Transport Scotland

AWPR project opening delayed until Autumn

The expected opening of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) project has been deferred until Autumn 2018 – six months later than planned, economy secretary Keith Brown has confirmed.

The consortium tasked with delivering the £745 million project Aberdeen Roads Limited (ARL) said the impact of Storm Frank during winter 2015/16, recent extreme weather during early March and the collapse of Carillion have all had an impact on the opening date.

The Aberdeen bypass had previously been expected to open during Spring 2018 and last week an announcement by Balfour Beatty, one of the consortium partners, suggested that it expected the completion date to be Summer 2018.

Transport Scotland said it conducted “urgent discussions” with ARL to determine whether both partners shared this view.

“The outcome from the discussions with ARL is that we now expect to be able to open the project in Autumn 2018,” the transport body said.

Economy secretary Keith Brown said the £745m project cost “remains unchanged” as a result of the delay.

He added: “While this revision to the opening date is very disappointing to the people of the North East, we have to accept the expert advice of our contractors on the ground who are delivering this significant project.

“Clearly there has been a huge amount of work that has gone in to getting the project to where we are now. I would like to pay tribute to the effort of the people who are working hard to get this project over the finishing line.

“I understand how highly anticipated this project is for those living and working in the region and the patience local communities have shown during the construction process, I would like to thank them for their continued patience as we enter the final stages of the project. Transport Scotland will continue to work closely with ARL to open sections of the road at the earliest opportunity.

“The total scheme cost estimate is £745m and this remains unchanged as part of this announcement. Under the terms of the contract, ARL does not receive payment for the work until a section of road is open to traffic.

“During construction over 1,000 jobs have been created as a result of this project and it will generate over £6 billion for the local economy with an anticipated 14,000 new jobs to follow over the first 30 years after the scheme opens.

“Once open, the AWPR will cut congestion in and around Aberdeen city, with a positive impact on reducing emissions and improving active travel, it will also improve connectivity in the region, providing better journey time reliability, particularly for those travelling from the north of the city to the south side.”

The project, equivalent in length to building a new road between Edinburgh and Glasgow, is a key part of the Scottish Government’s £1 billion investment in transport in the region, which includes the AWPR, Aberdeen to Inverness rail improvements and the Haudagain roundabout improvement work.

Masterplan initiative seeks new vision for Waverley

A new Masterplan is to be developed to outline a long term vision Edinburgh’s Waverley Station.

The Waverley Masterplan will consider the future growth anticipated at the station, the impact of city centre developments on how people use it and how it can play its part in the continued success of Scotland’s capital city.

The Masterplan is being led in partnership by station owner Network Rail and City of Edinburgh Council who have formed a group comprising Transport Scotland, VisitScotland, Scottish Enterprise, Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce and other neighbouring property owners.

The group’s first aim is to understand how future growth is likely to impact footfall within the station and on the streets outside. An options appraisal will be developed to consider short, medium and long term objectives before wider consultation is undertaken with customers, user groups and other interested parties.

An initial study is expected to begin this summer, with more details made available on how to contribute to the process.

Alex Hynes, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance, which includes Network Rail Scotland, said: “Waverley has seen its footfall more than double from 10 million to over 24 million within the last ten years and estimates suggest that it will almost double again, to 40 million, by 2024. Such a steep increase is a positive indicator of the railway’s economic influence on the city and a clear sign that further investment will be required.

“We are creating additional rail provision within Waverley at present and will continue to seek new ways to create the best railway that Scotland has ever had. However, more trains mean more people and that inevitably adds to the pressure on station infrastructure and the surrounding streets.

“The Waverley Masterplan will help us to coordinate our approach and to tackle some of the issues that an increasingly busy Waverley Station raises. One organisation cannot manage this in isolation, so it is a welcome step forward to be working with City of Edinburgh Council and our other partners in the development of this plan.”

Lesley Macinnes, convener of the transport and environment committee, City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Waverley Station’s location in the heart of our city centre means it plays a crucial role in the city’s transport system. With population and visitor numbers forecast to grow over the coming years, we need to work with partners to ensure we manage these increased numbers both in the station and in the city centre as a whole to deliver the best possible experience for all residents, commuters and tourists.”

