The removal of the Spaces for People measures in the Rosemount area of Aberdeen will begin on Monday.
Last month, dates were set for the removal of the “neighborhood spaces” across the city centre following the easing of Covid restrictions.
The temporary changes were introduced near the start of the pandemic due to the need for two metre social distancing.
Aberdeen City Council’s growth and resources committee agreed it was time to remove the measures in Rosemount, Torry and George Street following recommendations from NHS Grampian.
Following the start of work on George Street earlier this month, the removal of measures in Rosemount will begin on Monday, August 23.
Temporary traffic orders will be required while the work is carried out which is expected to take around 3 weeks to complete.
Back to normality
Rosemount councillor Bill Cormie said the removal of the measures has been “a long time coming”.
He said: “It’ll be a great delight for everybody in the community to get this uplifted from tomorrow.
“I have always thought the measures were overkill. They have caused a lot of problems with speeding down Rosemount Place, I was getting complaints two or three times a day for a while.
“I know Covid isn’t over, but Rosemount isn’t a place where there were lots of queues building up which caused folk to go on the road.
“The most important thing is that the cars and the buses will be able to go both ways again. The one way system hit the traders, especially those at the bottom of the street, very hard.
“It’ll take three weeks to uplift and grind out the lines and put it back to normal to control the three way traffic. It’s a big job. It will be a great relief to get it done as soon as possible, it really changed the whole area.”
Rosemount Place will be closed from 4am on August 23 until 5pm on September 12 which means buses which usually travel down this road will be diverted.
First Bus has announced that a temporary bus stop will be placed opposite the current stop on Leadside Road and that buses will stop at the existing stop on Craigie Loanings.
Mr Cormie said the “one good thing” to come out of the Spaces for People measures in Rosemount has been the implementation of a 20mph speed limit.
He added that the speeding problem in Rosemount is especially worrying when there are two primary schools, the Grammar and sheltered housing complexes in the area.
The lower speed limit was due to be removed at the same time as the temporary spaces, but the council is now proposing that it becomes permanent to improve road safety.
Some spaces staying in place
The temporary road narrowing of Victoria Road in Torry will be removed during a week of work beginning on Monday, September 13.
However, the Spaces for People measures on Union Street, Belmont Street, Schoolhill, Upperkirgate and the West End will remain in place for months to come.
Many of the changes to the city centre which were created due to the pandemic are now being reviewed as part of the City Centre Masterplan.
The temporary spaces were funded by a £1.76million grant from the Scottish Government and were designed to protect public health while helping the economic recovery of the city.
A report shared with the city growth and resources committee showed that pedestrian levels are at about 150% compared to the same time last year, while cyclist levels are at 120% and cars usage at around 80%.