New lit fountain switched on to mark the final part of the £3.2m refurbishment of a city street

A new fountain with feature lights was switched on today to mark the final part of a major refurbishment to Broad Street in the heart of Aberdeen’s city centre.

Aberdeen City Council transport spokesman Councillor Ross Grant was joined by Andy Mulholland, Sustrans’ Head of Design and Engineering for Scotland, and Steve Turner from Muse Developments for the event on the pedestrian-priority road.

The £3.2million City Centre Masterplan project is has transformed and revitalised the street by making it a pedestrian-orientated space, improving the streetscape, and turning it into an area capable of staging events throughout the year. The road re-opened to the only permitted traffic – local timetabled buses and cyclists - two months ago.

The design for Broad Street includes the illuminated fountains, trees and benches, improved lighting, and a raised grass area offering flexible event space in front of Marischal College, and it also includes a paved roundel - a mini-roundabout – where Upperkirkgate and Gallowgate meet. The cost of the work is being covered by the City Council’s City Centre Masterplan budget, Marischal Square developer Muse, and Transport Scotland, through Sustrans Scotland’s Community Links programme.

The design as part of the multi-million-pound 25-year City Centre Masterplan which had overwhelming feedback from the public was to have more pedestrian-friendly areas in the city, and more green travel which Broad Street is helping deliver.

Councillor Ross Grant said: “Overwhelming feedback from the public during the City Centre Masterplan consultation was for more pedestrian-friendly areas.

“As the east end of the city centre continues with its transformation the new shared space on Broad Street, complete with enhanced public realm, is now a more functional, attractive and cleaner place for people designed to encourage people to linger longer which is also a fit for purpose event ready space to accommodate Aberdeen’s growing programme of events and festivals that take place year round.

“The Broad Street layout is the first of its kind in the city and, as a new space for the city centre, we’d ask all users of Broad Street to continue to be considerate and mindful of all other users.”

Sustrans Scotland Community Links Manager Dave Keane said: “Creating safe and attractive spaces to walk and cycle is at the heart of our Community Links programme and we are proud to have supported the changes made to Broad Street as part of the City Centre Masterplan.

“By creating a street which prioritises people on foot and bike, Broad Street becomes a more attractive place for everyone, that will improve health and wellbeing, increase footfall for local business and bring communities together.”

Muse Developments Regional Director (Scotland) Steve Turner said: “The redevelopment of Broad Street is the latest phase of a remarkable transformation of this city centre location.

“The new open pedestrian-priority design complements Marischal Square which is already proving to be a vibrant and popular civic space. I believe this will further enhance the City Centre Masterplan ambitions to bring life back into heart of Aberdeen.”

The only vehicles allowed on Broad are local timetabled buses and bicycles - pedestrians will get priority over other road users, and cars/other vehicles will continue to be banned.

The road opened to local timetabled buses from 1 August and drivers at both Stagecoach and First Buses received extensive training from their employers about how they should drive on that section. A ‘bus gate’ camera has also been set on Broad Street.

Cars, vans, lorries, and other vehicles will continue to be allowed on Upperkirkgate/Schoolhill although drivers are reminded that Upperkirkgate and the Gallowgate and they are not permitted to stop and park there.

Motorists and cyclists should also be aware there will be increased numbers of pedestrians and cyclists on Upperkirkgate/Gallowgate due to the change to a pedestrian-priority area for Broad Street, and they should slow down and take extra care in the vicinity.

Familiarisation work for the new road layout was carried out before the road opened with Disability Equity Partnership, and their observations will be carefully examined and considered as part of a planned monitoring review of the project following its opening. Officers will report back to committee after six months. The design and build of the project followed best practice and government guidelines.

Picture caption: PIC CAPTIONS: Andy Mulholland, Sustrans’ Head of Design and Engineering for Scotland, ACC transport spokesman Councillor Ross Grant, and Muse Developments Regional Director (Scotland) Steve Turner at the new fountain