New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Windford Road

Start Date and Time : 04 February 2019 07:30
End Date and Time : 01 March 2019 17:30

Location : Windford Road

Description : The effect of the order, which will operate from 07:30 on 4 February, 2019, until 17:30 on 1 March, 2019, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on Windford Road, Aberdeen, between its junctions Sheddocksley Road and Sheddocksley Drive.

There will also be a prohibition of waiting on the same stretch of road from 07:30-17:30 Mon-Fri.

Illegally parked vehicles will be removed at the owner’s expense. Access to properties will be maintained, but no through traffic will be possible.

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during footway surfacing works.

Any queries regarding this restriction can be directed to Aberdeen City Council Roads Maintenance team on 03000 200292, or response@aberdeencity.gov.uk

Alternate Route : An alternative route is available via Sheddocksley Drive and Sheddocksley Road.

AWPR Bus Services Start This Month

Following on from an earlier announcement, Stagecoach have now finalised their plans for bus services which will make use of the AWPR offering faster connections between Montrose and Ellon, using Kingswells Park & Ride, including stops at Aberdeen Airport and Kirkhill Industrial Estate,

Their full press release is reprinted below.

·        Bus services will make use of the new AWPR from 21st January 2019
·        Customer feedback shapes additional new route – service 757
·        Hourly connections from Ellon and Stonehaven to Aberdeen Airport
·        Half hourly connections from Kingswells P&R to Aberdeen Airport

Stagecoach North Scotland today confirmed two new bus services will begin operation on Monday 21st January using the AWPR improving journey times for those choosing to travel by bus.

Following the public timetable consultation in September 2018, the local bus operator has reviewed all feedback received and has finalised plans for the first bus services to operate on the AWPR.

Service 747 will be introduced on Monday 21st January offering a new link across Aberdeenshire and Angus. The new service will replace services 107 and current 747 and will operate an hourly frequency throughout most of the day between Montrose and Ellon using the AWPR. The service will operate from Montrose to Stonehaven before serving Kingswells Park and Ride and Aberdeen Airport. The service will then continue to Ellon and some journeys will also extend to Cruden Bay and Peterhead.

Service 757 will be introduced from the same date providing a direct link to the airport from Portlethen and Newtonhill. Residents in Portlethen and Newtonhill provided feedback in the timetable consultation requesting if a service could be introduced to the airport rather than connecting to 747 in Stonehaven. On reviewing the feedback Stagecoach has been able to introduce service 757 shaped by the feedback received from these communities. The 757 service will operate up to every hour 7 days a week to the airport and will also stop at Kingswells P&R.

Kingswells Park and Ride will benefit from both of the new bus services and as a result journeys from the popular Park and Ride site to the airport will be available by bus up to every 30 minutes, 7 days a week.

Both services will be operated by low-floor easy access buses fitted with the latest tracking technology as well as the ability to accept contactless payments.

The award-winning JET service 727 connecting the city centre to the airport up to every 10 minutes will continue to the current timetable.

David Liston, Managing Director, Stagecoach North Scotland said: “We are delighted to be able to start the new year by introducing two new services to our Aberdeenshire network. In our autumn timetable consultation we received a lot of support for the new service 747 providing a direct bus connection to the airport. On reviewing consultation feedback from residents in Newtonhill and Portlethen we have been able to identify a solution that means these communities will also be connected to the airport from 21st January. We look forward to welcoming both old and new customers on board our new services later this month.”

From Monday 21st January services 50, 54, 60, 61, 63 and 81are subject to revision in the Buchan Travel Guide. These revisions are minor with only some early morning journeys being re-timed and additional journeys on service 50 to accommodate the route revision on service 747 in the Buchan area.

Timetables for service 747 and 757 are now available to download online and printed copies will soon be available to pick up in Aberdeen bus station, Kingswells P&R, Ellon P&R, Peterhead Interchange and Aberdeen Airport.

Aberdeen City Council Backs People’s Vote

People's Vote logoLiberal Democrats have welcomed Aberdeen City Council’s backing for their call for a People’s Vote on the Brexit deal negotiated by the Prime Minister.

The council agreed by 22 votes to 9 to back a motion from Liberal Democrat Group Leader Ian Yuill calling for a People’s Vote  at its meeting on Monday 17th December.

Aberdeen City Council’s Lib Dem leader Ian Yuill said “We now know that promises made about Brexit, like £350 million a week extra for the NHS and getting a deal with the ‘exact same benefits’ as EU membership, cannot be kept.

“Since the start of the month it has become blindingly clear that the Brexit process is a mess and the Prime Minister’s exit deal is clearly doomed.

“Given all this, it does not seem right to tell people, as the UK Government is doing, that the public should just accept without question whatever version of Brexit we ultimately face on 29th March next year.”

Ian Yuill concluded “A People’s Vote would put the UK’s citizens back in control and give everyone the chance to decide whether the Prime Minister’s deal is good for the country and if the UK should leave the EU on those terms.”

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Hogmanay

Start Date and Time : 30 December 2018 18:00
End Date and Time : 01 January 2019 06:00

Location : Hogmanay

Description : Aberdeen City Council has made the above-named orders to provide for a wide range of traffic management arrangements, under powers conferred upon it by Section 62(1) of the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984, and Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, in connection with the Aberdeen City Council Hogmanay Fireworks event 2018.

The temporary traffic management arrangements are shown in the schedule below, and will apply at the times indicated therein.

Road Closures From 13:00 on 31 December 2018 to 06:00 on 1 January 2019 • Schoolhill, Aberdeen, between its junction with Blackfriars Street and Upperkirkgate.

• Blackfriars Street, Aberdeen, (whole length)

• St Andrew Street, Aberdeen between its junctions with Blackfriars Street and Charlotte Street.

• Rosemount Viaduct, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Schoolhill and the Union Terrace slip road.

• Belmont Street, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Schoolhill and Little Belmont Street.

• Gaelic Lane, Aberdeen, (whole length)

• Back Wynd, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Schoolhill and Little Belmont Street.

From 20:00 on 31 December 2018 to 06:00 on 1 January 2019

• Upperkirkgate, Aberdeen, between its junction with Schoolhill and Flourmill Lane.

From 22:00 on 31 December 2018 to 06:00 on 1 January 2019

• Harriet Street, Aberdeen, (whole length)

• Rosemount Viaduct, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Skene Street and the Union Terrace Slip road.

• Union Terrace, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Rosemount Viaduct and Union Street

• Skene Street, Aberdeen, from its junction with Woolmanhill Roundabout to its junction with Rosemount Viaduct

• Spa Street, Aberdeen, from the access into Denburn car park to its junction with Skene Street.

• Back Wynd, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Little Belmont Street and Union Street.

• Diamond Place, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Diamond Street and Union Terrace.

• The whole of Bridge Place, Aberdeen,

• The whole of Bath Street, Aberdeen.

• The whole of Windmill Brae, Aberdeen,

• The whole of Windmill Lane, Aberdeen,

From 23:30 on 31 December 2018 to 00:45 on 1 January 2019

• Union Street, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Crown Street and Market Street.

From 23:50 on 31 December 2018 to 00:30 on 1 January 2019

• Denburn Road, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Woolmanhill Roundabout and Wapping Street.

Temporary One-Way system, From 13:00 until 22:00 on 31 December 2018

Little Belmont Street, Aberdeen, travelling eastbound, for taxi’s only.

Temporary suspension of One-Way system, From 13:00 until 22:00 on 31 December 2018

St Catherine’s Wynd, Aberdeen,

Temporary suspensions of turning bans From 13:00 on 31 December 2018 to 06:00 on 1 January 2019

Skene Street, Aberdeen, into Rosemount Viaduct (right turn), for buses only

From 23:30 on 31 December 2018 to 00:45 on 1 January 2019

Union Street, Aberdeen, into Crown Street (right turn)

Temporary suspensions of no entry From 13:00 until 22:00 on 31 December 2018

Union Street, Aberdeen, into Belmont Street for taxi’s and delivery vehicles only.

Parking Restrictions From 18:00 on 30 December 2018 to 06:00 on 1 January 2019

• Diamond Street, Aberdeen, on either side, between Union Street and Ruby Lane.

• Bridge Street, Aberdeen, on either side, between its junctions with Union Street and Wapping Street.

• Union Terrace, Aberdeen, on either side, between its junctions with Union Street and Rosemount Viaduct.

• Schoolhill, Aberdeen, on either side, between its junctions with Back Wynd and Rosemount Viaduct including outside RGC (Pocket Park)

• Little Belmont Street, Aberdeen, on either side, between its junctions with Belmont Street and

Back Wynd From 18:00 on 30 December 2018 to 22:00 on 31 December 2018

• Rosemount Place, Aberdeen, on the south side, between Skene Square and the west boundary of 25 Rosemount Place.

Alarming Increase In Food Bank Use

Photo of food on shelvesFood bank use in the UK has soared to record levels this year. That so many people are having to use food banks to get help for their families and themselves should be unnecessary in the UK – one of the richest countries in the world.

Worryingly, much of this increase in food bank use has been linked to the continuing introduction of Universal Credit by the UK Government. Universal Credit has only recently been introduced for new benefit claimants here in the North East. It has still to be introduced for people already claiming benefits.

Reasons for using food banks include:

  • Low income
  • Benefit delays
  • Benefit changes
  • Debt
  • Homelessness
  • Ill health

There are a number of food banks in Aberdeen. These include food banks operated by Aberdeen CyreniansCFINE, Instant Neighbour, TLC and the Trussell Trust. All these food banks accept donations. You can make donations of food to food banks directly or by using collection points in places such as some community centres, churches and supermarkets.

The types of non-perishable items you can donate to a food bank include:

  • Tinned meals
  • Tinned soup
  • Tinned fish
  • Tinned meat
  • Tinned vegetables
  • Baked beans
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Cooking sauces
  • Cereals
  • Tinned fruit
  • UHT or long life milk
  • Biscuits and snack bars
  • Teabags and instant coffee
  • Sugar
  • Diluting juice
  • Dog and cat food
  • Basic toiletries
  • Nappies

If you, or someone you know, is in difficulty you can find more information about were and when in Aberdeen you can either collect free food or have a meal on the premises here. You may also find it helpful to contact Aberdeen Citizens Advice Bureau.

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Harthill Place

Start Date and Time : 07 January 2019 07:30
End Date and Time : 25 January 2019 17:30

Location : Harthill Place

Description : The effect of the order, which will operate from 07:30 on 7 January, 2019, until 17:30 on 25 January, 2019, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on Harthill Place, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Sheddocksley Road and Sheddocksley Drive.

There will also be a prohibition of waiting on the same stretch of road from 07:30-17:30 Mon-Fri. Illegally parked vehicles will be removed at the owner’s expense.

Access to properties will be maintained, but no through traffic will be possible.

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during footway surfacing works. Any queries regarding this restriction can be directed to Aberdeen City Council Roads Maintenance team on 03000 200292, or response@aberdeencity.gov.uk

Alternate Route : An alternative route is available via Sheddocksley Road, Auchlea Place and Sheddocksley Drive.

Kingswells Lock Block Update

In recent years Aberdeen City Council has been repairing damaged areas in lock block roads with black tar. This has understandably angered local residents as it results in an unsightly blight on what had previously been an attractive road surface.

Local councillor Steve Delaney has raised this issue on numerous occasions in respect of Kingswells where there are a significant number of lock block streets. He said, “I’ve heard various reasons as to why lock block cannot be replaced with lock block (having been given different reasons at different times) but I remained unconvinced that it was either not possible or not cost effective to do so”.

The council agreed earlier this year to replace the cut-de-sac in Corse Wynd with lock block in order to determine the best way forward. These works have still to be carried out and the outcome will help inform a report going to committee next year. This report will look at the cost effectiveness of larger scale lock block replacement to determine the best way forward when it comes to the permanent replacement of these surfaces at the end of their useful life.

Earlier this month the council considered a policy for carrying out temporary repairs on streets with cobbles and pre-cast concrete blocks (which includes lock block). The proposal had been for all temporary repairs to be carried out using black tar as per the current practice. Steve instead proposed that lock block repairs should be carried out using the same or similar materials where it is feasible to do so. This was accepted unanimously by the committee.

Steve said, “I’m delighted that committee have instructed these repairs to be done using lock block whenever it is feasible to do so. The council has an obligation to address road defects which pose a risk to drivers and pedestrians so it was necessary to obtain agreement as to how this will be done in sensitive areas including conservation areas and lock block streets”.

“Unfortunately none of this changes the priority for road repairs. These will only be carried out if they meet the set criteria (as is the case at present) and the replacement of lock block road surfaces will continue to be prioritised for replacement in the same manner as all other streets in Aberdeen and assessed against the very limited roads budget”.

