Broad Street pedestrianisation delayed by at least four months

A flagship council project to pedestrianise a city centre street has been delayed by at least four months.

The ambitious £3.2million work on Broad Street had been expected to be completed by July in time for the opening of Marischal Square.

But contractors have now revealed that they do not expect to finish until November 12.

The delay is the latest in a long-line of high profile council projects to run over time or budget, including the town house roof repairs and the third Don crossing.

Broad Street has been described as the “heart of the masterplan”, a 25-year city centre regeneration unanimously backed by all parties.

When completed the street will be open only to buses, bicycles and pedestrians and is set to partly host this year’s Christmas market.

But last night finance convener Willie Young blamed political opponents for the delay.

He said: “This was supposed to be completed by July.

“But the SNP, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats all voted for more consultation work to be done on Broad Street just over a year ago which delayed all the works we needed to get done and that has put it back.

“We warned that the parties were risking this by dithering about but we were ignored.

“The important thing now is that Broad Street will look absolutely beautiful when the work is completed.”

Liberal Democrat group leader Ian Yuill said: “We believe it’s never a mistake to consult and listen to people.

“The extra consultation certainly didn’t delay the process by anything like four months which the Labour party is desperately claiming.”

Conservative finance vice-convener Alan Donnelly said: “I don’t think consultation held back the project.

“I have concerns of any further pedestrianisation moving to Union Street and affecting the traffic flow to my constituents in Ferryhill.”

An Aberdeen City Council spokesman said: “The Broad Street works will take several months to complete.

“The council is still awaiting a detailed programme from the contractor but the works are expected to finish in November.

“The start of the Broad Street works has been delayed because of extended contractual negotiations with the contractor. The period of consultation with stakeholders was also extended.

“The potential for delay was highlighted earlier this year in a report for the finance, policy and resources committee.”