The Christmas Village will soon return to Aberdeen bringing festive cheer and… even more closed roads and traffic change-ups to the city.
Work is already under way to bring the festive market to life on Broad Street and Upperkirkgate once more.
Next week, stalls, rides, bars and an open-air ice rink will sprawl across the Winter Wonderland.
But, the arrival of the festive village also brings changes to the city centre roads and bus routes — much to our readers’ dismay.
What roads will be closed for the Christmas Village?
Aberdeen City Council has released a map of all the road closures that will be in place over the festive season.
Broad Street, which has a bus gate, is already closed to all vehicles between its junctions with Queen Street and Upperkirkgate, meaning buses will be rerouted once more.
Meanwhile, from 9am on November 10, Upperkirkgate will be closed between its junctions with Gallowgate and Flourmill Lane (between Starbucks and Upperkrust).
Gallowgate will also be closed between its junctions with Little John Street and Upperkirkgate.
These three closures will be in place until January 7.
While these road closures are in place, Schoolhill, which has been pedestrianised since earlier this year, will be reopened to all traffic to allow free access to Flourmill Lane.
But, with the recent ban on turning right at Union Terrace and the new bus priority route in place, some may be left scratching their heads about the newest road change-up.
Christmas can be stressful enough, so here’s how to avoid bagging yourself a fine trying to navigate the roads when doing your present shopping.
How do I access Schoolhill or Harriet Street car park for my Christmas shopping?
As previously mentioned, there is now a ban on turning right at Union Terrace onto Rosemount Viaduct — which leads onto Schoolhill as well as the Bon Accord car park on Harriet Street.
This restriction forces drivers to turn left, and for some, it can make them take an even longer detour because of the ban on turning right onto Skene Street.
The ban on turning right is enforced by police and is considered to be a road traffic offence.
Anyone caught breaking the rule could be fined £100 and earn three points on their licence.
So, how can you avoid this? A word of caution, this is quite the detour…
- If travelling via Union Terrace, drivers could turn left onto Rosemount Viaduct and then South Mount Street. Then, take a right turn onto Rosemount Place, and take the second exit at the roundabout onto Maberly Street.
- At Sainsbury’s and the Northern Bar, turn right onto George Street and head towards the Bon Accord Centre. At Greggs, turn right once more onto St Andrews Street and follow the road which will lead you to Blackfriar’s Street.
- Follow this road until you come to a set of traffic lights and you will be back to Rosemount Viaduct. But, from here you can turn left onto Schoolhill — and from there you can access Harriet Street for the car park or Flourmill Lane for Marks and Spencer.
Honestly, your safest bet is to avoid Union Terrace altogether.
If you’re coming from the west of the city go along Skene Street to Rosemount Viaduct and pass His Majesty’s Theatre that way.
What about leaving Flourmill Lane or the back of Marks and Spencer?
Between Tony Macaroni and the Residence Inn car park, Flourmill Lane is a two-way road.
This means drivers will still be able to access the Marks and Spencer car collection.
But, beyond that, Netherkirkgate leading onto St Catherine’s Wynd (which has two disabled parking spots) is a one-way street leading to Union Street.
Another word of caution for drivers — there is a right-turn ban here. This forces drivers to go left onto Union Street, and perhaps even another detour.
Even if you do accidentally turn right, you will be met with a bus gate at Adelphi.
So unless the plan was always to turn left on Union Street, perhaps the safest bet is to go back the way you came.
What if I’m going into the city centre by bus?
The closure of Broad Street, alongside parts of Upperkirkgate and Gallowgate, also have a knock-on effect on bus passengers and bus stops.
For First Bus, it affects the following services:
Additional stops are also being created due to the diversions caused by the Broad Street Christmas Village.
You can find the full details of any changes to your First Bus route while the Christmas Village is running here.
For Stagecoach, it will affect the following services:
727, X20, X14.
You can find out all about the diversions for these services and their associated bus stops here.