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More Inveralmond tailbacks on the way? Last-minute changes revealed to Bertha Park road deal

Fears key road linking new Perth Bertha Park homes to A9 could be delayed after late change to Springfield Homes construction deal.

Heavy traffic on the approach to the Inveralmond Roundabout in Perth.

Large tailbacks around Perth’s Inveralmond roundabout could get worse after a leading developer said it would no longer build a road linking new homes to the A9.

Housing developer Springfield Properties – as part of the Bertha Park company – had signed up to build the Bertha Park North Link road. That is a key part of the Perth Transport Futures masterplan.

But the deal with the award-winning builder has now changed, with council officers now taking responsibility for the multi-million pound project.

Labour Carse of Gowrie councillor Alasdair Bailey warned the change could worsen tailbacks at the Inveralmond Roundabout pinch point.

He said: “It undoubtedly means that the road will not be ready for when the rest of the Cross Tay Link Road (CTLR) opens in early 2025.

“The CTLR, and the economic development we were promised at its inception, means a great deal more car and lorry journeys.

“The consequence of the delay to the final piece of the CTLR puzzle will be that traffic from Scone direction will have no option but to head to the already congested Inveralmond Roundabout.”

A spokesperson for Transport Scotland said they had not been involved in discussions on the “delivery mechanism” for the new road.

But the Scottish Government agency will now investigate the possibility of disruption at the Inveralmond Roundabout, linked to the change.

What is Perth Transport Futures and why does Bertha Park road matter?

The Perth Transport Futures project has four phases to update the infrastructure in and around the city.

The Bertha Park North Link Road is phase three. Project managers said it would link the A9 through the Bertha Park area.

Company Bertha Park Ltd includes award-winning housing developers Springfield Properties and the landowner.

The CTLR is phase two of the Perth Transport Futures – Perth’s major roadbuilding project.

Councillor Bailey is seeking talks with Transport Scotland officials “to make sure Inveralmond doesn’t get even worse when CTLR opens.”

Councillor Bailey added: “Even though I disagree with the traffic-generating CTLR itself, I’m still concerned to hear that the council will now have to build the final ‘missing link’ of the road itself.”

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The best use of council officers’ time also worries Councillor Bailey. He said they will now spend “thousands of hours” on the road project.

That could have an implication on how able they are to work on other public services.

Council control over road building provides ‘greater certainty over timeline’ – but what timeline?

A Perth and Kinross council spokesperson confirmed the council are now responsible for building – and paying for – the Bertha Park road.

They will then recover the costs from the housing developer.

However, a council spokesperson suggested it was too early to supply a cost for building the road when asked.

He said: “It was anticipated Bertha Park Ltd would be responsible for delivering the project but it has now been agreed the council will deliver the project.

“Costs will be recovered from the developer, as was set out in the legal agreement between the two parties.

“Delivery by the council provides greater certainty over the timescale for completion to ensure the maximum benefits from the overall Perth Transport Futures project are delivered as soon as possible.”

The spokesperson was unable to clarify exactly what the timeline for the Bertha Park road would be. The Cross Tay Link Road is due to open in early 2025.

The A924 junction at the Cross Tay Link Road. Image: UK Civil Air Support

He added: “Perth Transport Future will deliver significant transport improvements in Perth and Kinross and reduce traffic through Perth city.

“The Cross Tay Link Road is the biggest infrastructure project in Perth and Kinross Council’s history and is the second phase of this project.

“The Bertha Park Link Road is the third phase of the project and it was never expected that both phases would be completed at the same time.”

It is not yet clear if the change will delay phase four of the Perth Transport Futures project. This fourth phase focuses on Perth city centre improvements, including how people walk and cycle, as well as public transport options.

Springfield Properties can now ‘concentrate on Bertha Park village’

A spokesperson for Springfield Properties said Perth and Kinross Council had “mutually agreed” the late change.

She said: “The local authority has strategic oversight of the Perth Transport Futures Project.

“It makes sense that they drive this and coordinate it with other priority programmes, in-line with wider timeframes.

“This will allow Springfield to concentrate on the Bertha Park village and the provision of high-quality homes that meet the needs of local people. This is all in line with the planning permission that was granted.”