Chapman questions AWPR tractor ban amid confusion

Peter Chapman raised the issue at Holyrood last week
Peter Chapman raised the issue at Holyrood last week

A north-east MSP has again questioned a ban on tractors driving on the new Aberdeen bypass after research suggested that the relevant legislation was repealed more than 25 years ago.

Scottish Conservative Peter Chapman raised the issue in the chamber at Holyrood last week during topical questions.

He challenged Transport Secretary Michael Matheson to clarify why tractors are allowed to use the new Balmedie-Tipperty stretch, and on the rest of the A90 dual carriageway between Aberdeen and Perth, but not on the new AWPR.

Mr Chapman has engaged in correspondence with Transport Scotland on the issue.

In his most recent letter, he said he had looked at the legislation that excludes tractors. The vehicles are regarded as Class 1 under the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 because they are chargeable with duty under the Vehicles (Excise) Act 1971.

However, Mr Chapman said the Vehicles (Excise) Act 1971 was repealed in 1994, and research has suggested there is no subsequent legislation that would applicable.

In response to his question in parliament, Mr Matheson said that the AWPR was given “special road” status in 2014, which means it cannot be used by agricultural vehicles.

Mr Chapman said: “I have been asking this question for some time now – and the responses I have received have been inconsistent.

“It makes no sense for tractors to be allowed to travel the length of the A90 dual carriageway apart from one section from Blackdog to Stonehaven.

“The AWPR is not a motorway, it is a dual carriageway the same as the rest of the A90. I fail to see why the same rules cannot apply to the whole road. It is totally unfair and I think they deserve a better explanation.”