Transport minister Humza Yousaf said: “I am delighted that the combined expertise and energies of a range of parties have been brought together by the City of Edinburgh Council and Network Rail to create a long term vision for the station and its surrounding area.  Edinburgh Waverley is the first impression for many as they arrive in our capital city. It is both a portal to the city and wider Scotland. We’ve seen the positive difference that the redevelopment of major stations can have economically, socially and aesthetically. Accordingly, I look forward to developments at Waverley with considerable interest.”

The Edinburgh Waverley Masterplan follows in the footsteps of other successful joint initiatives undertaken in other major city centre stations. Kings Cross/St. Pancras, Waterloo, Leeds, Bristol Temple Meads and Birmingham New Street have all been through similar processes during the last decade.

Enhanced Queen Street Station development given £80m investment boost

Another £80 million is set to be invested into new plans being taken forward for the regeneration of Queen Street Station in Glasgow.

Working in partnership with various stakeholders, Scottish Ministers have decided to progress a greatly enhanced development at the North Hanover Street car park site of the station.

The new plans include extensive retail, food and beverage opportunities, and will also deliver a development deck upon which further private sector investment can be taken forward.

Unveiling the alternative plans to the public, transport minister Humza Yousaf said: “The new proposal will help deliver a 21st century station acting as a catalyst for further private sector investment. Alongside the redevelopment of Queen Street station being delivered as part of the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) this will see a significant improvement to the overall passenger experience and deliver significant economic benefits to the city.”

Queen Street Station has been undergoing a £100m makeover since last August.

The redevelopment of Queen Street is part of the wider Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme, a Scottish Government investment in the central belt’s rail infrastructure, and is being delivered by Network Rail.

It will mean an increase in capacity for the station and space for longer trains, so more passengers can travel with ease.

The new below-deck development will provide around 3,800 square metres for such facilities, in comparison to the 500 square metres which would have been provided by the partially constructed project. The layout of the retail, food and beverage outlets will be largely in accordance with previously consented plans.

Projected rental income from the revised plan sees a potential increase from circa £370k with the original proposal per annum to £2.2 million – £2.7 million per annum.

Works continue on redeveloping the main station building as part of the EGIP with the recent commencement of the main demolition works of Consort House which is needed to make space for the new Queen Street station frontage.

The revised plan, whilst not part of EGIP, will have no detrimental impact on the delivery of the EGIP key milestones.

Alex Hynes, ScotRail Alliance managing director, said: “We look forward to working with the Scottish Government, and other commercial partners, on this ambitious vision for Queen Street. We’re building the best railway Scotland has ever had and these plans will deliver an exciting new development for our customers and the people of Glasgow.

“The station is currently being transformed to allow new longer, faster and greener electric trains to run on our railway and the plans announced today will help to ensure Queen Street continues to play a central role in the social and economic life of the city.”

Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, added: “The revised plans for Queen Street Station will deliver far greater local economic benefit, securing the full potential of the site and will provide significant employment opportunities once the development deck has been fully delivered. The redevelopment will both give the station a retail offer befitting one of Scotland’s busiest transport hubs and provide a striking entry into the city for travellers coming to Glasgow.”

AWPR workers ‘had to pay £100 to receive wages’, claims Scottish Labour

Workers on the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) had to pay to £100 receive their wages in the wake of the collapse of Carillion, Scottish Labour has claimed.

Speaking at First Minister’s Questions this week, party leader Richard Leonard told parliament the party has evidence of umbrella companies charging workers to access their wages on the flagship Aberdeen bypass.

According to Mr Leonard, the practice sees money deducted from payslips and described as a ‘company margin’.

He also told how construction companies in Scotland use umbrella companies, including employment agencies, to pay staff working on government contracts, which allows them to dodge tax, cut costs and exploit workers.

In the case of the AWPR, workers employed on constructing the route have been charged to be paid their wages from a number of umbrella firms, including DLP Payroll Solutions, Labour added.

Workers have shared their payslips with Unite the Union, showing the “margin charge”.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “The SNP government is handing over millions of pounds of public money to these companies and they are treating workers shamefully.

“Redacted pay slips from workers on the flagship Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route project show that they were being charged for the privilege of being paid.

