Main work starting on scheme next week to allow people to physically distance while walking and queuing in Rosemount

People queuing and walking about in the Rosemount area of Aberdeen will have more space to physically distance as work is due to finish next week on a temporary scheme to change roads and pavements.

The project, which is part of a national strategy to create walking and cycling spaces in towns and cities across Scotland, has been designed following feedback from local councillors, businesses and stakeholders.

Aberdeen City Council was awarded a ringfenced £1.76million grant from the Scottish Government’s Spaces for People fund, and measures taking place in several locations around the city include temporary pedestrianisation, pavement widening, bike lanes, and one-way travel. The measures will support local shops, cafes, bars and restaurants and the local economy as people will be able to queue safely while physically distancing.

In Rosemount, preliminary works including installation of signpost sockets have been carried out. The main works, which includes lining and signing, are due to take about three days and are due to start on Monday.

The widened footways will accommodate leisure walking, and queuing at shops, other businesses and bus stops. There is also space for cycling along the route for commuter and leisure cyclists.

General traffic will be limited to one way eastbound on Rosemount Place between Argyll Place/ Westfield Road junction and Mount Street/ South Mount Street junction.

A contraflow cycle lane will be in place from South Mount Street westbound to Esslemont Avenue where a new bus gate will permit entry for buses to a contraflow bus and cycle lane westbound to Westfield Road.

Provision for residents and visitor parking has been balanced with loading areas for local businesses. An alternative bus stop will be provided on Leadside Road to accommodate the rerouted westbound service.

Aberdeen City Council transport spokesperson Councillor Sandra Macdonald said: “We’re pleased that the works are going to start in earnest for Rosemount next week and they’ve been changed after consultation with local businesses, First Bus and community groups.

“The dialogue with local businesses and residents will continue to guage how the scheme works as people continue to return to the area for shopping and leisure, and the interventions may change as a result.

“Rosemount is a very popular and vibrant community with a wide range of fantastic shops, cafes, restaurants and a pub. Many people walk in the area already and the scheme will support local jobs and the local economy in all these businesses as lockdown eases.”

Advance signs highlighting the changes and restrictions are also being put out letting people know about the changes in the area.

Similar works, where traffic is re-routed to free up carriageway space for businesses, pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users, have already been carried out on Union Street and nearby streets, and in the community of Torry.

The works being carried out around Aberdeen will help protect public health by reducing COVID-19 transmission in the city which will in turn reduce the number of cases NHS Grampian’s contact tracing team have to cope with, making their intervention easier and more effective. The temporary measures will further help the economic recovery of the city and allow people to continue to use active travel such as walking and cycling.

Aberdeen City Council will continue to review, monitor, and evaluate the interventions while discussions are held with stakeholders, and when the measures are in place. The continual reviewing may mean changes to the interventions, and it is also a requirement of the fund, which is being administered by sustainable transport body Sustrans Scotland.

The length of time the temporary measures will be in place will be determined by NHS and Government guidance for physical distancing.