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Aberdeen bypass protester is orchestrating campaign from Newcastle

RoadSense campaigner William Walton accused of hypocrisy after relocating to the north-east of England.

RoadSense Aberdeen bypass campaigner William Walton.
SWNS

The man responsible for driving forward the campaign to block the Aberdeen bypass is plotting his legal challenge from his new home - in the north-east of England.

William Walton, the man behind the RoadSense group which has campaigned against the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR), has left Scotland after losing his university job.

The news has sparked anger among people in the north-east of Scotland given Walton's opposition to the AWPR, which business leaders believe is essential if Aberdeen is to devise a traffic infrastructure fit for the 21st century.

Walton recently exited Scotland after taking a voluntary severance package from Aberdeen University and has defended his continuing opposition to the AWPR. The verdict on his appeal against the project will be announced in the UK Supreme Court on Wednesday.

"Following the decision of the [Aberdeen] University to close the postgraduate degree programmes in urban and rural planning, I decided to take voluntary severance," said Walton, who still owns a residential property in Westhill.

"I took up a lecturing position at Northumbria Law School at the beginning of September."

However, Walton's relocation has been attacked by several Aberdeen politicians, who maintain that it is hypocritical for him to object to the AWPR while traffic gridlock increases in the city and he is 250 miles away from where the problems are happening.

"I have branded RoadSense as 'RoadNonsense' before - and now we find out their prime Nimby is protesting against a road which is nowhere near his back yard," said the SNP MSP Kevin Stewart.

"People in the north-east will be aghast about this situation.

"The vast majority of people want this road to go ahead as soon as possible. So the hypocrisy of William Walton and his small band of backers knows no bounds."

That stance was echoed by Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald, who added: "Obviously, there are people helping to fund this [legal] challenge and I would hope they will not continue that funding, should the decision this week not go their way."

The Supreme Court will confirm their ruling on Wednesday morning.

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