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Union Street Pedestrianisation - Background

In 2002, a public consultation exercise was carried out by Aberdeen City Centre Partnership to gather comment on the Urban Realm Strategy. The Urban Realm Strategy is a series of projects that aims to enhance the environmental and economic aspects of the city centre by revitalising the central core. The successful implementation of this strategy is planned to increase usage of the area by both business and the general public.

One of the key problem areas to be resolved by the Urban Realm Strategy is the conflict between pedestrians and vehicles on Union Street. The strategy identified the requirement to fully pedestrianise Union Street between Bridge Street and Market Street. This proposal received high support from the public, retailers and the media during the subsequent exhibition/consultation process.

The Council endorsed the Urban Realm Strategy and instructed officers to proceed with the investigatory work required to determine the feasibility of pedestrianisation. This investigation work has now been carried out to evaluate the impacts of the redistribution of traffic through the city centre and the re-routing of public transport resulting from the closure of this part of Union Street.


Initial investigations into the number of casualties on Union Street between 1999 and 2002 revealed that 59 accidents occurred on the entire length of Union Street, with around 40% of these on the section between Bridge Street and Market Street. The conflict between pedestrians and vehicles remains high on this stretch of Union Street, despite the provision of crossings at key desire lines and in accordance with technical standards in terms of spacing. Whilst a detailed assessment has still to be undertaken, early statistics show that there is a high percentage of casualties resulting from pedestrians stepping onto the carriageway due to overcrowding on the footways.

Current situation

Pedestrian movement on Union Street is currently constrained by various items of street furniture such as bollards, street bins, bus shelters, litter bins etc. The "feel good factor" experienced by those visiting the city centre is poorer than that of other cities who have implemented or enhanced streetscape schemes.


  • Transportation Strategy and Programmes
    Planning and Sustainable Development
    Aberdeen City Council
    Business Hub 4
    Marischal College
    Broad Street
    AB10 1AB
    Phone: 01224 522618
    Fax: 01224 523180