How roads are being classified around Aberdeen now the bypass has opened

The main roads around Aberdeen are to be reclassified and junctions realigned after agreement at committee today to encourage motorists to use the newly-opened Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (city bypass).

For decades, motorists had to use Anderson Drive and South Anderson Drive as one of the main ways of going from north to south, along with other main roads to cut across the city centre.

The roads hierarchy report agreed by members of Aberdeen City Council’s City Growth committee, sets out a new way of moving traffic away from crossing the city centre and instead out to the AWPR. It builds on the City Centre Masterplan by making the city centre a destination rather than a through-route, and also improves air quality, supporting public transport, and reduces congestion in the area.

The roads hierarchy work will include encouraging traffic to leave the city by major arterial routes including King Street, Great Northern Road, Westburn Road/Lang Stracht and Wellington Road, using the bypass, and then come back into another part of the city.

As part of this work, roads will be initially reclassified and work has already been carried out for new signage across the city which will support the new routing. Later work such as junction improvements and changes to traffic light sequencing will build on these new routes.

The move is designed to lock in the benefits of the bypass and it should be emphasised the principals of the increasing interventions have already been approved by Full Council as part of the City Centre Masterplan. It should also be stressed individual plans of how the interventions should work will be considered by appropriate committees at a later date.

In addition, it should further be emphasised all areas/destinations will remain fully accessible to all modes of transport, although car drivers may have to take slightly different routes than they are used to. The ultimate goal is minimal or no cross-city traffic.

Aberdeen City Centre transport spokesperson Councillor Sandra Macdonald said: “The reclassification of the roads and realignment of junctions should encourage motorists not to use the city centre as a through-route, and for more traffic to use the bypass.

“We’re looking forward to seeing how the roads hierarchy work will start to make a difference in the coming years.”

Councillors agreed with a recommendation in the report that officers develop a draft Car Parking Strategy and to report back to committee in summer 2020, and to proceed with public and stakeholder consultation on the draft Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) for the city centre with connections to harbour areas.

The SUMP is a consultation on the long-term transport strategy which identifies measures to enable and encourage residents and visitors to travel on foot, bike, public transport, or other low-emission forms of transport. This means it would also align with the roads hierarchy and the City Centre Masterplan.

The SUMP is part of the European-wide Civitas Portis transportation project, which is worth £3.2million to the north-east led by Aberdeen City Council, and involves a consortium of council, university and private partners aimed at improving travel in the area.

The report to committee today said it is anticipated that delivery of a revised roads hierarchy and the outcomes of a future Car Parking Strategy and SUMP will take several years to fully realise and will likely comprise a 20-30 year investment plan, aligned with CCMP delivery and the next iterations of national, regional and local transport strategies which will emerge in the next few years.