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Changes proposed for controversial Aberdeen bus gates scheme



By Ken BanksBBC Scotland, North East reporter • Phil McDonaldBBC Scotland

BBC Bus gatesBBC

Aberdeen city centre is the focus of the scheme

Changes to Aberdeen’s controversial bus gate scheme in the heart of the city are being proposed.

The experimental bus priority routes were implemented last year.

The bus gate restrictions were introduced to reduce the amount of general traffic on Market Street, Guild Street, Union Street and Bridge Street.

The council’s Net Zero, Environment and Transport Committee has now backed suspending a Union Street bus gate, which would mean that all vehicles could turn left down Market Street.

A final decision will be taken by the full city council at a later date.

The restrictions were introduced last year under an experimental order, while the local authority gathered feedback.

The committee had received hundreds of objections, with local businesses claiming takings have plummeted.

However, bus operators First Aberdeen and Stagecoach welcomed the system – saying it has made journey times quicker and that more passengers are using services.

Under the proposals, when vehicles got to the bottom of Market Street they would only be able to turn left, providing access to Trinity Quay and Shiprow.

Drivers would not be able to continue down Market Street beyond the traffic lights.

‘Challenges’ ahead

The motion also said officials would report back in 18 months on the operation and impact of the city centre traffic management regime and make any recommendations for modifications felt to be needed.

Committee convener Ian Yuill said the “challenges” ahead for the city centre were not being underestimated.

The motion was passed six votes to three.

Victoria Mutch owns Style for your Shape in the Schoolhill area of the city.

She said the traffic measures have been extremely damaging.

Victoria Mutch

Victoria Mutch said the traffic measures had impacted trade at her clothing shop

“We have seen a 30% drop in sales on the same time period in 2022,” she told BBC Scotland News.

“We are a young business but we were growing month on month before that period.

“I think people have just been scared. The communication of the bus gates initially was confusing for a lot of people.”

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