“Workers have been blatantly exploited on a contract funded by the SNP government. SNP ministers now must take steps to ensure this never happens again.”

A Transport Scotland spokesman said project bosses were not aware of it happening but had launched an urgent investigation.

Tenders invited for new Midlothian road

A map showing the path of the new road

A new road linking Musselburgh with the new Shawfair community and Danderhall is set to reduce road traffic through Millerhill village by as much as 80% when it opens towards the end of this year.

Tenders are now being invited for the 0.5 km stretch of road, with construction planned to begin in April.

From the Musselburgh direction the new stretch of carriageway will veer slightly north from Old Craighall Road (B6415) just before Millerhill village and run broadly parallel until it reaches the roundabout on the new section of Millerhill Road (A6106).

When it opens, the new road will take all but local traffic away from Millerhill village, giving motorists and other road users swift access to Shawfair railway station, Newton Village, Danderhall and Sheriffhall Park and Ride.

Nick Waugh, director of Shawfair LLP, said: “This is a crucial element of our plans to smoothly integrate Shawfair with the surrounding communities. It is important to us that, as more people move here, we ensure there is a well-planned network of roads, pavements and paths to make it easy for everyone to access Shawfair and the nearby areas.”

This month also sees the completion of a new cycling and walking route. Sustrans Scotland has extended an existing path that currently begins at Roslin. It follows the former Bilston Glen branch rail line through Loanhead, Straiton, Gilmerton, and Danderhall, connecting to the eastern side of Shawfair.

The three kilometre extension was delivered by Sustrans Scotland with the City of Edinburgh Council, Midlothian Council and support from contractors RJ McLeod.

Funded by Transport Scotland through Sustrans Scotland’s National Cycle Network development fund, it is hoped the new path will encourage residents and visitors to explore the area by foot and bike.

It is the aspiration of Midlothian Council and Sustrans that, in the longer term, the off-road multi-user path can be extended within Shawfair to connect with National Cycle Network routes 1 and 76; and with Queen Margaret University.

In a related move, Midlothian Council has held initial discussions with Shawfair LLP regarding a proposal to construct a linking path to connect the Kaimes area of Danderhall with the newly extended path. If design agreement can be reached, it is hoped the path can be constructed in 2018/19.

Transport Scotland to study potential of high-speed trains connecting Lanarkshire to London in three hours

An artist’s impression of HS2

A high-speed rail link between Glasgow and Carstairs, as well as the potential for a new interchange station at Eurocentral, are being considered as part of a feasibility study to be carried out by Transport Scotland.

The transport body has been investigating the potential of routing the High Speed Rail network to Scotland along with the best route for doing this to enable connectivity to Glasgow, Edinburgh and the rest of the Scottish Rail network, with Eurocentral considered to be “ideally located” for an interchange station.

A report presented to North Lanarkshire Council’s enterprise and housing committee last week suggested that the move could mean commuters would be able to travel by rail from here to London in under three hours.

The paper put before councillors stated: “High-speed rail could potentially bring significant benefits to North Lanarkshire, the City region and indeed the whole of central Scotland.

“Critically, high-speed rail provides fast, efficient and cost effective transport, connecting major cities and centres of employment, and in this case, could enable journeys to London to be sub-three hours and travel to other towns, cities and economic centres such as Manchester to be within reasonable commuting times.”

High Speed Rail and High Speed Rail 2 (HS2) were developed to meet a near future need for greater capacity on the main railway lines between London and the North of England. It had been identified by Network Rail that if this was not carried out then the West Coast mainline would be full by the mid 2020s.

The proposed network was extended to include new lines to Yorkshire as well as Manchester and it has been identified by Transport Scotland that this should be extended to Scotland to connect Scotland with the major cities of England including London.

The report argued that this would meet the objectives of increasing economic benefits for areas around the railway extension and would reduce carbon emissions.

The report added: “For North Lanarkshire, the proposal of a station at Eurocentral could bring a significant range of economic benefits in terms of supporting existing businesses, business growth and inward investment.

“This strengthening of the economy and increased access to markets would provide real economic benefits to our local businesses and communities.”

A feasibility study is due to begin this month, and the planning/design works would commence in 2019.

It is envisaged in the report that construction would take three years, from 2026-2029.

