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Council / New Cullivoe road could cost £5m

A section of the road which runs between Gutcher and Cullivoe. © Google 2019

THE PREFERRED option for a new road in Cullivoe will cost around £5 million, councillors were told on Monday.

The new, two-lane road between Gutcher and Cullivoe would also “future proof” a possible fixed link connection to Unst.

The upgrade of the B9082 from Gutcher to Cullivoe was made a priority road project late last year as it is no longer considered fit for purpose due to the number of HGV vehicles using the road.

It is a vital link road for the fishing and aquaculture industries which use the Cullivoe pier.

The process has reached the outline business case stage, with a preferred option selected.

The road, on a new alignment, would have a capital cost of £5.014 million and there is hope work could start in 2021/22.

There is a project six-year timescale for construction.

Members of Shetland Islands Council’s policy and resources committee approved the proposal, the report due to go in front of the full council on Wednesday.

It that gets approved by councillors a full business case will be created.

Assets, commissioning and procurement manager Robert Sinclair said funding for the project is provisionally included in the council’s approved 2020-2025 assist investment plan.

This means that if the project received the green light funding would be committed.

North Mainland member Alastair Cooper asked if there was any update on whether the time taken for the compulsory purchases of land could be cut back.

Neil Hutcheson from the roads department said Yell Community Council was involved in researching land ownership, and the two-year projected time for compulsory purchase could be reduced.

Councillor Ryan Thomson, who chairs the council’s environment and transport committee, reiterated the importance of the piece of road to the North Isles, as well as the Shetland economy.

He also said it was “absolutely imperative” to include potential fixed links into the thinking.

“I think it’s essential going forward that we try to kill as many birds with one stone as we possibly can,” Thomson said.