An­der­son Drive – while buses were de­layed by up to 40 minutes as they tried to get to the Hauda­gain round­about.

Ques­tions were raised over why the clo­sure could not have taken place dur­ing the up­com­ing school hol­i­days.

And last night, in a des­per­ate at­tempt to avoid the lengthy queues, the Robert­son Group – the main con­trac­tor be­hind the AECC – made the de­ci­sion to al­ter the traf­fic lights in the area to help mo­torists get through the con­ges­tion.

It had been claimed by one frus­trated mo­torist that the lights at the A96 junc­tion were chang­ing every eight sec­onds dur­ing the morn­ing rush.

Joe McMe­namin, project di­rec­tor for Robert­son said: “We ap­pre­ci­ate road users’ frus­tra­tion and apol­o­gise for the in­con­ve­nience caused.

“The road­works are nec­es­sary as part of the on­go­ing AECC con­struc­tion pro­gramme and are sched­uled to last for two weeks.

“Our roads team is closely mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion and ad­just­ments have been made to the traf­fic light sys­tem which should im­prove the flow of traf­fic.

“How­ever, de­lays are still pos­si­ble and we would ad­vise mo­torists to seek al­ter­na­tive routes when trav­el­ling to the air­port.”

Ac­cess to the air­port is still pos­si­ble from Dyce Drive, and the link roads at Craib­stone and Well­heads drive.

A spokes­woman for Trans­port Scot­land said Bear Scot­land was li­ais­ing with Aberdeen City Coun­cil to help im­prove the sit­u­a­tion fur­ther.

Aberdeen Don­side MSP Mark McDon­ald said: “I have heard a lot from my friends in Dyce about their dif­fi­cul­ties with the traf­fic.

“I think that given that we are only two weeks away from the school hol­i­days, it strikes me as a bit odd that a ma­jor route which serves many places of work was closed off now, when per­haps a lit­tle bit of reschedul­ing could have led to less dis­rup­tion.

“But it’s for the con­trac­tors to de­ter­mine whether they could have per­haps looked at that.”

He con­tin­ued: “Com­muters who were im­pacted by the traf­fic to­day would do well to con­sider tak­ing al­ter­na­tive routes or per­haps us­ing pub­lic trans­port, as we are well served in Dyce, par­tic­u­larly with the rail sta­tion.

“How­ever, of course in some cases it may be that the car is the only way that some peo­ple have to get to and from work, so it would be ad­vis­able to con­sider plan­ning ahead for the longer jour­ney times that will re­sult from these road works.”

The new AECC is sched­uled for com­ple­tion by 2019, and will fea­ture a 12,500-ca­pac­ity arena with three ex­hi­bi­tion halls.

ROAD TO NOWHERE: Dyce Drive clo­sure caused a tail­back to the Hauda­gain round­about yes­ter­day

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