“However, what it does mean is that small localised repairs will now be done using lock block wherever possible. Larger scale repairs or repairs where the base material beneath the surface has significantly deteriorated or collapsed will still need to be filled with tar to protect the integrity of the road until such times as it can be re-laid or resurfaced. Each street will be consider

ed on its own merits and filling in with black tar will only happen where it is necessary to do so”

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – U90C Tulloch Road

Start Date and Time : 27 October 2018 07:00
End Date and Time : 29 October 2018 18:00

Location : U90C Tulloch Road

Description : The effect of the order, which will operate from 07:00 on 27 October, 2018, until 18:00 on 29 October, 2018, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on the U90C Tulloch Road, Aberdeen, between its junctions with the C89C Chapel of Stoneywood-Fairley Road and Parkhead Farm Road.

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route works.

Alternate Route : An alternative route is available via the C89C Chapel of Stoneywood-Fairley Road, A944 Skene Road, and the C93C Borrowstone Road.

Consultation On Cross City Transport Connections

Aberdeen City Council is consulting on cross city routes to make sure the full benefits of the AWPR are locked in.

These are new roads designed to create direct links between residential areas and main centres of employment. The intention is for these routes to offer real alternatives to car use, making public transport and active travel more attractive for people to get to and from work.

Lib Dem Infrastructure Spokesman, Steve Delaney said, “As a city we need to ensure we make best use of the future transport opportunities afforded to us by the opening of the AWPR. In that respect I would encourage everyone to feed into the consultation and make their views known”.

“Whilst fully supporting the need to investigate these options, we would expect them to take full account the needs of not just motorists and public transport but also of cyclists and pedestrians in their overall design”.

“These should not be considered as desirable bolt-ons, otherwise we will simply dilute the sustainability of any such scheme”.

The council wants to know your views on the nine options under consideration.

The consultation runs until 30 November 2018 and can be accessed here.

More Diversions On The 14 Route

From 19 November a new timetable comes into play for the No 14 bus route from Kingswells to the city centre. These long awaited changes are designed to improve reliability on what has, to date, been a very poorly performing service. It had been intended for the changes to come in from 12 November but this will now be implemented a week later than originally envisaged

However, from 12 November to 6 January, Broad Street and Upperkirkgate will be closed for the Winter Village and all bus routes will be diverted. As a result, the 14 will operate via Union Square bus station instead. The council has given assurances that the expected improvements in reliability based on the new timetable operating from 19 November will not be affected.

Local councillor Steve Delaney said, “The need to alter this route once again, this time using a different diversion, is unhelpful for residents who just want to know how best to get to and from their destination without concerning themselves about what else is going on in the city centre. People want an easy life without constant disruption”.

“Everyone knows my view that Broad Street should be fully pedestrianised on the grounds of public safety and also to improve the pedestrian experience for everyone visiting the area. Lengthy enforced closures such as this merely reinforce that view from a different perspective with regard to confusion and inconvenience to the travelling public”.

“Surely it would make more sense to devise permanent routes which avoid Broad Street in the first place and do not require diversions during the time major events are being held in the city centre”.

 

Leaf Clearing

As the leaves fall from the trees and Autumn arrives, the big leaf clearing exercise commences.

The council has hired additional machinery to try to get this job done as quickly as possible and their aim is to complete works by the end of the year.

Local councillor Steve Delaney said, “I know piles of leaves are unsightly but diverting the crews to specific locations holds up their schedule and results in the clearance work taking much longer, which benefits nobody”.

“I would therefore request that residents only report areas which present a genuine safety concern and that way we will get all areas cleared of leaves much faster”.

“Needless to say, please do report any council maintained areas which have not been cleared by the New Year which you feel may have been missed out”.

Further Changes To Lang Stracht Will Affect Residents

Aberdeen City Council has approved road layout changes to Lang Stracht affecting the section from Skye Road to the bus gate on Old Lang Stracht.

The current signalised junction at the entrance to the new build properties at Maidencraig will be removed at an unspecified future date and replaced by two signalised junctions, one at Dobbies, the other on the opposite side of the road between Dobbies and the bus gate.

The result of this being that residents will only be permitted to turn left onto Lang Stracht from the current east signalised junction and will need to travel through the development in the wrong direction to one of these two new junctions to turn right and head into town.

Furthermore, these two new junctions will take the place of the single junction which had been specified in the Maidencraig Masterplan, resulting in yet another set of traffic lights on Lang Stracht.

Local councillor Steve Delaney had asked the Planning Committee to refuse the application. He said, “I have to agree with the objectors as this proposal would result in them having to heading west when wanting to go east and face significant hold ups at peak times. Also, the staggered west junction was certainly not in the original plans and it breaks up the inter-connectivity throughout the site, which is not in the interests of those who live there”.

“With this staggered arrangement residents will come out of the scheme further west and much nearer to the roundabout at the end of the Lang Stracht than to the eastern side of the site. This roundabout is a bottleneck at peak times with significant delays and will only get worse as a radial route to the AWPR and with the addition of traffic from Maidencraig, so the extra traffic heading towards the roundabout will get stuck stuck here, impeding easy access to Kingswells, the AWPR and further afield from Lang Stracht”.

Steve went on to emphasise the additional hold ups and congestion an extra set of traffic lights would cause on this short stretch of road. He also highlighted safety concerns if residents decided to ignore the left in, left out regulation and turn right anyway, cutting across two opposing traffic flows on Lang Stracht. He advised councillors that the signalised junction was currently in place and removing it would be a retrograde step.

He continued, “My biggest concern is that a failure to address capacity issues on the Lang Stracht will grind this road to a halt, not in 10 or 20 years but very much sooner. It’s already near gridlock for a spell during morning peak. For years I’ve been calling for the council to dual the Lang Stracht but instead we have a proposal which seeks to exacerbate traffic flow on this route, not improve it”.

The committee did not support Steve’s call to scrap the proposals, instead voting to remove the signalised east junction and therefore the ability to turn right, when 400 houses are built, and to introduce two staggered signalised junctions further west in place of single junction originally planned at Dobbies.

 

Kingswells Buses Update

The poor timekeeping of the No 14 has been a bone of contention with Kingswells residents since the service was introduced some months ago.

People are accepting of the half hourly peak service (hourly off-peak) as long as the bus arrives on time.

Late running buses have caused all sorts of problems in recent months with people missing appointments, arriving late for work and getting stranded in town unable to get home.

Steve Delaney, Lib Dem councillor for the area, has received numerous complaints from residents and was in regular contact with the council’s Public Transport Unit throughout the summer.

Steve said, “Residents will be pleased to know that a new timetable is to be introduced on 12th November which will hopefully address the timekeeping issues by building in extra time for the journey”.

“In addition, an hourly service will operate on Sundays from around the same time. This was intended to be included in the contract from the outset but had to be dropped due to cost.”

“Funding was recently identified from monies raised as a result of fines from motorists who have used bus lanes or bus gates during restricted periods”.

The aim is to grow the service so it gets to a point where it no longer requires council subsidy. Despite the poor timekeeping, the No 14 has seen significant growth in passenger number since it took over from the shuttle bus at the end of April.

Steve concluded, “Stagecoach really need to get their act together this time and ensure that reliability issues and missing buses become a thing of the past.”

“Only when we get to the point where the service is once again financially viable will we have secured the long term future of this essential bus service”.

New Bus Stop For Kingswells Village Centre

A  new bus stop is to be put in place heading north bound close to the junction of Kingswood Drive and Kingswells Drive. Currently there is no bus stop between Broaddykes and the Health Centre as a result of numerous changes to bus routes which saw Kingswells Drive cut out of the route.

Local councillor Steve Delaney said, “I’m delighted the council has agreed to put in place an additional bus stop near the shops to replace the redundant stop at the top of Kingswells Drive. This has been requested by a number of residents, especially people living in Kingswood Mews as well as people looking to stop off at the Village Centre on their way home”.

Council To Investigate “Plastic Roads”

Aberdeen City Council’s Operational Delivery Committee has unanimously agreed to Lib Dem Councillor Steve Delaney’s proposal to look at carrying out a trial of “plastic roads” in Aberdeen.

Steve said, “I was delighted to have all party support to further investigate this exciting new product which claims to offer longer lasting road surfaces and pothole filling at lower costs. Given the council’s commitment to double its budget for road and pavement resurfacing over the next five years, my hope is not that we can do this for less, but that we can get more for our money”.

In its most basic form, plastic was first used to fill potholes in India over 20 years ago, though the process was pretty basic at the time and has changed significantly over the years. One of the first main highways to include the use of plastic was constructed in Chennai, India in 2002 and it has yet to display any significant signs of wear or tear.

Since then technology has moved on and the term plastic roads is perhaps a little misleading as the amount of plastic actually used in the current product is significantly less than was used in the early roads, but instead it is merely sufficient  to offer much greater durability than that of current road surfacing products.

Plastic bags and plastic bottles are used to create pellets which are mixed with asphalt, replacing a significant amount of bitumen,  to fill potholes or to completely resurface roads.  The cost of the product is reputed to be up to 50% less than traditional roads and the maintenance costs observed elsewhere are significantly reduced.

The only company in the UK currently offering this product is MacRebur, based in Eaglesfield, Dumfries & Galloway. They further developed the concept after having received a £1m investment boost following their successful entry in the 2016 Virgin Voom competition. Sir Andy Murray is another major investor in this enterprise. The product is sold to asphalt manufacturers who can then incorporate it into their road mix. 

Similar technology has been in use elsewhere in Europe, Australia and the USA for a number of years where it has helped lower construction costs and has proved to be more durable than traditional roads. Over the past five years this technology has been used to resurface 21,000 miles of roads in India.

Currently Dumfries & Galloway, Cumbria & Enfield councils have all carried out resurfacing trials and Fife Council are believed to be considering a trial involving pothole repairs using this product, It has recently been used to resurface a junction onto the A6 near Caithwaite and a section of the A7 in the Lake District. In the case of the A7 project, 500,00 plastic bottles and 800,000 plastic bags were diverted from landfill.

Steve said, “The re-use of our plastic bags and plastic bottles in the process would be a positive outcome as would the increased durability of these roads.On the face of it this product appears to have strong environment credentials as well as offering cost savings”. 

“It was agreed that council officers will look further at the possibilities regarding the use of this product in Aberdeen. They will also consult with colleagues elsewhere in the UK to obtain feedback on trials already undertaken.  I am clearly hopeful that this will lead to a trial being conducted in Aberdeen in the very near future”.

“I’m pleased to have been in a position to bring this matter to the attention of the council and I appreciate the support of all councillors in agreeing to explore the possibilities further”.

Winter Maintenance Plan Approved

Last winter was a challenging one which just seemed to drag on. During this time  we some of the best examples of keeping the primary routes clear, despite it being the worst winter for a number of years.

However, icy pavements were amongst the worst we had seen with many people unable to get out and about and a number of accidents having occurred.

Each year the council reviews last winter’s operations with a view to learning lessons from what worked well what did not. It’s important to acknowledge that depending on the severity of a winter, we will as citizens always expect more than can reasonably deliver.

Of course the key to improvement is learning from what did and didn’t work well last year and seeking to improve upon it for next year.

Commenting on changes coming in this winter, Lib Dem Environment & Infrastructure spokesman Steve Delaney said, “Following shortages and delays in supplying salt bags to residents last winter I’m delighted to see a number of changes moving forward. These  one tonne salt bags will be publicised earlier and there will be a cut off date of 1st November”.

“It will now be easier for residents who have no space for a tonne of salt, to be access alternative options. These include a limited availability of 10kg buckets of salt and 20 huge grit bins located at convenient locations across the city where residents can fill up their own buckets with salt”.

“The introduction of 1 tonne salt bags and the smaller alternatives were both Lib Dem ideas as was the suggestion we work with other local authorities to share good practice, reduce costs and improve effectiveness”,

“I welcome the incorporation of these ideas into our regular winter maintenance programmes, especially with respect to the salt bags for which demand outstripped supply last winter”.

“Unfortunately our proposals to invest in additional personnel and machinery for clearing pavements and for snow clearing equipment intended for community use fell by the wayside, but hopefully these are proposals the council can reflect upon further as we seek to further build on community resilience moving forward”.

More information can be found here.

Please note at the time of posting the linked webpage has not been updated for 2018/19 though the link to order one tonne salt bags does work.

Council Backs Lib Dem Initiative On Community Speedwatch

Liberal Democrat councillor Ian Yuill has welcomed the unanimous backing of Aberdeen City Council’s Operational Delivery Committee for his proposal about introducing “Community Speedwatch” in Aberdeen.

