Bypass is best solution to Ellon traffic problems

Scotia Homes director Derrick Thomson with Raymond and Susan Smith at this week's consultation.
Scotia Homes director Derrick Thomson with Raymond and Susan Smith at this week's consultation.

Developers planning a major housing development in Ellon claim that a bypass has emerged as the best solution to the town’s traffic congestion.

Scotia Homes say more than 80% of people who answered questions at a second consultation on the Cromleybank plans this week were in favour of a southern bypass option, rather than a new Ythan river crossing.

The company have maintained that the bypass would be the most effective means of easing traffic problems and highlighted this at a public consultation in October on the Cromleybank proposals for a 980-house development.

But local councillors later claimed that Scotia were not following the conditions of the land allocation in the local development plan, which states a second road bridge across the Ythan should be built.

Following Scotia’s first public display of plans, the council requested a more detailed consultation to look specifically at the bridge or bypass solutions.

Scotia then carried out further transportation assessments ahead of Monday’s public event in Ellon, when people were asked to vote on their preference after viewing options for both.

Out of 138 people who attended, 116 responded to the questions and 112 voted. 91 favoured the by-pass solution, 14 the bridge, three wanted neither and four had no preference.

Scotia director Derrick Thomson said: “Scotia now hope that this outcome and the detailed traffic assessments clearly demonstrates that the bypass is the preferred and best long-term solution for Ellon including the 980 new houses at Cromleybank.

“Scotia hope that we can now move forward with our master-plan with the best solution in place as the bypass remains the only solution that is in the control of the developer, is a viable means of reducing traffic crossing through Ellon and is deliverable.

“The bridge offers limited long-term benefit and would still require the usage of large amounts of taxpayers’ money to compulsory purchase pieces of land in the town and at the river crossing point which are not under the council’s or Scotia’s control.”

The company have described the project at Cromleybank - where the new academy is located - as a “neighbourhood expansion” of Ellon.

But there has been continued controversy over whether a bypass or bridge should be built.

Scotia said detailed independent analysis of the town and development site’s transport needs found that the bypass assessment showed long-term benefits in reducing peak-time blockages and minimising the amount of heavy lorry and other traffic crossing Ellon from Inverurie/Oldmeldrum to Peterhead and from Peterhead.

The study indicated that without the ability to ease blockages at the key Riverside Drive/South Road and Market Street/Bridge Street junctions, a bridge would offer limited long-term benefit to the town.