Aberdeen Cycle Forum reveal plans for future, bike-friendly city

Aberdeen Cycle Forum's visualisation of a future, bike-friendly King Street.
Aberdeen Cycle Forum's visualisation of a future, bike-friendly King Street.

A stunning new image shows how the heart of Aberdeen could be transformed to make it truly cycle friendly.

The vision, put forward by Aberdeen Cycle Forum, depicts the city’s King Street altered to include green cycle lanes.

It follows a design competition launched by the forum in December, which asked cyclists to showcase their visions for a segregated bike paths.

That appeal resulted in members being inundated with ideas for a future, bike-friendly King Street.

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Over time, the forum’s aim is to inspire the creation of a cycle route connecting Bridge of Don with the city centre – benefiting staff and students at Aberdeen University in particular.

The forum believes the city has enormous untapped potential for cycling with its wide, flat streetscapes and lacks only the right infrastructure.

Group member Rachel Martin said: “We really wanted to make the point in this visualisation that bike paths are not just for athletic men on racing bikes.

“They’re also for women, children, people with disabilities and other active travel modes like roller blades and scooters.

“When we paint lines on the road or put cyclists in a bus lane we appeal only to the less than 1% of mostly men who already cycle.

“We’re not appealing to the mass majority who do not.

“We need to transform our streets if we want to see real gains in the number of people commuting under their own steam.”

We presented the submissions from the King Street Design Competition to the council today and along with them a visualisation we commissioned based on the winning designs. This is how King Street could look.

Posted by Aberdeen Cycle Forum on Monday, 27 May 2019

Aberdeen University senior vice-principal, Karl Leydecker is among those backing the forum’s ideas.

He said: “The University of Aberdeen is keen to promote safe and environmentally friendly travel for staff and students and welcomes proposals such as this one for safer cycling routes in Aberdeen.”

Aberdeen Cycle Forum have submitted the designs from the competition to Aberdeen City Council and say were favourably received.

It follows their ongoing petition for a bike path on Union Street, which is still before the council, and which will be included in the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) report the local authority hope to have out for public consultation in June.

Last year, hundreds of cyclists rode to the council’s offices in Broad Street to protest against the “disconnect” and lack of cycle provision on the £745 million AWPR project.

The protest came after it was revealed that 13 locations within the city centre breached nitrogen dioxide limits set out by the European Air Quality Directive.