The city centre, and Union Street in particular, faces challenges because pavements are not wide enough to accommodate the current 2-metre level of physical distancing.
The changes include:
- The section on Union Street from Market Street to Bridge Street, has been pedestrianised. A bus gate has been installed – which means service buses, taxis and cyclists only are allowed - on Union Street from just after the Adelphi to the Market Street junction. 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.
- There is no access from Union Street to Bon Accord Street either west or east-bound. There is no access to Crown Street east-bound.
- Schoolhill from Back Wynd to Flourmill Lane is pedestrianised.
- Back Wynd, Gaelic Lane, and Belmont Street up to Duncan and Todd’s is pedestrianised. Access remains to the Duncan and Todd car park
- Access to the car parks at Bon Accord Centre, Union Square, and The Trinity Centre is maintained, along with access to the M&S collections area and Marischal Square’s private parking.
The works which were carried out to Union Street are currently part of a review taking place into the City Centre Masterplan and the beach area.
A public consultation has been carried out into the CCMP review and it asked people to allocate points to indicate how important a potential improvement is. The specific areas for the city centre include Union Street, the west end, Schoolhill/Upperkirkgate/Belmont Street, and the Castlegate. People were asked to consider potential improvement projects in these areas and the expected impact of these was also given. For the beach, people were asked to consider sports and leisure activities, public spaces including connection to the city centre, and the Beach Ballroom.
The consultation came after the CCMP review was agreed at city growth and resources committee in June 2021. The City Centre Masterplan, which is designed to invigorate the area over 25 years with both public and private investment, was first approved in 2015 and there have been several achievements to date including the completion of Aberdeen Art Gallery, the Music Hall, Marischal Square, and Broad Street. Over the coming months, there will be completion of Provost Skene’s House and the regeneration of Union Terrace Gardens.
The Union Street Spaces for People interventions will be reported to the city growth and resources committee in August as part to the CCMP review along with the BHS and Market Buildings proposals.