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Council / New Cullivoe road gets green light

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

THE CONSTRUCTION of a new road in Cullivoe which leads to the area’s busy pier has received its final approval from councillors.

A full business case for the new £5 million two-lane road between Gutcher and Cullivoe went in front of a meeting of the full Shetland Islands Council on Wednesday and elected members were happy to give their backing.

The upgrade of the B9082 was made a priority road project in 2019 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 road project has a proposed six-year development and construction period.

It would also “future proof” a possible fixed link connection to Unst.

Chairman of the environment and transport committee Ryan Thomson, who represents the North Isles, said it was “imperative that we continue the progress of this case as quickly as possible”.

The meeting also heard that there was a hope that the approval would be taken into account in future planning applications in the area.

The poor condition of the road has caused problems in the past for proposed developments, including the project from North Yell Development Council for a new marina and revamped business park which has looked into transporting materials instead by sea.

Shetland South member Allison Duncan asked whether there was any danger of the project going over budget in the coming years, but no firm assurances could be given due to the nature of the project.

Council leader Steven Coutts noted that projects which are on or under budget often go unnoticed, and while Duncan agreed with this, he said “when things go wrong we are there to scrutinise and ask questions”.

The meeting also heard that council officers have explored applying for grant funding for the project.