South College Street Junction Improvements Project (Phase 1)

The project

Following the adoption of the Aberdeen City Centre Masterplan, the impact of the proposed changes on the city’s road network was assessed.  This identified a number of transport network changes required to support the Masterplan’s ambitions, with the South College Street Junction Improvements project’s capacity upgrades highlighted as essential prior to implementation of public realm and bus priority changes.

With the adoption of a new North East Scotland Roads Hierarchy in 2019, changing access to and around the city, South College Street will have an important role in providing a key route to the city centre.

When complete the project will support the City Centre Masterplan’s infrastructure strategy for bus priority measures aimed at removing the impact of congestion on bus journey times through the city centre.  It will also enable the implementation of public realm enhancements along Guild Street and Union Street, providing alternative options to accommodate the rerouting of vehicular traffic.  The project is jointly funded by Aberdeen City Council and a grant from the Scottish Government’s Bus Partnership Fund.

The corridor’s improved capacity and operation will also complement its position in the new roads hierarchy.  In tandem the Project will enhance infrastructure for walking and cycling along its length.  Making these improvements is the next step towards providing a transport network to meet Aberdeen’s needs and city centre aspirations.

A detailed appraisal of the required improvements has been undertaken and a preferred option was adopted by the Council in 2017.  As the design has progressed further work, including traffic modelling, has been carried out to ensure that the Project will perform effectively.  In May 2020, the Council resolved to progress a Compulsory Purchase Order to acquire the land necessary to build the Project.

The Project consists of the following main elements:

  • An additional traffic lane along South College Street between Bank Street and the Wellington Place;
  • An additional lane on Palmerston Place;
  • A new traffic signal controlled junction at the intersection of Palmerston Place/ North Esplanade West;
  • The alteration of the existing traffic signal-controlled junctions at the South College Street/Wellington Place junction and the South College Street/Millburn Street/Palmerston Place junction adding additional approach lanes and improving operational coordination;
  • New and altered walking and cycling infrastructure along the South College Street and Palmerston Place;
  • Reconfigured parking and loading areas on South College Street between Millburn Street and Riverside Drive.

Construction and Reopening

In 2022 local company W M Donald were appointed as the main contractor for the project.  As of July 2023 the majority of the project works are now complete with project roads reopened.  The final section of the project providing a second left turn lane from Palmerston Place on to North Esplanade West will come in to use during Autumn, following the completion of utility works. 

Further Project Information

Panels displaying further detail on the project are available to view below:-

Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO)

The use of Compulsory Purchase was necessary to acquire land required to build the project.  The order was confirmed by Scottish Ministers in December 2020.

The Council made a General Vesting Declaration in February 2021, taking ownership of the land and rights in land required for the project on 8 April 2021.

You can read the Scottish Government's guide to compulsory purchase and compensation on their website at the link below:

Compulsory purchase in Scotland


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