Ian Yuill said “Community Speedwatch involves local volunteers being trained by the police to operate speed guns. The volunteers then monitor speeds at locations agreed by the police. The volunteers do not stop speeders or issue speeding tickets. What the do do is pass information about speeding vehicles to the police. Drivers recorded as speeding are then typically ‘educated’ by the police.”

Ian Yuill continued “I am delighted by the committee’s unanimous support for my proposal. Community Speedwatch works successfully elsewhere in the UK and I do not believe there is any reason why it could not work here in Aberdeen. I believe Community Speedwatch could help make a real difference to speeding in communities across Aberdeen.

“Community Speedwatch could reduce speeds and make our roads safer for drivers and pedestrians alike. I very much hope the police decide to introduce Community Speedwatch in Aberdeen.”

Have You Lost TV Channels Recently?

If you use Freeview you may have noticed you are no longer able to receive a number of your TV channels following the automated re-tuning which took place on or around 15th August. This is due to a number of the channels having been moved to different frequencies to free up space for 5G mobile networks. In many cases your aerial just requires to be moved slightly or your require a signal booster. In some cases you may need a new aerial.

Steve Delaney said, “After the re-tune I found I had lost about 20 channels but I remembered having received a postcard from Freeview advising this might happen so I called them. They sent someone round to take a look at it, fitted a new rooftop aerial and I’m now receiving even more channels than I had before the upgrade”.

“Due to the act that this is a Government initiative, the costs of any labour and parts required will be covered by Freeview provided the fault can be attributed to the recent upgrade. So it you have lost Freeview channels give them a call to discuss the problem before you consider trying to fix it yourself”.

Freeview’s Advice Line is on 0808 100 0288 or you can read more about it here.

Please note. This only affects Freeview televisions and Freeview (or Youview) boxes. If you have Sky or Freesat your channels will not have been affected by this change.

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Kingswood Drive

Start Date and Time : 25 September 2018 05:30
End Date and Time : 28 September 2018 22:00

Location : Kingswood Drive

Description : The effect of the order, which will operate from 05:30 on 25 September, 2018, until 22:00 on 28 September, 2018, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on Kingswood Drive, Aberdeen, between its southern junction with the C89C Chapel of Stoneywood-Fairley Road and Bellfield View.

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during carriageway resurfacing works. Any queries regarding this restriction can be directed to Aberdeen City Council Roads Maintenance team on 03000 200292, or response@aberdeencity.gov.uk

Alternate Route : An alternative route is available via Fairley Road, the C89C Chapel of Stoneywood-Fairley Road and Kingswells Roundabout.

PLEASE NOTE that contrary to previous proposals, the C89C road from the Kingswells Roundabout to Bucksburn WILL NOT now be closed and there WILL NOT be a diversion on a section of the AWPR. The information above represents the latest update and is designed to minimise disruption during the resurfacing works.

Get Involved @ Kingsford School

The Kingsford School Parent Council works alongside the school on issues which are importance to parents.

They also organise various events, all of which raise funds which help the school, reduce the cost of school trips and much more.

Joining the Parent Council isn’t onerous and won’t take up much of your time, but the more people get involved, the more they can do for the school and for our children.

They are a friendly informal bunch of parents who get together a few times a year and they would welcome some more parents joining their ranks. It’s a good way to get to know some of other parents too, especially if your child has just started nursery or P1.

So why not come along and find out a bit more?

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Skye Road

Start Date and Time : 01 September 2018 05:00
End Date and Time : 21 September 2018 17:00

Location : Skye Road

Description : The effect of the order, is to close Skye Road, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Raasay Gardens and Lang Stracht, from 05:00 until 18:00 on 1 September, 2018.

There will then be a one-way restriction on the same stretch of road from 18:00 on 1 September, 2018, until 17:00 on 21 September, 2018.

The permitted direction of travel will be southbound only.

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during traffic signal refurbishment works.

Any queries regarding this restriction can be directed to Aberdeen City Council ITS Unit on 03000 200292, or TrafficLights@aberdeencity.gov.uk

Alternate Route : An alternative route is available via Lang Stracht, Lewis Road and Arran Avenue.

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Lang Stracht

Start Date and Time : 03 September 2018 19:00
End Date and Time : 15 September 2018 07:00

Location : Lang Stracht

Description : The effect of the order, which will operate from 19:00 on 3 September, 2018, until 07:00 on 15 September, 2018, is to impose a temporary 20mph speed restriction imposed on Lang Stracht, Aberdeen, between two points 100 metres either side of its junction with the access road to Dobbies Garden Centre.

The measure is necessary to protect public safety during carriageway surfacing works. Any queries regarding this restriction can be directed MTM Construction on 01224 790888, or roadworkscoordination@aberdeencity.gov.uk

Changes in Temporary Traffic Order – Fairley Road Edmond Gardens

Start Date and Time : 04 August 2018 09:00
End Date and Time : 04 August 2018 17:00

Location : Fairley Road Edmond Gardens

Description : The effect of the order, which will operate from 09:00 until 17:00 on 4 August, 2018, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on Edmond Gardens, Aberdeen, between its southern junction with Fairley Road and the driveway at the side of number 27 Fairley Road.

An alternative route is available via the northern junction of Fairley Road and Edmond Gardens.

There will also be a prohibition of waiting on Fairley Road, Aberdeen, between two points 10 metres either side of its southern junction with Edmond Gardens.

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during ironwork repairs being carried out by Scottish Water.

Any queries regarding this restriction can be directed to A-Plant Lux on 01698 745069, scotlandtraffic@aplant.com

Alternate Route : An alternative route is available via the northern junction of Fairley Road and Edmond Gardens.

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Fairley Road Edmond Gardens

Start Date and Time : 04 August 2018 09:00
End Date and Time : 04 August 2018 17:00

Location : Fairley Road Edmond Gardens

Description : The effect of the order, which will operate from 09:00 until 17:00 on 4 August, 2018, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on Edmond Gardens, Aberdeen, between its northern junction with Fairley Road and the driveway at number 24 Edmond Gardens.

There will also be a prohibition of waiting on Fairley Road, Aberdeen, between two points 10 metres either side of its northern junction with Edmond Gardens.

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during ironwork repairs being carried out by Scottish Water.

Any queries regarding this restriction can be directed to A-Plant Lux on 01698 745069, scotlandtraffic@aplant.com

Alternate Route : An alternative route is available via the southern junction of Fairley Road and Edmond Gardens.

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – C93C Borrowstone Road

Start Date and Time : 30 June 2018 07:00
End Date and Time : 01 July 2018 19:00

Location : C93C Borrowstone Road

Description : The effect of the order, which will operate from 07:00 until 19:00 on 30 June, 2018, and from 07:00 until 19:00 1 July, 2018, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on the C93C Borrowstone Road, Aberdeen, between its junction with the A944 Skene Road and Westholme Cottage.

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route works.

Any queries regarding this restriction can be directed to AWPR Construction Joint Venture on 0800 058 8350, or community@awprcjv.com

Alternate Route : An alternative route is available via the A944 Skene Road, Westhill Drive, and B979 Kirkton of Skene-Tyrebagger.

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Old Skene Road

Start Date and Time : 06 August 2018 08:00
End Date and Time : 11 August 2018 22:00

Location : Old Skene Road

Description : The effect of the order, which will operate from 08:00 on 6th August, 2018, until 22:00 on 11th August, 2018, is to impose a temporary prohibition of waiting on either side of Old Skene Road, Aberdeen, from the entrance to Kingswood House to the gable end of number 72 Old Skene Road.

Illegally parked vehicles will be removed at the owner’s expense.

The no-waiting restrictions will be demarcated by the use of no-waiting cones.

The measure is necessary to protect public safety during manhole repair work.

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Borrowstone Road

Start Date and Time : 26 June 2018 07:00
End Date and Time : 17 July 2017 17:00

Location : Borrowstone Road

Description : The effect of the order is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on the following roads;

The C93C Borrowstone Road, Aberdeen, between Westholme and Hillside, from 07:00 on 26 June, 2018, until 17:00 on 27 June, 2018, and from 07:00 until 17:00 on 10 July, 2018, and from 07:00 until 17:00 on 17 July, 2018.

There will also be a 20mph speed limit enforced on the same stretch of road from 07:00 on 10 July, 2018, until 17:00 on 17 July, 2018.

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during carriageway surface dressing works being carried out by Aberdeen City Council.

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Ross Crescent

Start Date and Time : 09 July 2018 10:00
End Date and Time : 09 July 2018 22:00

Location : Ross Crescent

Description : The effect of the order, which will operate from 10:00 until 22:00 on 9th July, 2018 is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on Ross Crescent, Aberdeen, between its junction with Mastrick Road and a point 10 metres in a southerly direction.

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during duct laying works being carried out by City Fibre

Alternate Route : An alternative route is available via Mastrick Road, Arnage Place, and Arnage Drive.

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Old Skene Road

Start Date and Time : 18 June 2018 08:00
End Date and Time : 24 June 2018 22:00

Location : Old Skene Road

Description : The effect of the order, which will operate from 08:00 on 18th June, 2018, until 22:00 on 24th June, 2018, is to impose a temporary prohibition of waiting on either side of Old Skene Road, Aberdeen, from the entrance to Kingswood House to the gable end of number 72 Old Skene Road.

Illegally parked vehicles will be removed at the owner’s expense.

The no-waiting restrictions will be demarcated by the use of no-waiting cones.

The measure is necessary to protect public safety during manhole repair work. .

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Sheddocksley Road, Bellfield Road, Kingsford Road, Harthill Place, Auchlea Place

Start Date and Time : 17 May 2018 07:30
End Date and Time : 25 May 2018 17:30

Location : Sheddocksley Road, Bellfield Road, Kingsford Road, Harthill Place, Auchlea Place

Description : The effect of the order is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on Sheddocksley Road, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Springhill Road and Auchlea Road, and on Wardhead Place, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Sheddocksley Road and Sheddocksley Drive, from 07:30 on 17 May, 2018, until 17:30 on 25 May, 2018.

Access to properties will be maintained when possible, but no through traffic will be allowed.

There will also be a prohibition of waiting on the following roads from 07:30-17:30 Mon-Fri; either side of Sheddocksley Road, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Springhill Road and Auchlea Road; either side of Wardhead Place, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Sheddocksley Road and Sheddocksley Drive; either side of Sheddocksley Drive, Aberdeen, between its northern junction with Sheddocksley Road and the southern boundary of number 287 Sheddocksley Drive; either side of Brodinch Place, Aberdeen, between its junction with Sheddocksley Road and the northern boundary of number 15 Brodinch Place; either side of Bellfield Road, Aberdeen, between its junction with Sheddocksley Road and the western boundary of number 27 Bellfield Road; either side of Brodinch Road, Aberdeen, between its junction with Sheddocksley Road and the western boundary of number 35 Brodinch Road; either side of Kingsford Road, Aberdeen, between its junction with Sheddocksley Road and the western boundary of number 46 Kingsford Road; either side of Harthill Place, Aberdeen, between its junction with Sheddocksley Road and the eastern boundary of number 1 Harthill Place; and either side of Auchlea Place, Aberdeen, between its junction with Sheddocksley Road and the driveway of number 1 Auchlea Place.

Illegally parked vehicles will be removed at the owner’s expense. The measures are necessary to protect public safety during carriageway resurfacing works.

Alternate Route : An alternative route is available via Sheddocksley Drive.

Kingswells Bus Event On Monday


The new Stagecoach No 14 service from Kingswells to Aberdeen City Centre picks up its first passengers at 6am on Monday 30th April.

The service follows the existing route through Kingswells before heading down Lang Stracht, Westburn Road and on to the city centre. It operates a 30 minute morning and evening peak time service with hourly buses off-peak and in the evenings.

Timetables are now available in the Park & Ride waiting room and Kingswells Community Centre and it is hoped they will also be available from other local outlets. The timetable can also be downloaded here.

Stagecoach will be holding a photocall at the bus stop on Kingswells Drive opposite Coldstone Avenue at 3.30pm this coming Monday to mark the launch of the new service. They will also be out and about in Kingswells on Monday morning promoting the new service with some free giveaways. There will be ongoing promotion of the service.

Kingswells councillor Steve Delaney said, “Today represents a welcome step forward for Kingswells with a new Council funded service which serves the village and goes directly into the city centre six days a week”.

“What’s most important to people is that this new service is reliable and runs to time. I would like to thank all councillors for their backing of this initiative, I wish Stagecoach well with this new route and would encourage local people to make good use of it”.

