Company awarded £9 million contract to complete detailed designs of the long-discussed Cross Tay Link Road

By Paul Cargill

Perth and Kinross Council has finally awarded a company a contract to complete the design of the long-discussed Cross Tay Link Road.

But the detail of it suggests it could be at least another year before contractors actually make a start on the scheme.

A contract award notice was published last week showing the local authority has selected Glasgow-based civil engineers working for BAM Nutall to draw up detailed designs for the planned link road connecting the A9 to the A93 and A94 north of Scone.

The notice says PKC will pay the Camberley-headquartered company over £9.2 million to complete the designs as well as carry out unspecified “advance works” on the scheme, taking the total it has spent on progressing the project so far to around £14.5 million.

The PA learned the contract had been agreed the same week senior politicians in Perthshire were at odds over whether the scheme would go ahead as planned amid uncertainty over the details of a power-sharing deal agreed between the SNP and the Scottish Greens at Holyrood.

Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser was quoted as saying the scheme could be “consigned to the dustbin” under the deal as a result of the latter party’s opposition to further road building projects being approved in Scotland out of concern for the environment.

However he was then contradicted the same week by Perth and Kinross Council leader Murray Lyle who insisted the project was “on target” and again stressed the economic benefits of the scheme.

Mr Fraser was reported as saying: “Ten years of planning have gone into the project. But they could all be consigned to the dustbin if the Greens have their way.”

However Mr Lyle was also reported as saying: “I’m not anticipating anything getting in the way because of the Green deal. It’s already been signed through government. We’re well down the road and on target with the project.”

But according to the contract award notice published for stage one of the project on the Public Contracts Scotland website last week, it could be at least another year before PKC awards a second contract for the actual construction of the CTLR.

Earlier this year PKC admitted it had already pushed back its estimated completion date for the project a full year from 2023 to 2024 after it was challenged to come up with a more “realistic” date by a local community council.

The contract notice reads: “The contract consists of two stages with stage one being early contractor involvement involving detailed design and advance works.

“It will take approximately one year to complete. The contract value of stage one is £9,224,170.98.

“Stage two will be awarded on the completion of stage one and consists of the construction of the scheme.

“A contract award notice will be issued following award of stage two.”

The PA approached PKC for comment about the contract award and its latest estimated completion date for the CTLR but received no official remarks before yesterday’s print deadline.

Asked separately if the contract award for stage one including “advance works” could see embargoes currently restricting the amount of housing that can be built on allocated sites around Perth being lifted, a spokesperson only referred back to conditions applied to various live planning consents.

Conditions attached to consents for housing at sites near Luncarty and Scone said no more than 100 houses will be allowed to be occupied until construction of the CTLR has started.

Perth-based housebuilders A and J Stephen was given permission in principle to build up to 700 new homes north of Scone in May 2017 and a further 650 south of Luncarty in February 2018.


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