Friends of the Earth Scotland welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the member’s debate on the highly controversial Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route. We have significant concerns about the social and environmental costs involved – concerns which appear to be shared with at least 8,000 fellow objectors to the road. We also believe the suggested economic benefits have been overstated. Rather than push ahead with this highly controversial project we believe practical alternatives, based on just and sustainable solutions, should be pursued.
We are also concerned with the wording of the motion when it states: “That the parliament notes with concern the pledge given by the First Minister on 15 June to abide by the findings of the public inquiry”. In the interests of democracy and accountability, it is imperative that Scottish Ministers abide by the First Minister’s pledge to accept the findings of the inquiry. Given experience of the M74 case, this motion, if passed, would further undermine confidence in the public inquiry system.