Humza Yousaf

Meanwhile, identifying potential transport investment in Scotland over the next 20 years will be the focus of the update of the Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2) starting later this year.

Transport minister Humza Yousaf said the Scottish Government will work together on the review with local councils, other key stakeholders, community groups, special interest groups and the general public.

Speaking at the Scottish Transport Infrastructure conference in Edinburgh, Mr Yousaf said:

“This government has already shown its strong commitment to investing in the country’s transport infrastructure. We have delivered the iconic £1.35 billion Queensferry Crossing and the M8/M73/M74 Motorway Improvements projects and are progressing the design work for both the A9 and A96 Dualling programmes to name but a few.

“On rail, as part of our £3.5 billion capital investment programme to 2019, we are progressing our plans for the Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement programme (EGIP), Aberdeen to Inverness rail line and the Highland Mainline.

“However, we now want to look to the future and STPR2 will examine the strategic transport infrastructure interventions required to support Scotland’s Economic Strategy, including inclusive growth objectives, reflecting outcomes and priorities to be set out in the National Transport Strategy (NTS2) and will align with other Scottish Government national plans, policies and strategies, including the National Planning Framework (NPF4) and the Climate Change Plan.

“STPR2 will help ensure that we deliver transport infrastructure improvements for Scotland which are fit for the 21st Century. We are already engaging with stakeholders in the Borders and in Aberdeen and we expect to start similar engagement in the south west of Scotland shortly.

“The review, to be completed within the lifetime of the current Parliament, will have both a national and a regional focus. The scope of the review will extend to the strategic road and rail networks and will also consider national infrastructure investment to support active travel, island connectivity, buses and ferries.

“We want to engage with as many groups and people as possible as we look to shape the future of transport in Scotland. We will be involving local councils and Regional Transport Partnerships (RTP’s) and looking to engage business and community groups, special interest groups and the wider public.”

Groundwork contract awarded for Tarbet to Inverarnan stretch of A82

Transport Scotland has announced the intention to award a £3.4 million ground investigation contract to Soil Engineering Geoservices Ltd subject to completion of the mandatory standstill period.

The work is programmed to start in March and is expected to be on site for a period of 18 weeks.

Transport minister Humza Yousaf said: “We remain committed to upgrading the A82 between Tarbet and Inverarnan.

“These ground investigations due to get underway next month will provide the detailed information needed to help inform the development and assessment of the scheme’s design.

“We need to ensure that any future upgrade fits within the area’s outstanding landscape and environment and maintains the renowned beauty of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

“The work we are doing along this vital route that connects the Highlands and Islands with the central belt will lead to improved road safety and journey time reliability and meet the needs of business, communities and visitors alike.”

159-home Perthshire development called-in by ministers

The Scottish Government will decide the fate of proposals for 159 new homes on the outskirts of Perth following concerns over the development’s transport links.

Councillors were poised to approve the Oudenarde development last week at a meeting of Perth and Kinross Council’s planning and development committee.

However, the Scottish Government seized control of the application at the eleventh hour following concerns that had been raised by Transport Scotland regarding how the proposed development would impact the nearby M90 Perth to Inverkeithing motorway.

Set on the site of the old Bridge of Earn hospital, the homes represent the next stage of an ambitious bid for a 1,500-home village. Hillcrest Housing Association has already built 109 affordable houses at Oudenarde.

The project is being spearhead by local construction firm GS Brown and was first announced more than 20 years ago. The Perthshire developer teamed up with Taylor Wimpey to submit an initial planning application for 159 two, three and four bedroom homes in Janauary last year.

Transport Scotland had raised concerns that the plan was about to be passed without paperwork in place to demonstrate how the new settlement will link safely to the M90.

The latest proposals went before councillors in October, but were due to return to the planning and development management committee for final approval.

Councillors were to be asked to withdraw a planning condition requested by Transport Scotland, calling for GS Brown to submit details of improvements for the M90/A912 junctions.

However, according to The Courier, Perth and Kinross Council’s legal team ruled this wasn’t a valid condition.

GS Brown chairman Geoff Brown said he received word about the Scottish Government’s intentions in an e-mail at 8.30am on Wednesday – less than two hours before the planning meeting.

“We’re really unhappy that this has happened so late in the day,” he said.