“I’ll be out and about in Kingswells on Monday and I intend joining Stagecoach for their launch event at 3.30pm. Please come along and join me if you can. It is important that as many of us as possible come along to welcome this new route, a service we all fought hard for. Now it’s up to us all to help make it a success and to encourage other residents to give it a try”.

Please let your friends and neighbours know about Monday’s photocall as not everyone is online and it would be great to see a good turnout.

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Lang Stracht, Springhill Road

Start Date and Time : 30 April 2018 07:00
End Date and Time : 15 June 2018 22:00

Location : Lang Stracht, Springhill Road

Description : The effect of the order is to impose a prohibition of right turn manoeuvres from Lang Stracht, Aberdeen, on to Springhill Road, from 07:30 on 30 April, 2018, to 22:00 on 15 June, 2018.

There will be a prohibition of waiting on either side of Springhill Road, Aberdeen, between Lang Stracht and Sheddocksley Drive, from 07:30 on 30 April, 2018, to 22:00 on 15 June, 2018.

Illegally parked vehicles will be removed at the owner’s expense. Also, there will be a prohibition of driving on Springhill Road, Aberdeen, between Lang Stracht and Sheddocksley Drive, from 07:30 on 19 May, 2018, until 22:00 on 20 May, 2018.

Access to properties will be maintained, but no through traffic will be possible. The measures are necessary to protect public safety during traffic signal refurbishment works.

Alternate Route : An alternative route for vehicles turning onto Springhill Road is available via Fernhill Drive and Greenfern Road. An alternative route for the closure is available via Lang Stracht, Fernhill Drive and Greenfern Road.

No 14 Kingswells to City Centre Approved By Traffic Commissioner

The timetable for the new No 14 bus service from Kingswells to Aberdeen City Centre has been approved by the Scottish Traffic Commissioner. The service will replace the No 94 with the No 94 returning to its previous ARI to Aberdeen Crematorium route. The No 14, which will be operated by Stagecoach, starts on 30th April 2018. The finalised timetable can be found below.

A downloadable printable timetable which also includes Stagecoach’s 218 and X17 services can be found here.

A New Bus Service For Kingswells

As we approach the first anniversary of the withdrawal of FirstAberdeen from Kingswells, a dedicated Kingswells to City Centre route is about to launch.

Last September Aberdeen City Council agreed to put the service out to tender and, as a result, the proposed service, which will be operated by Stagecoach, is set to commence on 30 April 2018 (subject to registration with the Scottish Traffic Commissioner).

No longer will the typical commute to work take up to three hours a day and no longer should people have to wait well in excess of an hour for a bus outwith peak times. However, the peak morning and afternoon services have been reduced from the 15 minute service offered by the shuttle bus to a 30 minute service. Passengers will be able to board and alight at any bus stop on the route, unlike the current limited stop service which operates to ARI.

The proposed route through the village follows that of the existing No 94 which will cease from that date. The new service will offer a direct route via Lang Stracht and Westburn Road to the City Centre.

The proposed route is as follows:-

Kingswells – City Centre

Kingswood Drive, Kingswells Crescent, C98C Chapel of Stoneywood, Kingswood Drive, Fairley Road, Old Lang Stracht, Westburn Road, Camperdown Road, Mid Stocket Road, Westfield Road, Craigie Loanings, Albert Street, Rubislaw Place, Alford Place, Union Street, Union Terrace, Rosemount Viaduct, Schoolhill, Upperkirkgate

City Centre – Kingswells

Upperkirkgate, Broad Street, Union Street, Alford Place, Rubislaw Place, Waverly Place, Albert Street, Craigie Loanings, Westfield Road, Mid Stocket Road, Harcourt Road, Westburn Road, Lang Stracht, Old Lang Stracht, Fairley Road, Kingswood Drive

The new service will not stop at the Park & Ride nor is intended to visit the bus interchange at ARI, instead stopping on Westburn Road. Anyone wishing to connect with the X17 will have to get off the bus at the top of Fairley Road and walk to the Park & Ride from there, or walk down Fairley Road to catch it on the A944 beside Kingswells Church. The new service has been contracted for two years and will be subject to regular monitoring.

The route will charge standard Stagecoach fares and Stagecoach season tickets can used on the service. This route is supported financially by Aberdeen City Council.

The new service will operate from 06.00 – 23.00 Monday to Saturday on a 30 minute peak time service and hourly off-peak. There will be no Sunday service. The same route will be used at all times of day, unlike the current service which operates a different evening route.

Kingswells councillor Steve Delaney, who campaigned alongside local residents for a replacement service said, “I am pleased to see this come to fruition but angry it has dragged on for so long. If councillors had accepted my original proposal to go to tender in March 2017 we would have seen a Kingswells to City Centre service up and running many months ago.

“Although I was more than happy to make the case with the council (and missed no opportunity to do so), the withdrawal of the X40 galvanised our community in Kingswells, both bus users and non-bus users, as everyone came together to support those who needed public transport to get to work, school, further education, health appointments and leisure activities.

“Without such a well organised grass roots campaign, I fear we may not have seen the shuttle bus replaced. Nothing outshines the real sense of community when people come together to look out for their neighbours and everyone who was involved in the campaign should take pride in the fact we once again have a bus service connecting Kingswells to the City Centre.

“The proposed service is an improvement on the No 94 in many respects, but there are some downsides. I would certainly have liked to have seen a more frequent early morning service and the provision of a Sunday service.

Timetables for the new service will soon be available from the Park & Ride waiting room and Kingswells Community Centre. They will also be put in place at bus stops throughout Kingswells shortly before the new service starts.

Kingswells Buses Update

Budgetary provision for supported bus services in Kingswells, as proposed by councillors last September, was agreed as part of Aberdeen City Council’s 2018-19 Budget last week. The service went out to tender a few weeks ago and these tenders have now been evaluated.

Kingswells councillor Steve Delaney said, “It’s been a long struggle to get to the point where the council has agreed to invite tenders and put a budget in place to deliver the service. This could and should have been progressed a year ago. Nonetheless, things finally appear to be happening and an announcement is expected next week”.

“A preferred bidder has been selected and council officers are working through the details with the proposed operator. Due to requirements of procurement legislation no announcement can be made prior to 26th March 2018. Please note that I am not aware of who the preferred bidder is, nor do I have any details of the chosen route or the level of service being offered”

“Unfortunatelythe proposed commencement date has been put back from 2nd April to 30th April. In the meantime the current No 94 service will continue as normal”.

“Please rest assured I intend to get a Focus out within days of the announcement to ensure everyone, especially those who are not online, has the full details.”

“If anyone who does not deliver Focus is able to assist with deliveries next week, that would be appreciated as there are a few gaps in the delivery network and this needs to go out quickly.”

Kingswells Broadband Update

With just a few streets in the village unable to receive super fast broadband at speeds of 38Mbps or higher, residents living at those addresses are keen to know if or when they can expect their homes to be connected.

Lib Dem councillor Steve Delaney said, “A few more streets have been connected since the New Year but information on the others has been difficult to get hold of. The fact that Digital Scotland’s website typically states that there are no plans to provide a service for at least 12 months right up until a street goes live, just adds to the frustration.”

“I’m pleased to say that I now have an update from Openreach on their current plans for these streets. These are pretty broad timescales, where given, but they are the best available at this point in time. I would suggest you check the status of your address on their website every few weeks”

“All currently available information can be found below. Please note I cannot offer any more detail than this. If you are living in a street which is not mentioned and cannot get the service, please do get in touch as it is possible that a handful of addresses may have been omitted accidentally and I would be happy to flag these up to Openreach.”

Concraig Park/Walk

Works here have not yet commenced. This will be phased over the next 3-6 months but not all premises will go live at the same time due to the numbers involved. It is not possible to identify a timescale for individual addresses.

Wellside Circle

All addresses are connected with the exception of Nos 35-38. These premises will be upgraded abut no timescale is currently available.

Wellside Place

All addresses are connected with the exception of Nos 1-8. These premises will be upgraded abut no timescale is currently available.

Derbeth Park

All addresses are connected with the exception of Nos 34, 36, 38 & 40. These premises will be upgraded abut no timescale is currently available.

Derbeth Grange

The homes which are connected to the TPON network (via Cabinet 21) remain outstanding. No information was given on these and this matter is being pursued.

Clydesdale Bank Closure

Clydesdale Bank have made a shock announcement that they intend to close their Mastrick branch by the end of June this year.

Mastrick councillor Steve Delaney said, “Local people and local businesses have been devastated by this news. This is a very well used branch, it’s always busy and it provides a lifeline to both the local community in Mastrick, Northfield, Sheddocksley and Summerhill but also to local businesses, especially those in the Mastrick Shoping Centre”.

“I have serious concerns for the shopping centre, having lost both the Post Office and now, it appears, the bank. It’s not just the convenience of the bank being handy, it’s also the fact that it brought people into the shopping centre, people who may in future go elsewhere”.

“Mastrick Shopping Centre is popular and well used, as is the Clydesdale Bank. I do have to wonder if this was a paper exercise conducted by someone who doesn’t know the area as it makes no sense to close this branch”.

Steve has written to Clydesdale Bank’s Chief Executive outlining the concerns of both residents and businesses and asked for them to reconsider the proposed closure.

Proposed Changes to Stagecoach Services

Aberdeenshire Council has decided to withdraw funding from a number of supported bus services across their area which are run by Stagecoach.

As a result, it is proposed that the 220, which currently serves Kingswells with eight buses a day running to ARI, be withdrawn.

In addition, the Sunday evening frequency on the x17 is set to reduce from 30 minutes to 45 minutes.

These changes will take effect from 7th May 2018.

Kingswells councillor Steve Delaney said, “I contacted Stagecoach for clarification following the appearance of a front page article in the P&J on Wednesday. They have confirmed these are the only changes which will affect Kingswells”.

“Although the 220 only offered an off-peak Monday to Friday service, it will certainly be missed by those who used it to attend hospital appointments”.

“Unfortunately this decision was taken by Aberdeenshire Council, whose interests do not include the Kingswells area, so there is no real prospect of persuading them to think again”.

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – C93C Borrowstone Road

Start Date and Time : 23 March 2018 20:00
End Date and Time : 26 March 2018 06:00

Location : C93C Borrowstone Road

Description : Aberdeen City Council has made the above-named order in terms of its powers under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

The effect of the order, which will operate from 20:00 on 23 March, 2018, until 06:00 on 26 March, 2018, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on the C93C Borrowstone Road, Aberdeen, between its junction with the A944 Skene Road and Westholme Cottage.

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route works.

Alternate Route : An alternative route is available via the A944 Skene Road, Westhill Drive, and B979 Kirkton of Skene-Tyrebagger.

Council Rejects Bid To Tackle Obstructive Parking

Aberdeen City Council last week rejected a notice of motion by Lib Dem councillor Steve Delaney to request powers for City Wardens to deal with obstruction offences.

If someone parks over your driveway, effectively blocking you in, Police Scotland are currently the body you need to contact to request action.

With significant pressures on police time and much higher priority crimes to deal with, they are not always able to to attend. Steve’s proposal was merely asking the council to write to the Scottish Government requesting they decriminalise the offence of obstructing a dropped kerb as has been done with parking on yellow lines.

He said, “Decriminalisation of yellow lines has been a great success. Rather than relying on police to patrol parking offences, the City Wardens are able to offer a more reactive service, which gets the message across to people that parking on yellow lines is not acceptable in terms of road safety”.

“This proposal was intended to assist people who get blocked in and making the small minority of drivers who park carelessly think again before straddling across a driveway”.

Steve made it clear to councillors that this was not about increasing the number of City Wardens or putting pressure on budgets. It was about making use of the existing team as they went about their daily duties. Obstructions do not occur in large numbers, but when they do, they create major difficulties for residents who can’t get out of their driveways.

He added, “I was really surprised to see a lack of consensus on this matter. Anti-social parking which prevents residents from getting out of their driveway is already an offence, it’s just not always receiving the hoped for response, for understandable reasons. This proposal would have increased response rates by deploying staff who were in the area anyway”.

Unfortunately Labour, Conservative, SNP and Independent councillors failed to support the proposals.

Council Rejects Proposal To Look At Improving Snow Clearing And Gritting


The Conservative, Labour and Independent councillors who control the City Council rejected a Liberal Democrat proposal to look at how the council’s snow clearing and gritting operations could be improved at the council meeting on 5th March.

Lib Dem Group Leader Ian Yuill said, “My colleagues and I put forward our proposal that council staff look at how snow clearing and gritting could be improved after countless people contacted us about problems with snow clearing and gritting earlier in the winter. People told us how worried they were about the icy state of many pavements. Some people told us they were unable to get out and were trapped in their own homes”.

