Aberdeen City Council has approved an updated design that includes buses and a segregated cycle lane along the entire length of Union Street in Aberdeen. The design was developed in collaboration with key stakeholders. They included public transport operators and the Disability Equity Partnership (DEP).
Following consultations, a preferred option emerged, featuring a bi-directional cycle lane on the north side of Union Street. The DEP expressed concerns about the safety of individuals with protected characteristics crossing an active cycle lane to access bus stops. Thus, in response, mitigation measures were agreed upon during a workshop. They include:
- Wider and centrally located crossings for accessing bus stops with two shelters.
- Narrowing the cycle lane at critical points to reduce cyclist speed.
- Implementing rumble strips on the cycle lane for pedestrian awareness.
- Using contrasting colours for cycle lanes and crossing points.
- Introducing chicanes to slow cyclists approaching bus stops.
- Providing clear signage and pavement detailing to guide pedestrians.
- Kerb and pavement detailing implemented to direct people towards crossing points.
- Bus islands designed to accommodate comfortable congregations, including standing individuals, wheelchair users, buggies, and seating arrangements.
- Explicit signage, such as countdown signs for cyclists approaching bus stops (3, 2, 1).
- A commitment to extensive behaviour change and public information dissemination before completing the works.
- A dedication to implementing best practices.
- Ongoing engagement with the Disability Equity Partnership (DEP) throughout the remainder of the technical design stage.
The new design for Union Street in Aberdeen
To aid understanding of the new road layout, a full-scale mock-up of a cycle lane and bus boarding area was set up in the Marischal College quad, allowing DEP members and cyclists to visualise the spatial arrangements and engage in a joint session with council staff.
The council will continue engaging with key stakeholders while developing the next stage, the RIBA Stage 4 Technical Design. Councillor Alex McLellan, Convener of the finance and resources committee, emphasised the council’s commitment to revitalising the city centre and creating improved public spaces, segregated cycle lanes, and enhanced bus stops. This first phase, spanning from Market Street to Bridge Street, aligns with the proposed Aberdeen Market development and aims to reimagine Union Street and the broader city centre as an appealing place for living, working, raising families, and visiting.