How roads are built.

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closeupprotest.jpgOur friends at the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route Inquiry bring reports of yesterday's events. First, as discussed here, the Reporter decided to ignore his responsibilities under European law, thus exposing the taxpayer to the risk of judicial review should Ministers decide to build the road. 

Oh, wait, they've already decided.

Then the consultant from Jacobs took the stand. He first admitted that the road's objectives were changed to include traffic relief on the A90 after the route was selected. So you choose your route, then select your objectives? Sentence first, then trial!

He also confirmed that the route layout at Kingcausie was wrong because "of a simple mixup between East and West". These people are in charge of a massive bulldozer and are about to be let loose on the Aberdeenshire countryside. Reassured? Me too.

Despite supposedly being the lead consultants on the route, it also transpired they were told about the hybrid route which Tavish foisted on Aberdeenshire just 30 minutes before the press release went out. He will have loved the front page of yesterday's P&J - this headline, slating him, above a massive pic of protesters

Finally, many of the local community support a tunnel, some seeing it as a positive project and some on the basis that it would be less worse than the AWPR. Jacobs looked at the tunnel, and we'd always been told there was a report from them which it wasn't viable. 

Astonishingly, when pressed on the nature of this report, Galbraith admitted it was "more like a few chaps around a table with a sketch who took a look and said, 'I don't think that'll work'."

I leave a review of this extraordinary statement to "Bystander", one of our pals at the Inquiry.

"So there you have it; Jacobs' definition of a report. I hope all you people in industry and commerce are taking note. Were any other 'reports' from Jacobs like that? Were the few chaps on their second or third bottle? When you are next in a town-centre pub, have a close look at the beer mats- one of them may well have the 'report' of the Murtle tunnel on it."

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This page was published on September 11, 2008 9:39 AM.

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