“People told us they realise that the council cannot possibly grit every single pavement and road in the city but that were particularly annoyed that even well-used pavements were very slippery for days on end”.

“”Some residents also told us they were keen to do more themselves but were very frustrated that the council failed to deliver one tonne bags of salt to residents and community groups who had requested these. The council is now telling people these large bags of salt will not be provided until next winter”.

“In response to these complaints, I submitted a “notice of motion” to the council calling for staff to consider how snow clearing and gritting could be improved. I made the point this was not necessarily about spending more money but by doing things like ensuring the one tonne bags of salt were delivered on time, that grit boxes were in the best places across our city and that the council consider what it could do to help residents and community groups who might wish to help grit pavements.”

“Sadly the Conservative, Labour and Independent councillors who control the council rejected part 5 of my motion (see below) which asked that council staff look at how snow clearing and gritting could be improved”.

The full text of the notice of motion was:

That this council:

1. Thanks all staff involved in carrying out winter maintenance (gritting and snow clearing) during the recent cold weather

2. Recognises that many people expressed concern at the slippery condition of many pavements for lengthy periods during the recent cold weather

3. Expresses concern that over 400 requests from residents and community groups for one tonne bags of salt remained unfulfilled at the end of January and that people are now being told they will not receive these bags of salt until winter 2018/19

4. Notes that officers will be reporting to the appropriate committee on 2017/18 Winter Maintenance Operations

5. Instructs officers to report by October 2018 on how winter maintenance operations could be improved by:

a. Considering whether additional pavement ploughs / grit spreaders are required and advising on the financial and staffing implications of that.

b. How an appropriate network of grit bins could be provided across Aberdeen.

c. A review of the mechanism for providing one tonne bags of salt to individuals and community groups to ensure these are provided timeously.

d. Considering how best to provide residents and community groups with bulk bags of salt smaller than one tonne in size.

e. Considering how appropriate snow clearing equipment could be provided to community and residents’ groups who wish to make use of such equipment.

Broad Street Safety Concerns Ignored

Aberdeen City Council has taken the decision to proceed with the “part pedestrianisation” of Broad Street despite strong opposition from people with sight and hearing loss and limited mobility, who had raised safety concerns.

The decision to proceed a shared surface for usd by pedestrians, buses and cyclists was taken by 23 votes to 22. Aberdeen’s Lib Dem Group had their dissent to this decision noted.

Lib Dem councillor Steve Delaney had put forward a proposal to remove buses from Broad Street and to create a separate cycle route through the site.

Steve said, “I’m very disappointed that though Labour, Conservative and Independent councillors heard the safety arguments, they failed to listen to them. Unfortunately two Labour councillors who had previously spoken out publicly in favour of full pedestrianisation went on to vote along party lines.”

“Aberdeen’s coalition seem to be wedded to the idea that their way is the only way and I see this as a missed opportunity to have made Broad Street a safe, friendly and accessible space for everyone”. ”

“Although I highlighted particular safety concerns for people with disabilities, I was also of the view that mixing vehicles and pedestrians on a level surface with no kerbs or pedestrian crossings was both unpleasant and unsafe for all pedestrians”.

“If you’ve ever visited one of these areas you will be well aware you can never relax and as you’re constantly having to look out for vehicles. It’s really not a pleasant experience and not one I wanted to see us inflict on both residents and visitors to Aberdeen”.

“I felt that the voices of disabled people were drowned out by those of the private bus companies, regardless of the fact their scare stories of major disruption due to re-routine have not materialised. Whatever happened to adopting a safety first approach?”

“I would like to thank members of the public for contacting their councillors. I truly believe that without their intervention we would not have seen the late concession from the coalition to undertake a review after 6, then 12 months of operation. I sincerely hope there are no incidents before then. Clearly this matter will be re-visited and I hope that common sense prevails at that time”.

Members of the public highlighted a number of key points in their communications to councillors. These links can be found below.

Three year old Clinton Pringle sadly lost his life last year after being struck by a bus on a shared surface in Jersey.

Preston’s Fishergate had become a “no go” area for blind and partially sighted citizens resulting in changes being needed.

Guide Dogs initiated a judicial review against Kensington & Chelsea Council’s proposals for a shared surface in Exhibition Road, London in 2010. In that instance, the council agreed to amend the proposals to address the concerns of blind and partially sighted people.

Northumberland County Council scrapped a proposed shared surface in Stobhill, Morpeth following safety concerns.

There have been a number of accidents in Manners Street, Wellington, New Zealand after buses were allowed into a pedestrianised area.

This video illustrates some of the difficulties guide dog owners have experienced in Poynton, Cheshire following the opening of a shared surface in the village centre.

This short video shows a bus with an annoying warning sound passing through Boston in Lincolnshire, only to be followed by another just five minutes later.

Steve Delaney Thanks Residents & Council Staff For Prompt Action During Floods

Photo taken on 6th March by a local resident

Yesterday’s heavy downpour combined with melting snow caused chaos across the North East, including flooding in our own area. The rain came down at a horrendous rate and, in some case drains were unable to cope, with sections of the Lang Stracht under water as it had been in 2012. The worst hit areas were the Den of Maidencraig Nature Reserve and Old Skene Road in Kingswells.

In both instances local councillor Steve Delaney was alerted by local residents during yesterday’s council budget meeting. He immediately brought the matter to the attention of the Chief Executive and senior staff who left the meeting to put into place emergency procedures. In addition, a local resident made Hazlehead Academy aware of the situation.

Steve said, “I would like to thank local residents for their prompt action, which prevented these incidents from getting worse than they already ere. Both property and lives could have been at risk had it not been for their quick thinking and prompt action”.

In Kingswells local residents helped dig ditches to divert the water in advance of council teams arriving on site.

Hazlehead Academy staff mobilised to try to divert children from crossing at Maidencraig and assisted those who were already there.

Council squads arrived quickly to evaluated both scenarios and prioritise emergency works to ensure safety.

Steve added, “I extend also like to extend my thanks for council employees for the part they played in yesterday’s operation.

Flood prevention measures planned for the Summerhill area should hopefully eliminate such occurrences in that area but clearly the drainage situation in Old Skene Road needs to be investigated, something I has already been requested.

The photographs below came from a video of Old Skene Road, Kingswells which was made by a local resident.







City Lib Dem Budget Proposals Focus On Education, Roads And Environment


Aberdeen’s Liberal Democrat councillors today proposed investing in education, repairing crumbling roads and pavement and enhancing Aberdeen’s environment at Aberdeen City Council’s budget meeting.

The Liberal Democrats also squarely put the blame for the cuts on the SNP Scottish Government which has once again made Aberdeen City Council the worst funded council in Scotland.

Ian Yuill, Leader of the city council Liberal Democrats, said “These are cuts made because of decisions made by the Scottish Government.”

Key points of the Liberal Democrats’ budget proposals included:

Improving education by investing in teachers’ continuing professional development (CPD)
Doing more to tackle the difficulty of filling some head teacher positions in Aberdeen
Providing continuing funding for the Aberdeen International Youth FEstival
Investing an extra £12.5 million over five years in repairing roads and pavements across Aberdeen. This would pay to resurface 68 miles of road surface.
Increasing the council’s ability to clear snow from roads and pavements
Investing in improving Aberdeen’s environment
Investing an additional £183,000 in supported bus services to reconnect bus links to isolated communities in Aberdeen
A commitment to build a new bridge over the River Dee.
A study into dualing the Lang Stracht
A 3% increase in council tax

Ian Yuill said “Despite the savage cuts forced on the council by the SNP Scottish Government the Liberal Democrat have managed to focus resources on our priorities of education, Aberdeen’s roads and pavements, our local environment and our city centre.”

Kingswells Buses Update

Further to the update in the February edition of Kingswells News a number of residents have been in touch wondering what’s going on regarding the future provision of bus services. Dates have slipped slightly but the process is back on track and the proposed start date remains as 2nd April 2018.

The deadline for submission of tenders was Friday 2nd March with the content of those tenders to be evaluated shortly afterwards, so in effect there is nothing more to report regarding the outcome and a further update will be issued as soon as the outcome is known.

The awarding of a tender is of course dependent upon the tender being within the allocated budgetary provision and being in compliance with the service specification outlined in the tender document. The further complication is that Aberdeen City Council is considering its annual budget on Tuesday 6th March.

Adequate provision for the service at the previously agreed budgetary level has been incorporated into the report to councillors. The danger, as with all budgetary matters, is whether or not it remains intact in the budget which gets passed by the council. On the bass that this was unanimously agreed on 20th September 2017, the likelihood of political shenanigans are minimal, but cannot be discounted.

Following on from that, subject to the budgetary provision being agreed, the bids will be evaluated and, subject to there being a successful bidder, the Traffic Commissioner for Scotland will be asked to fast track the registration of the new service. In the past she has been willing to do so, given the unusual situation currently prevailing in Kingswells.

Kingswells Lib Dem councillor Steve Delaney said, “This process has taken longer than it needed to. If councillors had agreed to go to tender on 9th March 2017 as I had requested, the new service would have been up and running months ago.”

“We are where we are and I’m hopeful all the pieces of the jigsaw will slot together and Kingswells residents will be able to benefit from a new regular reliable service into the city centre.”

“As a result of this process taking so long to progress there has understandably been much anxiety within the community. A number of valid questions have been raised and I will attempt to answer these below”.

    Questions about the new Kingswells bus service

Q. The 94 contract was set up for 12 months and should cease on or around 2nd April 2018. If there’s a delay in implementing a new service will wee end up with no buses at all?

A. The council has the option to extend or curtail the contract. My expectation is that the current contract would continue until such times as a new service was put in place.

Q. When will residents be consulted on the new route and the details of what is on offer?

A. There are no plans for further consultation. Drop in sessions were held on 12th and 15th October 2016 and a public meeting was held on 2nd March 2017. These were well attended and everyone’s feedback was collected from these events and used, as far as was possible, in the design of the new bus service.

Q. Which route will be used?

A. The tender specifies Lang Stracht as the preferred route. However, it is preferred not set in stone. There is provision for other routes to be considered and these will be assessed against a number of set criteria.

Q. What happens if no tenders are received or the amount of subsidy requested by bus companies to support the service is in excess of the available budget?

A. The matter is referred back to committee and nothing can be progressed until a decision is taken.

Q. What happens if the supported bus services budget is cut in the budget on 6th March 2018?

A. Kingswells is the top priority for allocation of this budget but what actually happens depends very much on the size of any cut and the matter would likely need to go back to committee for a decision.

Q. Is the continuation of a shuttle bus feeding the Park & Ride one of the possibilities?

A. The tender calls for an operator to offer a service which goes directly to the city centre. There is no requirement to call at the Park & Ride.

Q. What is the most likely outcome of a successful bid?

A. The extension of an existing route by one of the bus companies to include Kingswells rather than a standalone service.

Q. What frequency of service can we expect?

A. Committee approved that we tender for a 30 minute peak time service daytime, hourly service off-peak and evenings Monday to Saturday with an hourly service on Sundays. The hours of operation approved by committee was between 06:00 to 23:00 Monday to Saturday and between 08:00 to 22:00 on Sundays. What comes by from the tenders is anyone’s guess, but that was the minimum specifications set out by committee.

Steve said, “Please rest assured another update will be issued as soon as matters become clearer. This will not happen immediately after the budget as much work remains on assessing the bids, routes and timetables offered and registering the agreed route.”

“I have Focus deliveries geared up to go out soon after a the details are finalised so that every household in Kingswells is informed as soon as possible”.

Lib Dems’ Motion On Winter Maintenance

Countless residents have raised concerns over snow clearing operations by Aberdeen City Council during the wintry weather which prevailed during December.

Local councillor Steve Delaney said, “The main routes were kept clear and for the most part the city was able to keep moving. Unfortunately gritting and clearing of pavements during the previous cold snap left a lot to be desired.”

“There were also a number of complaints relating to how individual operations were carried out in specific streets.”

“The fact that people were stranded in their homes as a result of icy pavements is something which needs to be addressed.”

In response to these and other concerns raised across the city, Councillor Ian Yuill, leader of the Aberdeen Lib Dem Group, has submitted a notice of motion to the 5th March council meeting. It reads as follows:-

That this council:

1. Thanks all staff involved in carrying out winter maintenance (gritting and snow clearing) during the recent cold weather

2. Recognises that many people expressed concern at the slippery condition of many pavements for lengthy periods during the recent cold weather

3. Expresses concern that over 400 requests from residents and community groups for one tonne bags of salt remained unfulfilled at the end of January and that people are now being told they will not receive these bags of salt until winter 2018/19.

