THE Scottish Government does not know when the £745 million Aberdeen bypass will open, it has emerged.

The artery, properly known as the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR), was supposed to be completed by April or May but no date now exists, with contractor Balfour Beatty saying it could take until the summer to finish the job.

The trouble comes after Carillion – which joined with Balfour Beatty and Galliford Try on the project under the name Aberdeen Roads Limited – went into liquidation.

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The remaining partners have vowed to overcome a multi-million pound funding gap and Economy Secretary Keith Brown has said Holryood will not “fill that hole”.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The Scottish Government continues to have discussions with Aberdeen Roads Limited (ARL) in order to achieve an agreed date for the earliest possible completion of this project, despite the recent insolvency of Carillion.

“We expect these to conclude shortly and will provide a full update to parliament at that time.”

However, Lib Dem transport spokesperson Mike Rumbles MSP has accused Brown of “playing catch up” over the construction project. He said: “After months of SNP waffle, Balfour Beatty has finally revealed what we all suspected – this project is not going to be finished when the government said it would.

“The Economy Secretary needs to quit his obfuscation and make clear when the already overdue AWPR project will actually open.”

Meanwhile, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said his party had evidence that workers on the AWPR project had been “exploited”.

He also criticised the Scottish Government’s action on making work fair and said major outsourcing firms like G4S, Mitie, Capita and Serco had not signed the voluntary Scottish Business Pledge on fair work practices.

Nicola Sturgeon said she “condemned any company” making workers pay to receive wages and urged the firms to sign the pledge.