Perth Transport Futures Project is an upgrade programme aimed at improving the road network in central Scotland’s Perth and surrounding areas. The project will address the long-term transportation needs of the region and promote economic growth.

Estimated to cost £2bn ($2.62bn), the project is being undertaken by Perth & Kinross Council in four phases. The first phase is currently under construction and is expected to be completed by 2019.

The upgrade project will improve the local transport network and traffic flow, and reduce journey times. It will also enhance pedestrian and cycle safety, as well as increase network capacity.

Perth Transport Futures project purpose

Perth is the third biggest city in Scotland and has the advantage of being linked to all of the country’s cities through major road connections. Economic and population growth has led to increase in traffic levels and development activities leading to traffic congestion and drop in air quality.

The Perth Transport Futures Project was formulated to address the above-mentioned problems and facilitate future economic growth. The project will upgrade key congestion areas and provide critical linkages to growth areas of the region.

The project has been divided into four phases, including A9/A85 junction improvement, Cross Tay link road, Bertha Park north link and associated city improvements.

Perth Transport Futures phase one details

Phase one of the project has been divided into two parts and includes the construction of a new A9/A85 junction along with slip roads, and the creation of a new link road across the A9 dual carriageway and River Almond to Bertha Park. Ruthvenfield Road roundabout and a bridge on the River Almond will also be built.

The project will provide the first link to the Cross Tay link road being developed under phase two. A shared-use cycle pathway across the new link road, a new footbridge and an overflow car park will also be developed under the phase.

Phase one will improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety, as well as provide better connections to the Inveralmond roundabout.

Phase two – Cross Tay link road

Construction of a new link road from the A9 to the A93 and A94, called Cross Tay, forms part of phase two of the project. Works include realignment of a portion of the A9, construction of a new bridge over the River Tay and development of a grade-separated junction on the A9.

Phase two will provide the critical third link over the River Tay and reduce traffic congestion in the City Centre. The link road is currently in the design stage, which is expected to be completed by mid-2019. Construction is expected to commence in 2021, upon attaining approval, while completion is scheduled for 2023.

Phase three – Bertha Park north link

Phase three of the project will add a road link from the A9 through Bertha Park and link phases one and two of the project. Construction of the road will be undertaken as the project progresses beyond 2020.

Phase four details

Phase four is a £25m ($32.76m) improvement package, which will enhance traffic flows in central Perth and create pedestrian and cycling facilities. Some of the projects under the phase have already been implemented, while the remaining will be undertaken in a phased manner beyond 2020.

Construction details

Construction on the western A9/A85 junction is currently ongoing and preparation works are underway as of November 2017. Earthworks are ongoing for the construction of the west connector road linking the A85 to A9.

Drainage works on the Southbound diverge and surfacing works on the Bertha Park roundabout are also ongoing. Steel reinforcement structures for the bridge over River Almond are being placed.

Contractors involved

Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering has been awarded a £35m ($45m) contract to construct phase one of the project under the Scape Group’s National Civil Engineering and Infrastructure Framework.

CH2M was involved in the design of phase one. Sweco UK has been appointed as the lead consultant for the Cross Tay link road project under a £3.5m ($4.58m) contract. The company will be responsible for the infrastructure design, site investigations and environmental impact assessment.