4. Notes that officers will be reporting to the appropriate committee on 2017/18 Winter Maintenance Operations.

5. Instructs officers to report by October 2018 on how winter maintenance operations could be improved by:

a. Considering whether additional pavement ploughs / grit spreaders are required and advising on the financial and staffing implications of that.
b. How an appropriate network of grit bins could be provided across Aberdeen.
c. A review of the mechanism for providing one tonne bags of salt to individuals and community groups to ensure these are provided timeously.
d. Considering how best to provide residents and community groups with bulk bags of salt smaller than one tonne in size.
e. Considering how appropriate snow clearing equipment could be provided to community and residents’ groups who wish to make use of such equipment.

Steve said, “This isn’t about looking to unfairly criticise anyone. After all, no matter how much effort the council puts into snow clearing we’ll never be 100% happy. It’s always going to be challenging getting out in wintry weather.”

“It also has to be acknowledged that all of us (who are able bodied) have a role to play in this by keeping the footways beside our own homes clear.”

“I for one appreciate all the hard work undertaken by those working day and night to keep our city moving. However, the intent of this motion is to acknowledge that there were problems and look at how best we can learn from these. We need to look at what we can easily address ourselves such as availability and size of salt bags, availability of grit bins and how the council can help people to help themselves.”

“We also need to take stock and look, with an open mind, at how other areas have overcome some of the difficulties we faced, especially in respect of icy pavements and learn from best practice elsewhere. Just because this is how we’ve dealt with the past 10 or 15 winters doesn’t mean we should keep doing things the same way in the future.”

“The current weather which is engulfing the entire country this week is exceptional and and is stretching resources everywhere. Regardless of the need to learn lessons from the situation which prevailed during December I would like to put on record my thanks to the crews who are currently battling against the elements to keep our city moving and to keep us safe”.

The notice of motion will be taken towards the end of Monday’s meeting and it is hoped that everyone can get on board.

Scottish Water Consultation

Scottish Water is asking its customers in communities throughout Scotland to help shape water and waste water services in a major consultation.

They are launching a six month long programme which will define service and spending priorities over the next 25 years.

The utility – the fourth biggest in the UK which supplies 1.35 billion litres of fresh clean water a day to its five million customers – is inviting views on its proposals and ambitions for the coming decades.

They are inviting you to participate, have your say and shape the future priorities for Scottish Water.

Stakeholders and communities are being asked to consider three key ambitions which it is proposed will underpin Scottish Water’s activities:

· Delivering a consistently leading customer experience
· Keeping customer prices low by driving further innovation and efficiency through smart investment choices
· Increasing the reliability, resilience and sustainability of their services to new and emerging challenges

Full details of the ambitions are set out in a new publication – Shaping the Future; they highlight how Scottish Water aims to focus on delivering high quality, great-tasting drinking water, manage and treat waste water, reduce rainwater entering sewers and protect the environment.

They are also asking you to consider how Scottish Water supports growth in Scotland’s economy and population through expansion of its infrastructure and networks. The organisation is also seeking views on how it becomes more resource efficient, low carbon and socially sustainable.

Issues such as the impact of climate change and the challenges and opportunities presented by digital transformation and innovation will be factors in their future activities.

The consultation can be completed online at www.yourwater.scot

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Regensburg Court

Start Date and Time : 01 March 2018 08:00
End Date and Time : 31 August 2019 23:00

Location : Regensburg Court

Description : Aberdeen City Council has made the above-named order in terms of its powers under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

The effect of the order, which will operate from 08:00 on 1 March, 2018, until 23:00 on 31 August, 2019, is to impose a temporary prohibition of waiting for any purpose on the road on the schedule below.

Illegally parked vehicles will be removed at the owner’s expense. The measure is necessary to prevent obstructive parking and thereby ensure emergency vehicle access.

Schedule Unnamed access road to Regensburg Court West side, from its junction with Kingsford Road, northwards, then eastwards and then southwards for a distance of 77 metres or thereby.

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – SUMMERHILL ROAD

Start Date and Time : 12 February 2018 08:00
End Date and Time : 23 February 2018 22:00

Location : SUMMERHILL ROAD

Description : Aberdeen City Council has made the above-named order in terms of its powers under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

The effect of the order, which will operate from 08:00 on 12th February, 2018, until 22:00 on 23rd February, 2018, is to impose a temporary prohibition of waiting on either side of Summerhill Road, Aberdeen, between the gable end of number 71 Summerhill Road to the boundary between numbers 81 and 83 Summerhill Road.

Illegally parked vehicles will be removed at the owner’s expense. The measure is necessary to protect public safety during Scottish Water works.

New Emergency Road Closure Imposed – B979 Clinterty-Tyrebagger

Start Date and Time : 15 January 2018 08:00
End Date and Time : 24 January 2018 18:00

Location : B979 Clinterty-Tyrebagger

Description : B979 Clinterty-Tyrebagger between the A96 Inverurie Road and the C92C Clinterty Road from Monday 15/1/18 to Friday 19/1/18.

C92C Clinterty Road between the B979 Clinterty-Tyrebagger and Clinterty caravan park from Friday 19/1/18 to Wednesday 24/1/18.

Alternate Route : Alternative route via A96 Inverurie Road, Auchmill Road, Great Northern Road, A90 North Anderson Drive, A944 Lang Stracht, Skene Road.

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – U205C Lang Stracht

Start Date and Time : 03 February 2018 07:30
End Date and Time : 11 February 2018 22:00

Location : U205C Lang Stracht

Description : Aberdeen City Council has made the above-named order in terms of its powers under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

The effect of the order, which will operate from 07:30 on 3 February, 2018, until 22:00 on 4 February, 2018, and from 07:30 on 10 February, 2018, until 22:00 on 11 February, 2018, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on the U205C Lang Stracht, Aberdeen, between its junction with Fairley Road and the access to Mill Cottage.

An alternative route is available via Fairley Road, the C89C Chapel of Stoneywood-Fairley Road, the A944 Skene Road, and the A944 Lang Stracht-Green Hedges.

The measure is necessary to protect public safety during water connection works.

Alternate Route : An alternative route is available via Fairley Road, the C89C Chapel of Stoneywood-Fairley Road, the A944 Skene Road, and the A944 Lang Stracht-Green Hedges.

New Temporary Traffic Order- C89C Chapel of Stoneywood Road

Start Date and Time : 18 January 2018 18:00
End Date and Time : 26 April 2018 00:00

Location : C89C Chapel of Stoneywood Road

Description : Aberdeen City Council has made the above-named order in terms of its powers under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

The effect of the order, which will operate from 18:00 on 18 January, 2018, until 00:00 on 26 April, 2018, is to impose a temporary 40mph speed restriction on the C89C Chapel of Stoneywood-Fairley Road, Aberdeen, between its junctions with the C88C Newhills Road and Kingswells Crescent.

There will also be a prohibition of right turn manoeuvres at the junction with the C89C Chapel of Stoneywood-Fairley Road on to the two new access roads approximately 75 metres north east of Dykeside Steading.

The measures are necessary to protect public safe

End of Temporary Traffic Order – U205C LANG STRACHT

Start Date and Time : 13 January 2018 07:30
End Date and Time : 21 January 2018 22:00

Location : U205C LANG STRACHT

Description : THE ABERDEEN CITY COUNCIL (U205C LANG STRACHT, ABERDEEN) (TEMPORARY PROHIBITION OF DRIVING) ORDER 2018 Aberdeen City Council has made the above-named order in terms of its powers under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

The effect of the order, which will operate from 07:30 on 13 January, 2018, until 22:00 on 14 January, 2018, and from 07:30 on 20 January, 2018, until 22:00 on 21 January, 2018, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on the U205C Lang Stracht, Aberdeen, between its junction with Fairley Road and the access to Mill Cottage.

The measure is necessary to protect public safety during water connection works.

Alternate Route : An alternative route is available via Fairley Road, the C89C Chapel of Stoneywood-Fairley Road, the A944 Skene Road, and the A944 Lang Stracht-Green Hedges.

Start Date and Time : 17 June 2017 00:00
End Date and Time : 25 April 2018 00:00

Location : C89C Chapel of Stoneywood – Fairley Road

Description : Aberdeen City Council has made the above-named order in terms of its powers under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

The effect of the order, which will operate from 00:00 on 17 June, 2017, until 00:00 on 26 April, 2018, is to impose a temporary 40mph speed restriction on the C89C Chapel of Stoneywood-Fairley Road, Aberdeen, between its junctions with the C88C Newhills Road and Kingswells Crescent.

There will also be a prohibition of right turn manoeuvres at the junction with the C89C Chapel of Stoneywood-Fairley Road on to the two new access roads approximately 75 metres north east of Dykeside Steading.

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during the movement of construction vehicles associated with the AWPR.

Kingswells Buses Update

Kingswells residents are quite rightly raising concerns over delays to the introduction of a new bus service.

The current shuttle bus works for some people but not for others, dependent on where they need to go and when. Even when someone is able to use the service, journey times are laboriously long, often requiring three buses to reach their destination. Matters are further compounded with late running buses (both Central Coaches and Stagecoach), overcrowded Stagecoach buses and missed connections.

The report to councillors in September read as follows, “It is considered that a service should be supported with a 30 minute peak time service daytime, a minimum hourly service off-peak and in the evenings between 06:00 to 23:00 Monday to Saturday and an hourly service on Sundays, between 08:00 to 22:00. It is recommended where possible for any service to travel via Lang Stracht and Westburn Road as the feedback from the community has highlighted the importance of this link; however when doing so consideration would have to be given to the availability of funding”.

It was agreed at that meeting that a service running 7 days a week be put out to tender with an indicative timescale for tenders to go out in October and the new service to commence in January. For various reasons this has not progressed, but matters are now in hand.

Lib Dem councillor Steve Delaney said, “I discussed matters further with officers just before the Christmas break and can advise as follows. The preparatory work for issuing tenders has now been completed. Tenders will be issued in January and the outcome should be known in the second half of February. The current target commencement date for a new service to commence is 1st April 2018”.

“In March 2017 I put forward a proposal to go out to tender for this service immediately with the shuttle bus running on a month to month basis pending completion of the process. That was rejected in favour of a temporary shuttle bus service which was to run for up to one year. It took until September to get a decision to progress what was originally suggested in March and we’re still no further forward”.

“By the time this matter is resolved, Kingswells residents will indeed have been without a decent bus service for a year. This was totally unnecessary and remains unacceptable. Please rest assured I will continue to work with others to ensure this matter is resolved as soon as possible”.

Delaney Raises Concerns Over Future Delivery Of Council Services

Local councillor Steve Delaney has raised serious concerns over proposals to change how Aberdeen City Council is run and how its services are delivered. This is not about who runs the council it’s about how it’s run.

Proposals came forward in August looking to re-structure the council’s management and how it delivers services to the public. This was followed by a further report to councillors in December. Steve has seen several previous council restructures and has seen change in a number of local and national bodies over many years. With the council facing unquantified but significant cost pressures over the next few years these proposals were presented as a way to make services more efficient and to reduce costs. Unfortunately he was not convinced.

Steve said, “I raised a number of concerns in August and again in December regarding these proposals. Every time the council encounters significant challenges it looks to re-structure when much of what’s being proposed could already be done by altering working practices within the existing set up”.

“Another concern related to whether or not the new re-structure is suitable for Aberdeen City Council as no alternatives were offered by way of comparison. I also felt that far too little detail was offered to councillors for them to be able to take an informed view of such a radical change”.

“Nobody denies that change is needed during challenging times, but I remain unconvinced that these changes will either result in improved service delivery or produce the saving we need. In fact my fear is that if this fails to deliver, putting things right is likely to add further cost pressures and possibly result in additional cuts to services”.

“Further concerns relate to the absence of a Director of Education in the new structure and my belief that councillors will become further removed from meaningful decision making, resulting in a dilution of the democratic process”.

“How the council’s management is structured should ordinarily be of little or no concern to members of the public. However, where this has the potential to impact on the delivery of services and the quality of service that’s another thing”.

Regrettably, the proposal to re-structure how the council operates was approved by 21 votes to 20. The change will commence in April 2018 and will be phased over a period of time.

You can watch Steve’s contribution to the debate here.

Kingswells Broadband Update

Much progress has been made towards Openreach’s stated intention for all homes in Kingswells village to have access to fibre broadband by the end of 2017. However, it will remain a source of frustration and anger to those of you who remain unable to get the service, though there’s currently no reason to suggest that matters are not currently in hand.

