A quiet Perthshire village could experience nearly three times as much traffic after the opening of the controversial CTLR.
Local residents previously gathered in Rait to raise fears that the Cross Tay Link Road (CTLR) could turn narrow country roads into rat runs.
And their concerns appear to have been justified.
Perth and Kinross Council figures show traffic on the single track road running past Rait is expected to increase by 2027.
Traffic could nearly triple during morning rush
The number of vehicles travelling westbound during morning rush hour is projected to increase by as much as 186%.
The figures were revealed by Labour councillor for Carse of Gowrie Alasdair Bailey.
Mr Bailey said motorists travelling from Dundee to Perth were likely to take a short cut through the Sidlaws to the link road.
It is understood the figures are “good approximations” for how things could look after the CTLR is established.
Costing around £118 million the link includes a bridge over the Tay just north of the River Almond.
It is expected to be up and running by 2024.
‘Worst fears’ confirmed
The Braes of Carse Conservation Group previously called for the CTLR to be scrapped.
“The figures entirely confirm the worst fears of the Braes of the Carse Conservation Group,” said the group’s chairperson, Graham Nicholson.
“The roads are single track, narrow, blind corners, hidden summits, steep, very dangerous in any season but especially winter and entirely unsuitable as a rat run.
“They are currently designated as cycle friendly roads and the Rait Community Association are asking that the Rait road be clearly marked as unsuitable for through traffic in order to avoid the inevitable serious accidents.”
The CTLR will link the A9 with the A93 and A94 north of Scone.
Perth and Kinross Council leader Murray Lyle says the link would generate nearly £1 billion in private sector investment.
It would also allow the development of around 12,000 new homes and open up land for business use.
‘Major headache’ for rural communities
But Mr Bailey opposed the scheme.
And he urged caution when the road was given final approval last year.
“I proposed we waited a few months until we had these figures in hand and could plan accordingly,” he said.
“Sadly, not enough of the other councillors agreed and I was defeated.
“We’re now in a situation where the opening of this new road will lead to a major headache for our rural communities in the Sidlaws.
“This is a road which is single track with passing places for the majority of its length. Traffic going from Dundee towards Perth on this road is forecast to almost triple.”
‘More roads, more problems’
Mr Bailey said more roads created “more problems”.
He added: “We in Perth and Kinross should have had the wisdom to learn from the costly mistakes made elsewhere.”
In building the road, the council was also “ignoring the climate emergency”, said the councillor.
A spokesperson for Perth and Kinross Council said: “Perth and Kinross Council is seeking through the introduction of the Cross Tay Link Road to make improvements to the traffic problems currently experienced in Perth city centre and the immediate surrounding area.
“Once the CTLR is open, motorists will have the option to avoid travelling through the city centre by using the new route.
“While we anticipate changes in traffic movements on some routes – notably the A93/A94 – during peak times, measures to mitigate any potential impacts on these and other routes including the Rait and Abernyte roads have been part of the considerations we have been taking forward from the outset.”