“We have – or had – a contractor in place to be on site by March. Obviously, what’s happened may have jeopardised this agreement and we will need to go back to the contractor and work something out.”

Mr Brown, who is also chairman of St Johnstone Football Club, added: “We have to make sure that this delay won’t impact on jobs.

“In my career, I’ve never known anything like this to happen before.”

Before last week’s meeting, a Transport Scotland spokesman said: “We have been in discussion with Perth and Kinross Council and developers for over 10 years in respect of developments at Oudenarde, and would be concerned about the potential removal of the previously agreed planning condition.

“We have sought to promote development in accordance with the published Masterplan, whilst meeting the clear need to maintain the safety and efficiency of the road network, and this remains our position.”

A Scottish Government spokesman added: “The application for Oudenarde in Bridge of Earn has been called in by ministers due to the proposal’s potential impact on trunk road infrastructure and road safety.

“This application will be considered and a decision will be issued by ministers in due course.”

Joint venture AWPR partners offer jobs to Carillion workers

Carillion workers employed on the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) have been offered jobs by its joint venture partners Galliford Try and Balfour Beatty, according to Transport Scotland.

The three companies made up the Aberdeen Roads Limited consortium delivering the £550 million section of the AWPR between Balmedie and Tipperty before Carillion entered compulsory liquidation last week.

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said 76 Carillion staff will be offered employment to the remaining contractors to allow work to continue on the project.

The spokesperson said: “Aberdeen Roads Limited has confirmed there are 76 Carillion staff on the AWPR site and we understand that both Galliford Try and Balfour Beatty will offer jobs to allow progression of work on the project.

“The construction partners have reaffirmed their commitment to completing the works.”

Galliford Try revealed last week that the joint venture partners expect to foot a bill of between £60m-£80m to complete the work following Carillion’s demise.

The contractor said: “The terms of the contract are such that the remaining joint venture members, Balfour Beatty and Galliford Try, are obliged to complete the contract.  Our current estimate of the additional cash contribution outstanding from Carillion to complete the project is £60-80m, of which any shortfall will be funded equally between the joint venture members.

“The companies will discuss the position urgently with the official receiver of Carillion and Transport Scotland, to minimise any impact on the project.”

Balfour Beatty said the collapse of Carillion could lead to additional costs of £35m to £45m for the firm overall but did not disclose how much would of this was attributed to the AWPR project.

Meanwhile, Kier Group, which currently operates joint ventures involving Carillion on HS2 and the Highways England smart motorways programme, has revealed that all Carillion employees on these projects will be transferred to Kier.

Following discussions with the UK government and clients, Kier and Eiffage are now 50/50 partners in delivering two of the seven HS2 civil engineering projects.

All 51 Carillion staff, including apprentices, have been offered the chance to switch to the other two companies.

Another 150 Carillion workers on smart motorways schemes have also been offered jobs with Kier, which said it had also been talking with the project’s supply chain, “ensuring continuity of skills, resources and suppliers.”

Kier chief executive Haydn Mursell said: “We have been working collaboratively with our clients and are pleased to have reached agreement with government concerning these joint ventures. We have been able to take action quickly and reassure the project teams that they continue to play an important role in the delivery of these contracts.”

Contingency plans take hold in wake of Carillion collapse

Carillion is part of a coalition delivering the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR)

Clients and joint ventures partners of collapsed contractor Carillion have taken steps to begin contingency plans after the firm entered compulsory liquidation today.

An application was made to the High Court for a compulsory liquidation of the UK’s second largest construction company before opening of business this morning after talks with the UK government to save the company were unsuccessful.

The firm had been involved in the £745 million Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) and had contracts with Registers of Scotland, the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration, West of Scotland Housing Association and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde among many others.

Network Rail awarded Carillion a contract last year to deliver platform extension works and the firm is also responsible for two facilities management contracts worth £158m with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) which cover 83 military sites in Scotland.

Contingency plans have now been put into effect with the hope to minimise disruption to the projects.

Galliford Try is in joint venture with Carillion and Balfour Beatty on the construction of the £550m section of the AWPR between Balmedie and Tipperty for Transport Scotland.

“The Scottish Government are in discussions with the liquidators and the UK government to support Carillion employees and secure the completion of contracts.”