Kingswells councillor Steve Delaney said, “Please check out Digital Scotland in the first instance to establish if you can order the faster service. Orders can be placed through any internet service provider. Please do not be put off if you are informed that nothing is planned in your street for at least 12 months as this message often fails to get updated until the service goes live”.

“I’ve been in contact with Openreach in the last week and they are collating data on the addresses which cannot currently receive the faster speeds. It is now going to be some time in January before that information is available. I will of course update everyone as soon as possible. In the meantime here’s the updates I do have”.

Derbeth Grange

The properties in Derbeth Grange which were on the slow Exchange Only lines (about half the street) were subject to a failed upgrade in the summer where a number of residents found themselves cut off completely. These addresses were typically only reaching speeds of around 1Mbps. They have now been connected successfully and residents are able to order fibre broadband.

The rest of Derbeth Grange is connected to the TPON network with speeds of typically 3Mbps – 8Mbps. These lines have not yet been upgraded. Openreach is aware of this.

Derbeth Park

This street was connected several weeks ago. However, there are a handful of addresses (30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40) which cannot currently receive the service so these are being looked into. If you live in Derbeth Park, do not live at any of these addresses and are having difficulty ordering the new service, please contact Steve to let him know.

Concraig Park/Concraig Walk/Wellside Avenue/Wellside End

These four streets are not yet connected to the upgraded service and information has been requested regarding an indicative completion date.

Rural Addresses

Information is quite sketchy in respect of rural addresses close to Kingswells. Some will be connected but others are not currently under consideration for the upgrade. The picture should become clear once the village has been completed.

Contacting Aberdeen City Council During The Festive Break

Details of Aberdeen City Council’s opening hours between 23rd December and 2nd January can be found here. If you have a genuine emergency outwith office hours or on days the offices are closed please get in touch with the Regional Communications Centre on 03000 200292.

Information on Aberdeen City Council’s winter maintenance programme can be found here.

Information on gritting routes including maps and status reports can be found here.

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – U205C LANG STRACHT

Start Date and Time : 13 January 2018 07:30
End Date and Time : 21 January 2018 22:00

Location : U205C LANG STRACHT

Description : THE ABERDEEN CITY COUNCIL (U205C LANG STRACHT, ABERDEEN) (TEMPORARY PROHIBITION OF DRIVING) ORDER 2018. Aberdeen City Council has made the above-named order in terms of its powers under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

The effect of the order, which will operate from 07:30 on 13 January, 2018, until 22:00 on 14 January, 2018, and from 07:30 on 20 January, 2018, until 22:00 on 21 January, 2018, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on the U205C Lang Stracht, Aberdeen, between its junction with Fairley Road and the access to Mill Cottage. The measure is necessary to protect public safety during water connection works.

Alternate Route : An alternative route is available via Fairley Road, the C89C Chapel of Stoneywood-Fairley Road, the A944 Skene Road, and the A944 Lang Stracht-Green Hedges.

Lib Dems release pictures of the inside of Provost Skene’s House

Aberdeen’s Liberal Democrat councillors have released a series of photographs revealing how the inside of long-closed Provost Skene’s House now looks.


Ian Yuill, Leader of the Aberdeen City Council Liberal Democrats, said, “People have been asking for some time what had happened inside Provost Skene’s House so, once building work around it finished, I asked to be allowed to visit. That visit took place earlier this month and I took some photographs so that others could see how Provost Skene’s House now looks inside.

“I was surprised just how untidy Provost Skene’s House was in places. I was also surprised to see that the painted ceilings and panels were not protected. I was shocked to see that in one place disposable coffee cups had been left sitting on woodwork. I still remember my mum telling me as a child never to put anything hot or wet on her wooden tables – and the woodwork inside Provost Skene’s House is a lot older and more precious than my mum’s tables!

“I have now written to the coucil’s Chief Executive highlighting my concerns.

“On a more positive note, I was again assured Provost Skene’s House had not been damaged by the building work which has taken place around it.”

Ian Yuill concluded , “It was very clear to me that Provost Skene’s House will need a lot of work done on it before it can reopen. The sooner that happens the better.”

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Broadiach Road

Start Date and Time : 15 January 2018 07:30
End Date and Time : 26 January 2018 17:00

Location : Brodiach Road

Description : Aberdeen City Council has made the above-named order in terms of its powers under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

The effect of the order, which will operate from 07:30 on 15th January, 2018, until 17:00 on 26th January, 2018, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on Brodiach Road, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Westhill Road and A944 Skene Road.

Access to properties will be maintained, but no through traffic will be possible. The measure is necessary to protect public safety during Drainage works.

Alternate Route : An alternative route is available via Westhill Road, Westhill Drive and A944.

30mph Speed Restriction on the C128c comes into force from 11 December 2017 until 10 June 2019


Countesswells Development Limited have applied for a temporary speed restriction of 30 mph along the C128c.

THE ABERDEEN CITY COUNCIL
(C128C CULTS-KINGSHILL, C128C KIRK BRAE,
C127C BLACKTOP ROAD, ABERDEEN)
(TEMPORARY SPEED RESTRICTION) ORDER 2017

Aberdeen City Council has made the above-named order in terms of its powers under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

The effect of the order, which will operate from 05:00 on 11 December, 2017, until 24:00 on 10 June, 2019, is to impose a temporary 30mph speed restriction on the C128C Cults-Kingshill, Aberdeen, and the C128C Kirk Brae, Aberdeen, between a point 60 metres south of its junction with the access road to Nether Fifeshill, and a point 55 metres south of its junction with Countesswells Road.

There will also be a 30mph speed restriction on the C127C Blacktop Road, Aberdeen, between its junction with the C128C Cults-Kingshill, and a point 40 metres west of this junction.

The measure is necessary to protect public safety while a permanent order is progressed.

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Mastrick Road, inset road

Start Date and Time : 30 November 2017 08:00
End Date and Time : 30 November 2017 22:00

Location : Mastrick Road, inset road

Description : Aberdeen City Council has made the above-named order in terms of its powers under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. The effect of the order, which will operate from 08:00 until 22:00 on 30th November, 2017 is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on Mastrick Road, Aberdeen, on the inset road to numbers 37 to 47 Mastrick Road from the junction of the main carriageway of Mastrick road and a point 10 metres southwards.

There will also be a prohibition of waiting on the same stretch of road. Illegally parked vehicles will be removed at the owner’s expense. The no-waiting restrictions will be demarcated by the use of no-waiting cones.

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during duct laying works being carried out by City Fibre.

Alternate Route : An alternative route is available via Ross Crescent, Willowpark Crescent and North Anderson Drive inset road.

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Mastrick Road

Start Date and Time : 29 November 2017 08:00
End Date and Time : 01 December 2017 22:00

Location : Mastrick Road

Description : Aberdeen City Council has made the above-named order in terms of its powers under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

The effect of the order is to impose a temporary prohibition of waiting on either side of Mastrick Road, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Ross Crescent and North Anderson Drive from 08:00 on 29 November, 2017, until 22:00 on 1 December, 2017.

Illegally parked vehicles will be removed at the owner’s expense. The measures are necessary to protect public safety during Duct laying works being carried out by City Fibre.

Stagecoach Consult On Changes

Stagecoach is inviting customers across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire to provide feedback on new bus timetable proposals to commence 8th January 2017. Please see below for meeting dates/times. Apologies but this information only arrived on Sunday and the meeting is on Wednesday. Their press release (in as far as it affects Kingswells) is reprinted below.

The local bus operator has continued to assess and review the network, looking at the punctuality, reliability and usage of the routes particularly during the busy morning and afternoon peak periods. The operator has also been looking at opportunities to improve the services and connections that are offered by the bus services using the feedback received from its customers. The company is encouraging customers to have a look at the proposals and share their thoughts, whether in support of the revisions or by highlighting any concerns.

There is a revised routing proposed in Westhill for Service X17 to provide a two-way route that will also incorporate Broadshades. This will help to improve reliability of the service for those in Westhill connecting to Westhill Shopping Centre as well as improving the connections to Prime Four, and Aberdeen city centre. In addition, service 220 will connect to Kirkton of Skene from Westhill.

Mark Whitelocks, Managing Director, Stagecoach North Scotland said: “Following constructive customer feedback in our March 2017 timetable consultation we have again released our plans for 2018 timetables ahead of finalising for registration.

“We’re asking our customers and indeed prospective customers to let us know what they think, so we can take any comments on board before we finalise our plans.

“The changes we have seen across the whole of Scotland with declining passenger numbers is linked to a range of issues, such as the decline in the economy and the cost of motoring, which is the biggest competitor to a bus service, also becoming relatively cheaper. The increase in online shopping, more attractive car finance deals and a wider range of flexible working patterns are all having an impact on our services. So we have had to consider some changes to reflect the current levels of usage, just like any other business.”

“Customer feedback earlier this year was very helpful to us in making sure our services operated when and where people need them most. Our proposals are seeking to ensure that we operate reliably, as well as provide people with simpler and more direct journeys to their destinations to make sure that the bus provides an attractive option for people. There are a number of improvements that we are proposing and I am looking forward to seeing what our customers say about these proposals.”

In addition, the company is holding consultation events in the area giving customers the opportunity to speak to local staff about the proposals. Events are planned to take place from 6th to 13th November throughout Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

Monday 6th November – Aberdeen bus station, 3pm – 8pm
Tuesday 7th November – Inverurie Morrisons, 3pm – 8pm
Wednesday 8th November – Kingswells Park and Ride
Wednesday 8th November – Portlethen Asda, 3pm – 8pm
Thursday 9th November – Westhill Interchange, 6am – 8.30am
Thursday 9th November – Stonehaven Market Sq, 3pm – 8pm
Friday 10th November – Banchory Bellfield, 3pm – 8pm
Monday 13th November – Ellon Park and Ride, 7am – 11.30am

At the events customers will be able to pass on their feedback and gain answers to any questions regarding the proposals.

The proposed timetables and network maps are now available to view at stagecoachbus.com, all feedback is welcomed to nscotmarketing@stagecoachbus.com. All feedback received by 17th November will be considered ahead of plans being finalised.

Advanced Notice Of C128c Closure

Summary of the proposed Temporary Traffic Regulation Order for Cathodic Protection Works

Taking place over two weekends

from 07:00 on 11 November 2017 until 19:00 on 12 November 2017

from 07:00 on 18 November 2017 until 19:00 on 19 November 2017

Restriction: Prohibition of driving on the C128C Cults-Kingshill, Aberdeen, between its junctions with the C127C Blacktop Road, and the A944 Skene Road.

Alternative Route: via Countesswells Road, Springfield Road, Queen’s Road, and Skene Road.

Access to residence will be maintained.

All residence south of the closure will be required to access their dwellings via Blacktop Road.

The contractors have advised Cathodic Protection Works will take place at the two blue points on the map :

The first set of works will at the point in the road next to Kingshill Cottage.
Followed by the second set of works at the point in the road next to Newton of Countesswells and The Steading at Newton of Countesswells .

GREC are running a hate crime awareness campaign from 14 October to 17 November, to help people understand what hate crime is, how to report it, what support is available and how to access it.

The main element of the campaign is a poster – see below. Can you please share this far and wide?

They also want to get the message into as many locations as possible. If you’d like to help with this, please stop by the GREC office at 41 Union Street to pick up some posters – there are A3, A4 and postcard size versions available. They are open Monday to Friday, 10am – 4pm. If you want a large batch (20+ posters) they can deliver to locations in Aberdeen.

And if you see the poster when you’re out and about, please take a photo and share on social media! On Twitter they are @GREC2015, and on Facebook it’s GrampianREC.

Other activities taking place throughout the month will be information and awareness sessions with community groups, a survey to gain a better understanding of the true extent of hate crime and prejudice in Aberdeen, a training session for organisations to become hate crime reporting centres, and the launch of GREC’s Anne Frank Awards 2017-2018. If you want to get involved with any of these, please get in touch with GREC directly.

CAB Launches Survey On Bus Services

Citizens Advice Scotland has launched a national survey to find out peoples’ views on the quality and reliability of Scotland’s bus services.

Lib Dem councillor for Kingswells, Sheddocksley, Summerhill, Steve Delaney, said, “This initiative by Citizens Advice Scotland is very welcome, especially at a time when commercial bus services to Kingswells have been axed. I would encourage everyone to have their say, even residents outwith Kingswells as it’s all about the quality of service on our local buses. I have reprinted their press release with links to the survey below”.

The survey is available online at www.cas.org.uk/betterbuses. It is open to anyone based in Scotland and will run until Sunday 22 October.

Launching the new survey today, CAS spokesperson Ruth Mendel says,

“As Scotland’s consumer champion we want to find out how bus users feel about the services they use, so we can fight on their behalf for improvements.

