Aberdeen councillors to decide on future of city centre bus gates

Three new bus gates were installed in the city centre last August
-Credit: (Image: Aberdeen City Council)

Aberdeen City Council is set to decide whether to make the bus gate measures permanent when they meet this week.

The controversial bus gates, including the three added to Bridge Street, Guild Street and Market Street last August, have been hit with a huge wave of public objections.

Rules have seen drivers hit with fines of up to £60 for driving through the bus gates, which were introduced to create a new bus priority route through the city centre.

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Councillors will decide at Tuesday's Net Zero, Environment and Transport Committee meeting whether to make the experimental gates permanent.

We previously reported how in August last year, 6,689 Aberdonians signed a petition to stop the bus gates, while SpringBoard data recently found footfall had plummeted by nearly 1.1 million between August 27, 2023 and April 20, 2024.

It also found that in the ten weeks prior to the bus priority measures going live, footfall had increased by nearly 30,000.

Data includes temperatures and weather on each day, and one of the cameras which measures footfall was moved in October 2022, meaning data from before then may be skewed.

In January, over 1,500 people took part in an Aberdeen Transport Survey, which found that 90% of respondents think current transport policies are damaging to the city, while 85% opposed the bus gates.

Now, councillors could make them a permanent part of Aberdeen city centre, despite over 500 objections from residents and city centre businesses impacted by the bus gates.

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, urged the council to listen to those who live and work near the bus gates and to heed concerns over the measures.

He said: "The most important thing the council can do is listen to what the stakeholders and businesses who live, work and breathe in the city centre are saying about the bus gates.

"They cannot ignore the hundreds of respondents – many of them our levy payers – who have the lived experience of their businesses being damaged and the city centre diminished. The half-million drop in footfall figures in the city centre since the new road measures came in bears that out.

"Aberdeen City Council has to pay heed to this level of concern over what is, at the end of the day, an experimental traffic regulation order.

"There must be compromises and workarounds to be found which will achieve the traffic management aims of the council while giving businesses the support they are crying out for and provide the city centre with the boost it so badly needs."