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Aberdeen ambulance chiefs says drive-thru McDonald’s across the road would delay ‘response to life-threatening callouts’

The Scottish Ambulance Service has raised concerns about an increase in traffic around the Ashgrove Road ambulance station. Picture by Ben Hendry.
The Scottish Ambulance Service has raised concerns about an increase in traffic around the Ashgrove Road ambulance station. Picture by Ben Hendry.

The Scottish Ambulance Service says a new McDonald’s drive-thru in Aberdeen would have a “detrimental effect” on response times to life-threatening call outs.

The emergency service has now formally objected to the global fast food chain’s plans for a new restaurant on Ashgrove Road West.

McDonald’s wants to create the restaurant on the site of the former Rosehill Day Centre.

The building, located on the junction of North Anderson Drive, would be knocked down to make way for the new drive-thru.

The proposed site is located across the road from the Aberdeen Ambulance Station, and management have now joined locals in opposing the plans.

This aerial image from Google Maps shows the proposed McDonald's site and the ambulance station.
This aerial image from Google Maps shows the proposed McDonald’s site and the ambulance station.

Why is the service objecting?

In the objection Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) estates officer Jénon Stewart said the service had a “number of concerns” about the impact the new restaurant would have on its day-to-day work.

It is also worried about the potential impact during demolition and construction work, should the plan be given the go-ahead.

She said: “SAS provide an essential emergency service to the area and, as the proposed site layout stands at the moment, we believe that the increased traffic flows will have a detrimental effect on our target response time to immediately life-threatening call outs.”

Aberdeen Ambulance Station sits across the road from the site of the proposed new Aberdeen McDonald's drive-thru. Picture by Ben Hendry.
Aberdeen Ambulance Station sits across the road from the site of the proposed new Aberdeen McDonald’s drive-thru. Picture by Ben Hendry.

Could drive-thru lead to traffic trouble?

Mrs Stewart went on to say that the expected “significant” increase in traffic on Castleton Drive would “negatively impact on the ambulance service and our staff”.

A transport assessment estimates that there could be a 460-750% increase in vehicles leaving Castleton Drive onto Ashgrove Road West – directly across from the depot’s access point.

The SAS fears the expected increase in traffic could raise the risk of an accident occurring as ambulances drive out from the station.

Mrs Stewart said: “In an emergency response situation, we rely upon other road users to give way.

“By significantly increasing the traffic coming out of Castleton Drive, most of which will turn right, the probability of an accident happening increases proportionally with the traffic count.”

Rosehill Day Centre could be demolished to make way for a new McDonald's drive-thru. Picture by Ben Hendry.
Rosehill Day Centre could be demolished to make way for a new McDonald’s drive-thru. Picture by Ben Hendry

What do the neighbours say?

More than 80 residents have also objected to the plan, raising worries about the impact it would have on the Scottish Ambulance Service and local businesses.

They also mentioned an increase in litter, noise and traffic.

Aberdeen Civic Society has also objected to the proposed drive-thru but the plan has received three letters of support.


What do you think of the proposed new drive-thru? Share your views in our comments section below


You can still have your say on the drive-thru plan

The Rosehill Day Centre building was put on the market by the local authority back in 2017 and was most recently used as a Covid testing centre during the pandemic.

If the new drive-thru plan is given the green light it would be the fast food chain’s sixth restaurant in the city.

You can view the planning application and comment on the development here.

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