Retailers have warned they will be “devastated” by council plans to potentially impose a one-way system in a popular Aberdeen shopping street.
It is understood to be one option under consideration by officials looking to make Rosemount Place safe for physical distancing.
Proposals could also include removing parking spaces, while previously floated ideas of pedestrianisation have been taken off the table.
Rosemount is to be the next part of the city to undergo work as part of a £1.76million temporary scheme to make streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
Plans will be drawn up next week.
In a letter to councillors and the Town House official responsible for the project, Belvidere Gallery’s Alan Watt said: “We object in the strongest possible terms to any changes in traffic management.
“Our business would not function without customers being able park on the street to bring and collect large items for framing.
“We are in the most uncertain time ever and if barriers are put up we will be forced to close – with jobs at risk.
The managing director added: “I am not alone, the reaction of other shopkeepers is utter disbelief.
“We are devastated by these proposals and must be consulted, as if these changes are made it will destroy Rosemount.”
Panic spread rapidly through the traders’ organisation Rosemount Rocks yesterday, as they learned of options being considered.
Manager of Wool For Ewe, Faye Howard, added: “If it wasn’t for our traders’ group, no one would know about this.
“We have been told on a Friday morning to have something to go back to the council with on Monday.
“All the businesses are concerned that a decisions will be made without any input from us.
“There needs to be something clear on parking and access to shops.”
But council transport spokeswoman Sandra Macdonald said: “They are looking at a one-way system, keeping both ways and finding a solution with bus companies, there are various options on the table.
“There will be a requirement to remove some of the parking – I have no doubt there will be difficulties.
“But nothing is set in stone and we want to hear from people.”
The council has already introduced pedestrianisation in part of Union Street and widened walkways too.
Earlier this week, business owners in the city centre warned the measure could be the “executioner’s axe” that kills them off.
Councillors agreed the physical distancing work should be overseen by civil servants, as elected members have reduced the meeting calendar during the pandemic.
But it means councillors, who were the first port of call for some on hearing the plans for Rosemount, are in the dark.
Councillor Bill Cormie, who represents the area, said he had not heard anything about it until retailers were furiously calling him.
“I have had several complaints about how the city centre has been handled, especially from the elderly and disabled about routes for public transport.
“Now shop owners are telling me they have been told there will be a one-way system brought in and I find myself in the same situation as with Union Street: I have not been consulted as a local councillor.”