Transport Scotland has announced that the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) is to open for traffic.

The 58km road was originally approved by Scottish ministers in 2009. However, the £745m project being delivered by consortium Aberdeen Roads fell behind schedule and is now expected to cost more than £1bn.

The decision to open the bypass was taken after Aberdeen Roads gave assurances that it would gain the necessary technical assistance for the River Don Crossing, which was required before the new section of road could open.

Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson also confirmed that the final section of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route between Craibstone and Parkhill will open to traffic. As a result, travellers will be able to access the entire 58km route.

The new 7.5km section of road will connect the southern Craibstone to Stonehaven and Charleston section with the Parkhill to Blackdog section in the north.

Matheson said: “This new section of the AWPR between Parkhill and Craibstone now allows the full benefits of this transformational project to be fully realised.

“The bypass was first proposed over 65 years ago.”

“The bypass was first proposed over 65 years ago but it took this government to take the project forward in a meaningful way back in 2007. Despite the many challenges since then, we have taken a responsible and steadfast approach to delivering for the long-term benefit of the people and businesses of the north-east and Scotland as a whole.”

Craibstone, Parkhill and Kingswells North (northbound) junctions will fully open to vehicles after the uncovering of signs, completion of road marking works and removal of temporary traffic management measures.

In addition, the road that links the C89C Chapel of Stoneywood to Craibstone Junction will also open.

Aberdeen City Council co-leader Jenny Laing added: “The AWPR is a vital component of Aberdeen City Council’s £1bn capital programme underpinned by the regional economic strategy, which is providing the bedrock for a bright, prosperous future for the city and wider region.”

The new section follows opening of roads between Craibstone to Charleston and Stonehaven in December, Balmedie and Tipperty in August, Parkhill and Blackdog in June last year.

It also follows opening of the Craibstone Roundabout and Dyce Drive section in September 2016.