Berryden Corridor junction preferred option

A preferred option for a key junction for the £26.4million Berryden Corridor Improvement Scheme has been approved by Aberdeen City council’s Full Council.

The scheme is designed to help traffic move around the city better and work alongside the improvements already delivered by the new crossing over the River Don which opened on 9 June.

The preferred option would involve the demolition of 1, 2 and part of 6 Caroline Place, and would also affect the grounds of 3 Caroline Place and The Father’s House. The properties are within a conservation zone and care was taken by council officers to ensure the best possible layout of the road was achieved while preserving as much of the granite built heritage as possible.

Council officers have been in contact with householders and owners to make them aware of the decision from Wednesday’s Full Council meeting, and they have also been involved in discussions with landowners and local groups over the past few months.

Aberdeen City Council Leader Councillor Jenny Laing said: “The Berryden Corridor Improvement Scheme is one of several major infrastructure projects worth a total of £560million which are leading one of the biggest transformations the city has had – these include third Don crossing, the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR/B-T), and the A96 Dyce Park and Choose and Link Road.

“The Berryden Corridor Improvement would represent a substantial upgrade to the local and strategic transport network and will benefit motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

“Improvement of this corridor also helps the delivery of other infrastructure routes and a better journey throughout the city, and also supports wider network policies such as the City Centre Masterplan.”

Six options had been considered by council officers based on the principles of the Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG) document, and the recommended option at Full Council was the one approved by councillors.

The Berryden Corridor is seen as an important part of the city’s roads network. Without further improvement, there is a risk of increased congestion in the immediate area and the surrounding network.

The preferred option would improve the efficiency of the Berryden Road/Hutcheon Street junction from the previously-approved 2009 junction arrangement by introducing an additional left turn lane from Berryden Road onto Hutcheon Street. This may potentially require the demolition on 166 Hutcheon Street although efforts will be made to avoid this if at all possible.

The preferred option would allow the road to be realigned so that it does not affect land belonging to 82-84 Skene Square and 14 Forbes Street. This also improves the road alignment and increases the visibility for the adjacent commercial properties but this requires the demolition of 1&2 Caroline Place.

The preferred option would further improve visibility, and reduce conflict for pedestrians and cyclists at the corner of Hutcheon Street / Caroline Place. The carriageway, footway and shared cyclepath widths will be reduced over a short section to limit the impact on 3 Caroline Place and to avoid impacting on 4 and 5 Caroline Place.

The next stage in the process is for council officers to hold discussions with the owners of the affected residential properties.

The detailed design has not been completed for the scheme but the decision at Full Council should now allow this to happen prior to any potential compulsory purchase order later this year.