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Busy city centre weekend expected

17/12/13

Traffic levels have been steadily building in Aberdeen city centre over recent weeks and Aberdeen is likely to be exceptionally busy on the last Saturday and Sunday before Santa arrives.

Aberdeen City Council would like to remind the travelling public of the many transport options open to them, including extra Park and Ride services running into the city, rail travel, cycling and car shares.

Sunday Park and Ride services will be running as normal on Saturday. Sunday services will also be operating from: Kingswells Park and Ride to Union Street, via Aberdeen Royal Infirmary; and Bridge of Don Park and Ride to Union Street, via King Street. Fares cost 3.50 peak and 3 off-peak return. Up to two children under 16 travel free when accompanied by an adult. The Woodhill House Park and Ride will also be in operation for those travelling on the number 23 and 40 buses. The fare is 3 return.

The Ellon Park and Ride, which costs 5 for a day return, runs to Union Square via Bridge of Don and King Street.

Nestrans, through its Getabout brand, has launched a festive interactive travel guide which provides details about bus and rail services across the city and shire. The guide, which also provides information about routes, timetables and special festive services, is available on the Getabout website at www.get-about.com

Council leader and convener of Enterprise, Planning and Infrastructure Barney Crockett said: "It has been wonderful to see so many people visiting Aberdeen, from across the city and beyond. It creates a real buzz in the city centre and is of course great news for Aberdeen's economy.

"With the influx of shoppers comes an inevitable increase in traffic on the roads, which can result in some delays. I would encourage people visiting the city centre to make use of the many public transport options available to them, consider car sharing, or shopping outwith the busiest times to avoid getting caught up in the rush.

"Aberdeen is well served for parking and those who know the city are advised to take advantage of the many car parks it has to offer – or even better, to take the bus or train."

Inspector Iain MacLelland of the City Centre Community Policing Team said: "We will be working closely with our partners at Aberdeen City Council and Nestrans to ensure that the city keeps moving as we move closer to the busy Christmas period.

"I want to encourage drivers coming in to the city centre to be considerate of other road users and be aware of traffic rules. Simple measures that we should all be taking, such as not blocking box junctions and jumping red lights will help to reduce congestion and keep traffic flowing as best as possible during the busy Christmas period."

Variable message signs will be posted on the A90 and A944 advising motorists of road conditions in the city and encouraging them to use the Park and Ride services. The inner circle of variable message signs will also be used to alert drivers when car parks are reaching capacity.

The busiest shopping time at the weekend is from late morning to early afternoon. Spreading your day over this period, or doing your shopping outwith this time can help reduce traffic build-up and delays.

There are more than 5,000 parking spaces throughout the city centre, all within easy walking distance of the main shopping precinct. Drivers can use the PayByPhone cashless parking system, which allows you to extend your parking time without returning to your vehicles, in council-run car parks.

City centre car parks include: Chapel Street, 500 spaces; Denburn, 326 spaces; Frederick Street, 185 spaces; Marischal College, 100 spaces and open to the public on Thursday evenings, all day Saturday and on Sunday afternoons; Gallowgate 160 spaces; Golden Square 32 spaces; Summer Street 23 spaces; Trinity Centre, 395 spaces; Shiprow, 365 spaces; Bon Accord Centre - Harriet Street, 370 spaces; Bon Accord Centre - Loch Street, 950 spaces; College Street, 656 spaces; and Union Square, 1,210 spaces.

Motorists are advised to avoid the Market Street/Virginia Street corridor if possible and those who do not need to travel into the city centre are advised to use alternative routes to cross the city.

Those who are planning onward journeys by rail, ferry, bus or plane should allow extra time to reach their departure point as city roads will be busier than usual. Further information about public transport services is available online at www.travelinescotland.com