Bus chiefs have been praised for extending a route and preventing a repeat of last year’s festive travel “chaos” which “cut off” sheltered housing communities from the city centre.
As part of the council’s winter festival plans, Union Terrace will shortly be closed to all vehicles to allow for the Christmas village attraction due to open on Friday.
Last year the number 3 service was rerouted with a bus stop placed on the Denburn Road dual carriageway at the lay-by at the bottom of Patagonian Court.
The move was met with anger by locals who said the steep steps leading to the stop and its proximity to a busy road were dangerous for disabled people and those with young children.
But now the number 5 service will travel along Schoolhill, Upperkirkgate, Broad Street, Union Street and Bridge Street, meaning passengers will have improved access to the city centre.
Midstocket and Rosemount councillor, Bill Cormie, said he was glad First Bus had “seen sense” adding that many residents of Strachan Mill court and Short Loaning sheltered housing schemes had been left “trapped” for last year’s festive period.
He said: “This is an excellent result for my constituents and I’d like to thank council staff and First for their work in making this happen.
“Last year saw many elderly and disabled people on the number 3 route effectively cut-off from our city centre. This new route will maintain that access and mean our city centre is accessible to as many people as possible.
“This really is a win-win-win, benefiting people with mobility issues, city centre businesses and First bus.
“If this is successful I’m hopeful First will consider keeping the route into the future.”
Daniel Laird, First Aberdeen customer services manager, said: “We’re pleased to confirm that Service 5 will operate via Schoolhill, Broad Street and Union Street during the Winter Festival.
“This will allow Service 5 customers continued access to the city centre, whilst also providing an alternative for those using other services which are affected by the closure of Union Terrace.
“Working with our partners at Aberdeen City Council, our service arrangements during the festival should minimise disruption to our customers, allowing them to experience the attractions that the festival has to offer.”