EU confirms Aberdeenshire A90 is eligible for funding
Dr Ian Duncan MEP has received confirmation that the A90 between Ellon and Peterhead, as well as a number of Scotland's other key routes, are eligible to apply for EU funding. During a meeting with Professor Péter Balázs, co-ordinator in charge of the TEN-T Connecting Europe programme, Dr Duncan was told that new applications for funding could be submitted at the turn of the year, with a decision made next summer.
There had been previously been concerns that funding was only available as far north as Edinburgh, however Professor Balázs was able to clarify that although the north east is not part of the priority corridor, applications can be still be made and if they are deemed to meet the priority criteria, then they will receive active consideration.
Dr Duncan commented:
"It was a very positive meeting. Professor Balázs has been to Scotland recently and understands the strategic importance of the North East, especially transport links. As Europe moves towards an Energy Union, getting the North Sea connected to a European Energy Grid will be absolutely vital. The North East will be vital to such a North Sea Grid. While funding cannot be guaranteed, the remarks from Prof Balázs are a step in the right direction.
"I will now be seeking a meeting with both the UK and Scottish Governments, as it will be for them to drive forward the funding application and provide the necessary co-financing. I will push for a joined-up approach so that we can make the best possible application.
"I want to pay tribute to Councillor Gillian Owen who has worked tirelessly to promote this cause. The A90 needs to be upgraded and I hope we can get the ball-rolling.
"This is also good news for campaigners who have been calling for improvements to other key routes across Scotland - such as the A83 in Argyll and the A75 to Stranraer - as they are eligible for applications for this funding, a point I will be pursuing in the coming weeks."
Notes to editors
1. Professor Péter Balázs is co-ordinator of the TEN-T Mediterranean Corridor - http://ec.europa.eu/transport/themes/infrastructure/ten-t-guidelines/european-coordinators/peter-balazs_en.htm
2. Conservative Councillor for Ellon and District Gillian Owen has been campaigning to have the A90 upgraded https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cllr-Gillian-Owen/338266222941871