A night-time ban on cars using several city streets popular with revellers have been given a boost – with council planners recommending that the proposals are given the green light.
Justice Mill Lane, Windmill Brae, Windmill Lane and Bath Street will be closed to all vehicles between 10pm and 5am everyday.
Parts of Bon Accord Terrace, Langstane Place, Gordon Street and Bridge Street would also be pedestrian-only in a move that the local authority hopes would encourage more footfall, improve the safety of revellers and reduce city centre pollution.
Councillors will consider the changes, part of the council’s £1billion, 25-year city centre masterplan, at next Thursday’s operational delivery committee.
A £3.2million part-pedestrianisation of Broad Street is already underway and parts of Union Street could be closed in future after the competition of the AWPR, it is understood.
Councillors will be asked to back the “outline principle” of the scheme with further details then worked out before it is fully implemented.
But concerns have been raised by others on the access for disabled people, a potential increase in anti-social behaviour and the ability of residents to access their properties at night time.
Adrian Watson, of city centre business body Aberdeen Inspired, said: “Lessons from cities elsewhere show that schemes like this can lead to an increase in footfall and bring new businesses to an area.“
Council co-leader Jenny Laing said: “As part of our City Centre Masterplan we said we would look to enhance evening economic activities by introducing pedestrian priority areas.”
Opposition SNP councillor Christian Allard said: “I know that there have been some concerns raised that will need to be mitigated but I think we could make this area work a lot better for the city than it does at present.”
But a consultation response from the Bon Accord Terrace and Area residents’ association reads: “We would be interested to hear how (the council and police) has gone from a policy of trying to clear the area as quickly as possible to encouraging hundreds of revellers to hang around very close to residential streets during the night.
“Frankly, we are incredulous that this is even being considered.”