Signage going up in preparation of re-opening of Broad Street

New signs are going up on Upperkirkgate and the Gallowgate this week in preparation of the re-opening of Broad Street following completion of the works at the end of next month.

The £3.2million City Centre Masterplan project will transform and revitalise the street by making it pedestrian-priority, and it will also improve the streetscape and turn it into an area capable of staging events throughout the year.

The signage on Upperkirkgate will remind motorists that Upperkirkgate and the Gallowgate are normal roads so vehicles are not allowed to stop and drop people off.

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

Aberdeen City Council culture spokeswoman Councillor Marie Boulton said: “It’s fantastic the new pedestrian-priority area in the city centre is to be open soon.

“The area will make the east end of the city centre more attractive to visit and live, alongside the new facilities in Marischal Square, the redeveloped Art Gallery and Cowdray Hall with new roof-top café and galleries, revamped Union Terrace Gardens, and landscaping at Schoolhill in front of the gallery.

“This also contributes to our plans for realising the benefits of the AWPR (B-T) when it opens soon, by helping making the city centre a destination that people want to come and spend time in with events including Spectra, the Tour Series, and the Great Aberdeen Run.

“We appreciate this is the first time we’ll have a pedestrian-priority street in Aberdeen and it may take people time to get used to how to use it so we’d ask everyone using the area to be mindful of others.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how the area will get used as we already have noticed an increase of people coming to the area to admire the stunning Marischal College building, the elegant Poised sculpture, and also spend time in restaurants and bars.”

Buses and cyclists are to be allowed on Broad Street with pedestrians to get priority over other road users, and cars will continue to be banned.

Everyone using Broad Street are encouraged to be respectful and mindful of others.

The traffic lights at Upperkirkgate and Gallowgate are to be removed and replaced with a shared surface for vehicles and a roundel - a mini-roundabout where pedestrians are given priority. There will be a Toucan crossing at the Union Street end. The ‘road’ and ‘pavement’ areas on Broad Street will be marked out by different-coloured stonework and tactile areas.

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.

The cost of the work is being covered by the City Centre Masterplan budget, Marischal Square developer Muse, and Sustrans Scotland.

Head of infrastructure at Sustrans Scotland Dave Keane said: "Sustrans Scotland has been working in partnership with ACC to make Aberdeen a better place for people.

“We encourage people to take advantage of the new Broad Street and look forward to the opening.”

The design for Broad Street includes a fountain, trees and benches, improved lighting, and a raised grass area offering flexible event space in front of Marischal College.

Familiarisation work is to be carried out before the road opens with First Aberdeen, Stagecoach, and the Disability Equity Partnership.