Tue 7 May, 2013

Responding to the announcement of a funding agreement between the Scottish Government and Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils for the near-£1billion city bypass scheme, Scottish Greens say ministers' figures are pure fantasy.

Ministers claim the scheme will create 14,000 jobs without saying how that figure has been calculated, and they state that the councils' share of the cost will be capped at £75 million each.

MSP Patrick Harvie, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, said:

"The quoted cost of this road is nowhere near the true cost. For the affected councils the financing charges mean they may end up paying much more than their share of the construction cost.

"Then there is the cost of the extra carbon emissions, the disruptions to lives and businesses along the route and the loss of countryside and farmland. There are so many ways this money could be better spent on public transport or other services that people need."

Aberdeenshire Green Party councillor Martin Ford said:

"£75 million is clearly a colossal amount of money by council standards. It is significantly more than 9.5 per cent of the £535 million current estimated remaining construction cost of the AWPR.

"Aberdeenshire Council will have up to £75 million less to spend on other services - things we really need like new schools or better public transport.

The AWPR and Balmedie-Tipperty A90 upgrade is £745m in total. The councils are only liable for the AWPR, which is £653m. £118m has already been spent and paid for according to the agreed funding split. Of the remaining £535m the councils have to pay 9.5 per cent, which is £50m, much less than the £75m cap referred to.

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