City centre road closure reminder

Motorists are reminded of a road closure through Aberdeen city centre which starts on Saturday 21 Nov for the new Christmas Village attraction.

Union Terrace is to be shut from 21 November to 8 January to accommodate the build and then operation of the Village, which has been spearheaded by Aberdeen Inspired and is part of the City Council's Winter Festival and is a result of residents and businesses asking for more bigger events in the city. The build for the ice rink part of the Village has been taking place in the pocket park outside His Majesty's Theatre this week.

Local traffic and bus route diversions will be in place along with parking restrictions for several streets, and people are encouraged to use public transport, walk or cycle rather than drive into the city centre.

In addition, motorists are reminded that Broad Street between Queen Street and Upperkirkgate is buses-only northbound for 17 months. There are no restrictions to southbound vehicles.

Aberdeen City Council Communities, Housing and Infrastructure convener Councillor Neil Cooney said: "Aberdeen city centre is getting busy already with Christmas shoppers, and will get even busier in the next few weeks, especially with the added attraction of the Christmas Village.

"There will be further congestion due to the traffic and parking restrictions, so we're asking folk to plan their journey ahead and think about what would be the easiest option for getting into town.

"We look forward to welcoming people from near and far to Aberdeen for all the events happening as part of the Winter Festival."

City residents are asked to use buses where possible and details of revised routes and stops, along with times and fares are available from First Aberdeen (firstgroup.com/Aberdeen) and Stagecoach (stagecoachbus.com).

In Aberdeen, the Park & Ride services include Kingswells and Bridge of Don and, in Aberdeenshire, there is one at Ellon. In addition, the parking at Woodhill House on Westburn Road is to be open and free every Saturday and Sunday in December to allow shoppers to access the buses on Westburn Road.

Bus stops on Union Terrace and Bridge Street are to be temporarily relocated to nearby locations at Skene Square, Rosemount Viaduct, Wapping Street and the layby on Denburn Road. First Bus is also putting on a free service for ticket-holders for nos 3 and 12 services from Guild Street to near Union Street. Bus route diversions will be on both First Aberdeen and Stagecoach's websites.

Aberdeenshire residents, and for people coming into the city centre from further afield, are encouraged to use train or bus services. Information on train and bus routes, timetables and fares are available from travelinescotland.com or 0871 200 22 33. The main train companies are Scotrail (scotrail.co.uk) and Virgin East Coast (virgineastcoast.com), and the main bus companies are Stagecoach (stagecoachbus.com) and Megabus (megabus.com).

People driving into the city are asked to use car parks – both public and private – in the side of the city they arrive in. For people coming from the south are asked to use – as much as practically possible – public and private car parks on the south side of the city centre, such as College Street Car Park or Union Square Shopping Centre. People coming in from the north of the city or from the A96 Inverness/Elgin road are asked to use car parks in the north of the city centre such as East North Street or the Bon Accord Shopping Centre. Drivers coming in from the west can use Chapel Street or Denburn Car Parks. Drivers are also asked to make more use of Frederick Street and the part-time Marischal Street car parks.

There will be revised 'At Any Time' waiting restrictions imposed on Blackfriars Street, Schoolhill and Upperkirkgate which will limit parking outwith the prescribed loading areas to all vehicles at all times. To lessen the impact in these areas,an alternative drop-off/pick-up point will be created for RGC parents in the existing layby on Denburn Road, immediately adjacent to the Triple Kirks site. Any member of the public can use this drop-off/pick-up point. Access to and from Schoolhill will be via the existing stairwell immediately adjacent to the Triple Kirks site on Denburn Viaduct. For a limited time, drivers can also utilise reduced parking charges for Denburn car park.

The five disabled car park spaces on Union Terrace are to be moved and an extra one created: two to Diamond Street, two on Skene Terrace, and two on Rosemount Viaduct outside nos 41 to 45. In addition, five disabled car parking spaces created on the inset road at Schoolhill outside Robert Gordon's College are to continue for the festive season. The existing disabled bays on Back Wynd and Little Belmont Street will also be operational.