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Information on Aberdeen City's Access from the North Proposals (Third Don Crossing)

Proposed 3rd Don Crossing image








These pages describe the current progress of the scheme and include various plans and reports that were produced at this stage of investigation.


Since the 1970's various schemes have been considered for a new crossing over the River Don. In 2003, Aberdeen City Council (ACC) decided to review these past proposals and identify other alternatives in respect to Access from the North. A Stage 2 feasibility study was carried out investigating three route corridors crossing the River Don. The purpose of the Stage 2 Assessment was to investigate and compare the three proposed route corridors to establish which option would be the most suitable to progress. The feasibility study involved an Engineering Assessment, Economic Assessment, Environmental Assessment, Traffic Modelling, and a two staged Public Consultation. In 2004 ACC instructed that Option 1 be progressed to the Stage 3 Assessment. The Stage 3 Assessment was similar to Stage 2 but investigated the preferred line in greater detail.

Work To Date - Stage 3 Assessment

Following ACC's decision to progress Option 1 as the preferred line the following work has been undertaken:


A topographical survey was carried out to enable a more detailed design of the preferred line.

Ground Investigation

A ground investigation was carried out to establish the soil characteristics of the area, what types of construction may be required as well as the suitability of existing material for re-use within the scheme. The Ground Investigation determined that, in engineering terms, there were no significant issues with regards to the possible construction of the proposals and the existing ground conditions.


The topographical survey was used to refine the Stage 2 design. This involved the following changes:

  • Minor alignment changes;
  • The inclusion of cycle facilities;
  • Additional lanes at the start and end of the scheme;
  • Access From The North ("Third Don Crossing") Plan; and
  • Proposed traffic signals at the St Machar Drive/Bedford Road junction

The design of the proposed bridge was chosen:

Traffic Modelling and Economic Assessment

More detailed traffic modelling was carried out for the scheme and the surrounding network. This information gave greater insight as to the affects of the proposals as well as indicating what measures would be required to enable traffic using both the proposals and the surrounding network to move efficiently eg proposed traffic signals at the St Machar Drive/Bedford Road junction.

In addition to this model the previous traffic model that was used for the Stage 2 assessment was refined and re-run. The results of this model was also used to measure the economic benefits of the scheme. The modelling suggests that through journey time savings and reductions in distances travelled the proposals give a large economic return.

Environmental Assessment

A Stage 3 Environmental Assessment and Environmental Statement were commissioned to identify the impacts on both the natural and built environments. They followed on from the findings of the Stage 2 assessment, looking into the impacts of the proposals in more detail.

Key issues investigated by the Environmental Assessment are Policy, Air Quality, Archaeology and Heritage, Ecology and Nature Conservation, Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment, Land Use, Noise, Pedestrians, Cyclists, Equestrians and Community Effects, Vehicle Travellers and Water Quality, Drainage and Flood Defence. The Environmental Assessment generally found that, relative to the size of the scheme, there were no major environmental impacts and although there are a number of relatively minor issues many of those can have their impact reduced or removed by suitable mitigation measures. The mitigation measures are detailed within the Environmental Statement.

The Environmental Assessment and Environmental Statement was updated in 2009/10 to take account changes within the Structure Plan as well as changes to the design itself, such as the introduction of the segregated cycling facility. The updated Environmental Assessment and Environmental Statement can be seen here: 

STAG Assessment

The Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG) Assessment was used to identify objectives for the proposals to meet, problems that the proposals should solve or reduce and problems that the proposals may create. The main themes of investigation are the Environment, Safety, Economy, Integration, Accessibility and Social Inclusion. The STAG methodology was used to investigate the previous options as part of a Part 1 STAG assessment and led to the selection of Option 1 as the preferred option. A Part 2 STAG assessment was also carried out on the preferred line (Option 1). This investigated the preferred option in more detail than the Part 1 STAG assessment. The STAG report contains an account of the decision making process from the choosing of the preferred line to the decision to progress the preferred line to the planning application process.

A Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) was promoted in 2010 to acquire the land necessary to build the scheme. As there were objections raised over the use of the CPO, Scottish Ministers called for a Public Local Inquiry (PLI) to be held. An Independent Reporter was appointed by Scottish Ministers to carry out the PLI which was held in November 2011.

The documents published by ACC for consideration at the inquiry are available at the following link:.

The Reporter passed his findings and recommendations to Scottish Ministers in February 2012, in his report he recommended that the CPO be confirmed. Scottish Ministers considered his report and recommendations and confirmed the CPO in March 2012.

Confirmed copies of the CPO will now be issued to all owners and occupiers of affected property; it will also be advertised in local press and on street notices. Following publication, objectors will have a 6 week period in which to appeal the Scottish Ministers' decision.

A final decision still has to be made as to whether the scheme is delivered as part of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route or as a stand alone project. Once this decision has been made the required Contract Documents will be prepared and issued.

The following drawing shows the line and layout of the proposed road:

(*) Please note that many of the files on this page are quite large and it may take some time for them to download and open. In the event that you experience any problems please allow several minutes to let the file open.

3rd Don Crossing extract of drawing image


  • Roads Design
    Enterprise, Planning and Infrastructure
    Aberdeen City Council
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