Economy secretary Keith Brown

Galliford Try said: “The terms of the contract are such that the remaining joint venture members, Balfour Beatty and Galliford Try, are obliged to complete the contract.  Our current estimate of the additional cash contribution outstanding from Carillion to complete the project is £60-80m, of which any shortfall will be funded equally between the joint venture members. The companies will discuss the position urgently with the official receiver of Carillion and Transport Scotland, to minimise any impact on the project.”

A Transport Scotland spokesman reiterated the bypass project will be completed by the spring.

He said: “We expect that any impact on the AWPR will be mitigated by the fact that Carillion’s construction partners are joint and severally liable and as such, the other two construction partners remain fully responsible for the completion of the works.

“Aberdeen Roads Limited, the construction joint venture for the project, confirmed recently that they remain committed to the delivery of this project.”

Amey has incorporated joint ventures with Carillion to deliver the regional prime and national housing contracts for the MoD, through the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO). These contracts maintain the MOD estate in the UK.

It said: “The terms of the joint ventures’ arrangements mean that Amey will continue the services now that Carillion has announced it is entering into immediate compulsory liquidation. Amey is committed to doing this and ensuring continuity of service to the DIO and MOD and the service men and women in the UK.

“For the past few weeks, Amey has been working on detailed contingency plans with the DIO and the Cabinet Office to ensure it can effectively continue to manage the contracts and these are being implemented today.

“Amey confirms it is fully prepared to continue the service obligation of the contracts without adverse effect on the employees of the joint ventures or the supply chain.”

Network Rail commissioned Carillion for both the Waverley platforms extension project and the electrification of the railway line through Shotts.

In addition, the firm was also contracted for platform works at Broughty Ferry and Aberdeen railway stations.

Carillion Powerlines secured an £11.6m contract to carry out electrification work on the Shotts line in December

A Network Rail spokesman said: “We are activating our contingency plans as a result of this unfortunate news.

“We will be working closely with the administrators and Carillion’s management team to ensure projects that they are working on continue and that the supply chain is maintained for this important work.

“Our aim is to ensure that this news has as little impact as possible on our projects to grow and expand the railway network.”

Kier Group, which currently operates joint ventures involving Carillion on HS2 and the Highways England smart motorways programme, jobs, will now have to take them on alone or seek a new partner.

A Kier spokeswoman said: “We have put in place contingency plans for each of these projects and are working closely with clients so as to achieve continuity of service.

“Following today’s announcement and after a short period of transition for these contracts, we do not expect there to be an adverse financial impact on the group arising from these joint venture contracts.”

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) said that it was “taking steps to secure the future of the 1,400 Carillion apprentices” by redeploying them to other firms.

CITB chief executive, Sarah Beale, said: “The news of Carillion entering insolvency is clearly a significant blow to the UK construction sector. While this will present the sector with a number of challenges, CITB’s priority is to do all it can to ensure that Carillion apprentices can continue their training so their skills are not lost.

“We have established a project team to work with the apprentices and will be offering in principle grant and apprenticeship transfer incentives to our employer base in order to retain these learners. We will be working closely with the ESFA, the official receiver and our network of college providers so that every possible support is in place to help these apprentices continue their training. We will be liaising with the official receiver with a view to contacting the apprentices as soon as possible.”

The Scottish Government said it is in talks to support Carillion employees and secure the completion of contracts in Scotland.

Cabinet secretary for the economy, Keith Brown, said: “Our first thoughts are with those Carillion employees who will be concerned for their jobs today and we are in discussions with the liquidators and the UK government regarding the measures they intend to put in place regarding private sector, Network Rail and UK govternment-backed contracts in Scotland to support Carillion employees and to secure the completion of these contracts.

“The Scottish Government has been working to manage or eliminate risks associated with Carillion’s difficulties since July last year and we have contingency plans in place for affected contracts, including the AWPR where the contract contains a mechanism for the remaining two joint venture partners to deliver the project and we expect that work to continue.

“I have spoken to the Secretary of State for Scotland this morning and my officials have also spoken with PwC to establish the situation and should it be necessary we stand ready to support for any affected employees through our Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) initiative which aims to minimise the time individuals affected by redundancy are out of work.”