A North East MP has called for the Aberdeen bypass to be opened up to pedestrians and cyclists for a day before it opens to traffic to emulate an event to mark the completion of the Queensferry Crossing.
Scottish Conservative member for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine Andrew Bowie has written to the SNP Government to suggest the idea for when the AWPR project is ready.
In the letter to Economy Secretary Keith Brown, Mr Bowie said a similar celebration had proved a great success when the new road bridge over the Forth was finished.
He argued that the event could help foster a sense of “ownership” in the AWPR project among local communities that have been most affected by the construction. The ability to see the road and the surrounding landscape from a different perspective may also be beneficial, he added.
Mr Bowie said: “I think that the event to mark the completion of the Queensferry Crossing was a great success, and I see no reason why something similar cannot happen once the AWPR is finished.
“This is a huge development for the north-east of Scotland, and has taken decades to come to fruition. It will provide significant economic benefits, although the construction project has not been without its problems.
“A public event just before the bypass opens to traffic could be a great way of celebrating the completion after so many years, and also foster a positive sense of ownership among local communities along the route.
“A number of ideas have been suggested to me, including a race from one end to the other, a sponsored walk for charity and the involvement of local bands and community groups.
“I think an open event would also provide a real insight into the scale of this engineering project, and the tremendous amount of work that has gone into it.
“I hope that the Scottish Government will take this suggestion on board.”