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Scottish projects packaged

Transport Scotland was this week considering packaging some of its major contracts together to pursue cost efficiencies.

Contract packaging could be used for the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) and the M8 Baillieston to Newhouse works.

Transport Scotland said it was investigating the business case for the proposal. The decision will also depend on the necessary planning permissions being in place at the right time.

Speaking at last week’s NCE Scottish Transport conference, Transport Scotland head of major transport infrastructure projects Ainslie McLaughlin said the transport agency may bundle the AWPR new road project together with a park and ride scheme and the construction of 8km of new dual carriageway on the A90 between Balmedie and Tipperty.

Aberdeen transport partnership Nestrans had asked that its park and ride schemes be considered for Transport Scotland packages.

Cost efficiency

McLaughlin said the M8 Baillieston to Newhouse project − which will upgrade part of the A8 to motorway standard − could also be packaged with two associated projects.

A Transport Scotland spokesman said these would be likely to include the M8 Associated Network Improvement Study into capacity improvements and the M74 Raith Interchange improvements, due to a “coincidence of timing”.

The move would be cost efficient and it makes “good business sense” to package together schemes at the same stage of the statutory process and in the same area, they said.

“When we are considering the use of non-profit distributing procurement methods [which removes excessive profits from PPP schemes] it makes sense to use economies of scale,” the spokesman said, adding that the approach was not an attempt to improve confidence following contractors’ reluctance to bid for the Forth Crossing without their tender costs being underwritten.

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