A senior councillor has warned that scrapping the Cross Tay Link Road could lead to swathes of housing developments in the rural Carse of Gowrie.
Angus Forbes, environment and infrastructure convener for Perth and Kinross Council, said last week he had concerns about the impact of his administration’s £118 million project on rural roads.
The Carse Conservative councillor was speaking ahead of a meeting later this week to decide the flagship project’s fate, as part of a review of the council’s capital budget.
There is growing concern from Carse of Gowrie residents who believe the new crossing – linking the A9 to the A93 and A94 – will create rat runs past their homes.
Last week, people in Rait and Abernyte pointed out that motorists coming off the A9 and heading east along the A90 will be directed by navigation systems along the narrow Rait Road.
Now Mr Forbes said he has been reassured about the scheme after meeting with council officers.
He revealed that some measures could be put in place to ease traffic problems in rural areas.
And he warned if the new crossing did not go ahead, the council would have no choice but to offer land to housing developers in the Carse of Gowrie.
Mr Forbes said last week that he supported the CTLR “in principal” but had concerns about “unintended consequences”.
He was accused by SNP councillor Fiona Sarwar of a “dereliction of his duties” for not fully investigating these matters earlier.
Mr Forbes confirmed he supported the project “and the economic benefits it brings to Perth,” adding: “If Perth benefits, then the whole of Perth and Kinross benefits.”
He said: “However, there has always been concerns in villages across the high Carse area that this could bring an increase in traffic and these concerns increased as the vote came closer.
“As a ward member, it was important for me to respond to these concerns and as promised, I have met again with council officers from traffic, planning and road safety. I was given certain assurances that satisfy my concerns and hopefully those of my constituents.”
He said that roads will be assessed for an extension of existing 40mph walking and cycling routes. This, he said, would be a condition of planning consent.
“Additionally, I was assured that sufficient signage will be in place on the A94 directing Dundee-bound traffic away from the north side of the Carse of Gowrie.
“The council has an obligation to provide land for housing, and this land is identified to the west of Perth and relies on the CTLR.
“If we can’t provide that land, the housing demand still exists and we will need to provide land someplace else. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the Carse of Gowrie would be a likely place for that house building, given its proximity to Dundee.
“That is another concern for me and I would say to my Carse of Gowrie colleagues to think carefully about this before they vote.”
Mr Forbes rejected accusations of “dereliction of duty” saying he had been working to resolve the traffic issue for months.
Ms Sarwar, a member of the SNP’s sub-group on the Climate Change Emergency, added: “As with all development and road infrastructure, there is the potential for further pollution and environmental damage.
“However, it is also true that with good design this road can connect a much greater network for cycling and sustainable travel.”