Controversial plans to ban cars from a number of Aberdeen city centre streets overnight have been shelved.
The proposals, put to the city council’s operations committee yesterday, would have prohibited vehicles entering Justice Mill Lane, Langstane Place and Windmill Brae between 10pm-5am.
Members voted to have the plans brought back for consideration after more work on transport priorities from council officers – given the council’s commitment to make the city a greener place in Tuesday’s budget.
The ban would have initially been imposed for 18 months as an experiment and was viewed as a first step towards 24-hour pedestrianisation of the streets.
It was already intended that one small stretch, on Langstane Place between Dee Street and Crown Street, would be car-free around the clock.
Objectors living in the area, which also includes a number of bars and nightclubs, feared the move could lead to an increase in antisocial behaviour, while others said the council would be supporting drinking if the scheme went ahead.
But council officers said the proposal – now adopted into the city centre masterplan – was intended to make the area safer.
Aberdeen’s night time economy has repeatedly been recognised for safety, winning the prestigious Purple Flag award seven times.
Roads engineer Ross Stevenson told committee members said: “The proposals came from the Purple Flag effort and the weekend partnership.
“But originally, it was police who showed us footage of the dangers in the area at night time.
“We believe the night time pedestrianisation will mean people will move on to Union Street in order to be picked up, but they may move into residential areas in the other direction too.”
But the plans were knocked back in light of the public reaction during consultation.
More than 30 people objected to the ban while only 11 voiced support.
Operations convener John Wheeler told The Press And Journal afterwards: “We went out to consultation and residents certainly came back saying they were not in favour of it.
“We decided it would be better to look at it more holistically along with what else we are doing in the centre of Aberdeen.
“That means the city centre masterplan, the roads hierarchy, and everything else we would be doing in terms of pedestrianisation and the night time economy.
“Then we can come back and decide whether we need to need this at all, whether we need to go ahead with bits of it or completely alter it and redesign it.”