Temporary bus stops and Union Street bus gate camera enforcement both start next week

Temporary bus stops in the city centre and camera enforcement at the Union Street bus gate are to start next week.

There will be 27 temporary stops marked out by wooden totems or by a temporary bus stop pole on Union Street from Monday, and the wooden totems will have bus timetables fixed to them. The update timetable information is being rolled out over the next few weeks and is available on bus operators’ websites and through the Traveline website as usual. 

The stops in the remainder of the city centre will remain open so will have the usual signage.

From Tuesday, a mobile camera will be used to enforce at the Union Street bus gate. The vehicles permitted to go through the bus gate includes buses, pedal cycles, taxis and authorised vehicles only on the length of Union Street between its junction with Market Street and just before its junction with The Adelphi.

The authorised vehicles exemption includes emergency blue light vehicles, private hire vehicles, a courier service dropping off or picking packages in the specified area, and a security company dropping off or picking packages in the specified area, HGVs can also use the bus gate to exit the area.

The temporary bus stops and bus gate are necessary for public safety as additional space has been established on roads to allow for physical distancing and active travel.

The plans are part of a ringfenced £1.76million grant which was awarded to Aberdeen City Council on 26 May from the Scottish Government’s Spaces for People fund to carry out temporary works in our streets to help provide space to physically distance in line with government guidance.

The grant is paying for a roll out of temporary measures to allow people to walk, cycle, and queue for buses and shopping across the city while adhering to the physically distancing guidance. Measures taking place include pedestrianisation, pavement widening, temporary bike lanes, and one-way walking.

The works to Union Street include pedestrianisation of one of the areas with the highest footfalls normally, from Union Terrace/Bridge Street to Market Street.

Aberdeen City Council transport spokesperson Councillor Sandra Macdonald said: “It is good the temporary bus stops will be in place after positive discussions with the bus companies, and the bus gate mobile camera should make a difference allowing better traffic flow for buses.

“The temporary bus stops and other useful information can be viewed at https://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/services/coronavirus-covid-19/spaces-people-including-city-centre.”

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. People can comment on the new measures at https://consultation.aberdeencity.gov.uk/planning/physical-distancing-measures/.

There are Spaces for People measures installed on Union Street and nearby streets, Victoria Road in Torry, Rosemount Place, George Street, and the Beach Esplanade and Boulevard area which 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.

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