Work is due to get underway today to free up space in George Street and surrounding areas to allow people to social distance.
Roads and pavements will be temporarily changed as part of Aberdeen City Council's plans to allow people walking and queuing along the stretch to pass one another safely.
Plans for George Street have been drawn up following feedback from local councillors, businesses and stakeholders.
The local authority was awarded a £1.76mil grant from the Scottish Government’s Spaces for People fund in June to carry out the temporary works in locations across the city.
The measures, which aim to minimise the risk of coronavirus transmission and aid economic recovery, have already been introduced in Union Street and surrounding areas, as well as Torry and Rosemount
The full list of work for George Street includes:
- George Street from Hutcheon Street to Maberly Street/Spring Garden will remain two-way to all traffic. On-street parking in this section – except the disabled parking bay – will be removed. Displaced parked vehicles will be accommodated by additional parking on Maberly Street, Catherine Street and Gerrard Street.
- George Street from Maberly Street/Spring Garden and St Andrew Street will become one-way southbound with a north-bound mandatory cycle contraflow lane. The parking bays on the east side will be retained and the existing single yellow lines on the west side will become double yellow lines.
- Cyclists will be exempt from the existing “no entry” signs on George Street at the St Andrew Street southern junction. This is so bike stands within the existing pedestrianised zone can be more easily accessed;
- Maberly Street will be one-way eastbound from Skene Square to George Street. Between George Street and Charlotte Street there will be a shared pedestrian and westbound cyclists’ lane. Between Charlotte Street and Skene Square there will be a westbound mandatory cycle contraflow lane;
- On St Andrew Street from George Street to Charlotte Street/Crooked Lane, it will become one-way west-bound with an advisory bus and cycle contraflow lane east-bound:
- The west-bound bus stop on St Andrew Street between Loch Street and George Street and the north-bound bus stop on George Street between John Street and Craigie Street will be temporarily closed and new stops provided north-bound on Loch Street:
- The south-bound bus stops on George Street between Hutcheon Street and John Street and the east-bound bus stop on St Andrew Street between George Street and Loch Street will move out further from the existing kerbline;
- The city centre 20mph speed limit will be extended with new boundaries at the John Street/Skene Square/Denburn Road junction, the Maberly Street/Skene Square junction, the George Street/Hutcheon Street southern junction and the Gallowgate/Mounthooly roundabout junction;
- More bike stands, seating and greenery will be provided in extended pavements, whilst leaving adequate space for physical distancing.
Aberdeen City Council transport spokesperson Councillor Sandra Macdonald said: “It’s great the works in the George Street are starting as we’ve been working with the George Street Traders’ Association, the local community council, and local councillors on the plans.
“The measures we’re putting in may be modified again as we continue to speak with these groups and local residents, to gauge how the arrangements work when people continue to return to the area for shopping and leisure
“Many people already walk and cycle in the area, going to the local shops or on their way to the city centre. These interventions will enable pedestrians to physically distance and help prevent the spread of coronavirus, while at the same time support the local economy as lockdown eases.”
George Street Traders’ Association chairman Stuart Milne, who is general manager at Finnies the Jewellers, said: “Whilst all would clearly not welcome the temporary traffic interruption in George Street to facilitate necessary social distancing, I believe we have to consider it necessary to enable businesses to open up once more to get the local economy moving again.