Building Briefs – May 20th

  • AWPR cuts journey times by half

Around 50% of traffic has shifted from Aberdeen city onto the new Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) since it fully opened in February, a new report has revealed.

Initial monitoring by Transport Scotland also found key journey times have been reduced by half, even during rush hour, through the 36-mile AWPR route between Stonehaven and south of Ellon.

In a speech to north-east business leaders First Minister Nicola Sturgeon highlighted the economic benefits of the £745 million project. She said vehicles that were previously sitting in nose-to-tail traffic and causing pollution have now shifted, leading to lower emissions in the city. This has the potential to improve air quality for around 75,000 homes and will improve the environment for pedestrians and cyclists in Aberdeen city.


  • Consultation to shape services as part of £50m Edinburgh school investment

People living and working in Gracemount are being asked to take part in a new approach to designing local services.

With the area set to benefit from £50 million investment towards a new special school, primary school and nursery in the coming years, the My Gracemount project is seeking to build up a more complete picture of how and where services are currently being delivered – and how they could be improved.

Residents’ views are being sought at a much earlier stage in the design process, with their responses forming part of a wider ‘data-driven’ approach to decision-making.

The first phase, which has just got under way, will involve a range of drop-in events, exhibitions, questionnaires and workshops to gather research and ideas from the local community.

A photography competition will also offer budding photographers the opportunity to have their images showcased in a print exhibition in June, with the winner set to scoop a six-month pass for Gracemount Leisure Centre (worth £200).

Residents can contribute in person or online, with all data collected then being used to inform a range of outline proposals that would then be the subject of further community discussion in the coming months.


  • New South Ayrshire sports facilities get on their marks at drop-in consultation

South Ayrshire Council is inviting sports clubs, groups and people from across the region to have their say on proposals for new sports facilities in Ayr at a drop-in event next month.

The proposed £7.2 million Craigie Sports Development will further enhance sport and leisure provision in the local area with a range of new sports facilities to complement those already provided at Ayr Academy.

The new facilities would include a floodlit 8-lane running track, grass pitch infield, car parking, changing facilities, seated spectator stand, indoor warm-up area and a floodlit all-weather sports pitch.

As well as supporting the provision of first-class sports facilities within Craigie, the project also supports Ayr Rugby Club’s desire to make Dam Park its home ground as it transitions into the new Pro 6 rugby set-up.

The proposals would ensure continued quality sports and leisure provision for those who currently use Dam Park, while allowing the rugby club to significantly invest in Dam Park as its home ground.

A drop-in consultation and engagement event will take place at Ayr Academy between 3pm-8pm on June 6.


  • Housing association to extend new handy-person service

A pilot scheme to help supported housing tenants with odd jobs is to be continued after receiving 100% positive feedback.

The Home Team gets ready to take on their next batch of tasks

Over the past six months Queens Cross Housing Association’s six-strong ‘Home Team’ has been taking on a variety of household tasks, not normally covered by tenancy agreements, for people who receive a housing support service and do not have friends or family nearby to lend a hand.

During the pilot the team completed 199 jobs ranging from helping to remove large items of furniture, changing light bulbs and smoke-detector batteries, to hanging curtains and retuning TVs.

A total of 134 customers used the service over the period, and a survey by the association reported a 100% satisfaction rate, with 100% of tenants also saying they would recommend the service to someone else.

The team will now be looking to boost its numbers with new trainees to help cope with the anticipated rise in demand for its services.


  • Stirling swimming pool to re-open

The main swimming pool at The PEAK in Stirling will re-open to the public at 7am on June 1 following the completion of essential repairs.

Active Stirling and Stirling Council announced the temporary closure of the pool in November after the discovery of a problem with the base screed layer.

Water has now been pumped back into the pool and final preparations are underway for the return of customers.

Work on the teaching pool, where a similar problem with the screed was uncovered, is also progressing well, with tiling close to completion.

The teaching pool is expected to re-open in July once a new movable floor has been installed. This was due for renewal in two years, but the council made the decision to bring the investment forward to avoid an extended closure in the future.