“Although over 75% of all public transport journeys are made by bus, the views of bus passengers have often been under-represented in policy making. CAS wants to ensure these consumers’ voices are heard through this survey.

“The aim of this campaign is to get better buses for Scots. In order to do this we need to ask people what matters to them when traveling by bus, and that’s what the survey is all about.

“We know from our previous research that often people can’t get to where they want to go by bus, and that some essential journeys cost too much or take too long. It’s important that these stories are heard so that the people making the decisions can make the right ones.

“We are hoping this survey will be the biggest of its kind in Scotland, and we urge every bus user in Scotland to complete the survey so we can fight for better services.”

People have from now until 22nd October to complete the survey. You can find it online at www.cas.org.uk/betterbuses. #betterbuses. Or contact your local CAB for a paper copy.

Sign Up For Neighbourhood Alerts

Police Scotland’s North East Division covers rural and urban areas in Moray, Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City.

Within the Division the community policing teams are supported by dedicated Crime Reduction Officers who assist them in their work to promote crime reduction and progress prevention opportunities which we see as key to reducing crime and antisocial behaviour in your area.

Whilst crime reduction advice is regularly provided to individuals who raise a specific query, an exciting new innovation called Neighbourhood Alert now affords Police Scotland the opportunity to send e-mail messages relating to local crime trends and containing crime prevention advice quickly and effectively to a wide audience, but which can be targeted to particular streets or communities if required.

Any individual can sign-up to receive these e-mail messages, either for themselves or their community group, and the sign-up process allows the recipient to specify the type of information that they are interested in and from what source. Neighbourhood Watch Scotland, who coordinate this resource, work with a range of partners in the public sector to provide information not only on crime but also on matters of community safety and resilience.

These messages are intended to inform the public and to keep them abreast of information which will assist them in keeping themselves, their families and their properties safe. For this reason, we will only send out messages if we feel it is important that the public receive the information and are then able to use it effectively in their daily lives.

Please take the opportunity to sign-up for Neighbourhood Alert e-mail messages and encourage your family, friends and neighbours to do the same. Whilst the number of subscribers is constantly growing, the more people who sign-up to receive these alerts, which we always try to send timeously, the more effective these messages will become as they allow communities to become better informed and make better decisions.

There is no requirement to join or set up a Neighbourhood Watch, simply follow the link below to the registration instructions. By signing up you control your personal information, contact details and also decide what information providers who want to receive Alerts from.

https://member-registration.neighbourhoodalert.co.uk/91/Join

Changes in Temporary Traffic Order – Fairley Road

Start Date and Time : 16 October 2017 08:00
End Date and Time : 29 October 2017 22:00

Location : Fairley Road

Description : Aberdeen City Council has made the above-named order in terms of its powers under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. The effect of the order, which will operate from 08:00 on 16 October, 2017, until 22:00 on 29 October, 2017, is to impose a temporary one-way restriction on Fairley Road, Aberdeen, between its junctions with the link road to the C89C and Kingswood Drive.

The permitted direction of travel will be northbound only. There will also be a prohibition of waiting at any time on Fairley Road, Aberdeen, from the boundary between numbers 39 and 41 Fairley Road, to the junction with the link road to the C89C.

Illegally parked vehicles will be removed at the owner’s expense. The measures are necessary to protect public safety during water connection replacement works and ironwork repairs being carried out by Scottish Water.

Alternate Route : An alternative route for southbound vehicles is available via the C89C Chapel of Stoneywood-Fairley Road, and the link road to the C89C

Stadium Proposal Put On Hold

In an unexpected turn of events, following a delay in issuing the papers for consideration of the Kingsford Stadium proposals, the application has been withdrawn from the agenda for next Wednesday’s Council meeting. The statement issued reads as follows:-

A spokesperson for Aberdeen City Council said: “We can confirm that item 9(h), in relation to the application for planning consent for proposed community and sports facilities at West Kingsford, has been withdrawn from the agenda for the meeting of full Council on 11 October 2017 at the request of the applicant, Aberdeen Football Club.

“Having regard to the nature of the application and the associated complexities, and in light of the public interest, the Planning Authority has acceded to the request on this occasion.

“The request has been made to enable the applicant to seek further discussions and clarification to take place with the Planning Authority. If necessary, further planning consultation will follow.”

Kingswells, Sheddocksley, Summerhill councillor Steve Delaney said, “It is currently unclear what will happen next or indeed what timescales are involved”.

“As this is still a live planning application, it remains the case that councillors are not permitted to either express a view or discuss the merits of the application prior to it coming before the Council for determination”.

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Kingswood Drive

Start Date and Time : 29 October 2017 09:00
End Date and Time : 29 October 2017 18:00

Location : Kingswood Drive

Description : Aberdeen City Council has made the above-named order in terms of its powers under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. The effect of the order, which will operate from 09:00 until 18:00 on 29 October, 2017, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on Kingswood Drive, Aberdeen, between its junction with Kingswood Road and its eastern junction with Broaddykes Drive. The measures are necessary to protect public safety during ironwork repairs being carried out by Scottish Water.

Alternate Route : An alternative route is available via the C89C Chapel of Stoneywood-Fairley Road.

Update On Late Running And Full Buses At Peak Times

This week has been particularly challenging for Kingswells residents who rely on the X17 to get to work, with major holdups being experienced in the morning peak on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. As a result, a large number of people arrived at work late on these days. Added to this is the long running issue regarding a lack of capacity on buses from mid afternoon onwards heading back from the city centre, often resulting in people being unable to board and having to wait for the next bus.

Wednesday’s issue relating to the 0728 was as a result of traffic congestion in the city centre and the significant delays this had caused. As a result, the bus missed out the Park & Ride to make up time, which is a concern, given that bus operators are required to adhere to registered routes. Other issues, including a number in past weeks, have mostly related to a lack of capacity at certain times to accomodate Kingswells passengers following earlier pickups in Westhill.

Steve said, “I have drawn these issues to the attention of both Aberdeen City Council’s Public Transport Unit and Stagecoach. I have as a result received assurances from Stagecoach’s MD that he is aware of the situations and looking art how best to address matters. In the meantime he has arranged to put in place a double decker on specific runs to assist with capacity issues until a longer term solution is identified. This is in the process of being arranged”.

“I fully accept that sometimes buses can get held up as a result of circumstances beyond the control of their operators. However, having seen the queues on Wednesday morning (pictured above) and heard of the difficulties experienced by residents three days in a row, it was clear that swift action was needed”.

“Should such an issue arise again, please contact Stagecoach directly and copy your complaint to myself so I can follow it up with them”.

Kingswells Buses – A Way Forward

Councillors today agreed a way forward to address the gaps in public transport provision across Aberdeen, the most notable of which is the lack of commercial bus services in Kingswells following the withdrawal of the X40 in April and the subsequent shuttle bus connections to Stagecoach’s X17 service, which was introduced on a temporary basis by Aberdeen City Council in order to plug the gap.

It was also agreed that a licence would be sought to operate Council owned community buses to run and evening service to Airyhall and a Sunday service to Denmore.

In another twist to the Kingswells saga, this comes in the wake of numerous complaints from residents regarding the operation of the X17 service. There is a longstanding issue regarding capacity from mid afternoon on this service resulting in people having difficulty getting home from work on that service.

Local councillor Steve Delaney said, “I have had numerous complaints over the last few days about late running and overcrowded X17’s in the morning peak. As a result significant numbers of people have been very late for work and this situation cannot be allowed to continue”.

“I have already made the Public Transport Unit and Stagecoach aware of the need to address this matter and will be raising it as a formal complaint with the Traffic Commissioner unless it is resolved forthwith”.

At today’s meeting it was agreed that future service provision for Kingswells will be put out to tender with powers delegated to officers to accept and implement an appropriate tender without it coming back to committee unless provision of such a service were to fall outwith the available budget for supported bus services.

The intention is for monies from the supported buses fund to support the extension of an existing commercial bus service as this would be more cost effective than a standalone service. The suggested frequency would be 30 minutes at peak times, 60 minutes off peak and evenings Monday to Saturday with a 60 minute service on Sundays. This would replace the 94, X94 and A94 shuttle services which were only ever intended as a stop gap.

Steve said, “There’s an element of frustration that councillors have today agreed to a proposal almost identical to what I proposed in March and the fact that residents have had to endure an inadequate service for six months more than would otherwise have been the case”.

“There is also a sigh of relief that a political consensus has been achieved on this matter and there now appears to be a genuine desire to address the issue, an issue which could easily affect any other community in the future”.

The intention is to commence the new service, subject to Traffic Commissioner approval from January 2018 and, as long as it survives the budgetary process for 2018/19, extend it from April 2018 for a further year.

Steve said, “We’re not out of the woods yet as this is dependent on interest from commercial operators and subject to their willingness to satisfy the specified service criteria. However, I am as confident as I can be that a solution will come forward which satisfies these requirements and offers a good quality service to Kingswells residents”

“I will of course continue to update residents as matters unfold”.

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Fairley Road

Start Date and Time : 09 October 2017 08:00
End Date and Time : 22 October 2017 22:00

Location : Fairley Road

Description : Aberdeen City Council has made the above-named order in terms of its powers under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. The effect of the order, which will operate from 08:00 on 9 October, 2017, until 22:00 on 22 October, 2017, is to impose a temporary one-way restriction on Fairley Road, Aberdeen, between its junctions with the link road to the C89C and Kingswood Drive.

The permitted direction of travel will be northbound only. There will also be a prohibition of waiting at any time on Fairley Road, Aberdeen, from the boundary between numbers 39 and 41 Fairley Road, to the junction with the link road to the C89C. Illegally parked vehicles will be removed at the owner’s expense.

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during water connection replacement works and ironwork repairs being carried out by Scottish Water.

Alternate Route : An alternative route for southbound vehicles is available via the C89C Chapel of Stoneywood-Fairley Road, and the link road to the C89C

40Mph Speed Limit on A944 Now In Force

With effect from Monday 18th September 2017 the speed limit on the remaining sections of the A944 will be reduced from 50mph to 40mph.

This decision was taken by Aberdeen City Council on 24th January 2017 in respect of the A944 from the end of the 30mph zone at the new Maidencraig development and the B1119 from the end of the 30mph limit at Hazlehead. In both cases the change applies from these points to the Kingswells roundabout, effectively creating a 40mph limit to the city boundary.

The speed limit is being introduced in respect of road safety following a number of serious accidents and fatalities, to avoid confusion to motorists by creating a continuous 40mph zone and also in recognition of the changing character of the area towards residential with the Maidencraig and Countesswells developments.

Steve Delaney said, “as residents know, I have campaigned for a number of years to have the speed limit reduced to 40mph on safety grounds. Since the reduction on the section from Kingswells to Westhill there have thankfully been no further fatalities and no serious accidents, accepting that there have been a number of less serious incidents at the Kingswells roundabout, which I still maintain needs to be further improved”.

“In addition, the average speed has reduced considerably on a stretch of road were many drivers had previously been clocked at 70mph or faster”.

“When the previous speed reduction came into force a number of motorists were fined for speeding as a result of waning signs not going up until after the date of change. I received assurances that this will not happen again and have been informed that electronic signs will be in place from 18th September for a week to inform motorists of the change. The information is also on the Council’s website and was press released last week”.

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Eday Road, Bressay Brae, Lang Stracht, Skye Road

A New Temporary Traffic Order has been imposed with the following details :

Start Date and Time : 26 September 2017 05:30
End Date and Time : 30 September 2017 22:00

Location : Eday Road, Bressai Brae, Lang Stracht, Skye Road

Description : Aberdeen City Council has made the above-named order in terms of its powers under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

The effect of the order, which will operate from 05:30 on 26 September, 2017, until 22:00 on 30 September, 2017, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on Eday Road, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Rousay Drive and Eday Gardens. There will also be a prohibition of waiting on the same stretch of road from 08:00-17:00 daily. Access to properties will be maintained, but no through traffic will be possible.

There will also be a 10mph speed restriction on Eday Road, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Rousay Drive and Eday Gardens. Also, there will be a prohibition of waiting at any time on either side of Bressay Brae, Aberdeen, between its junction with Lang Stracht and the western boundary of number 30 Bressay Brae. There will be a prohibition of right turn manoeuvres from Lang Stracht, Aberdeen, on to Bressay Brae.

There will be a one-way restriction on Skye Road, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Lang Stracht and Raasay Gardens. The permitted direction of travel will be northbound only. The measures are necessary to protect public safety during carriageway resurfacing works on Eday Road, and to maintain traffic flow on the diversion route.

Alternate Route : An alternative route is available via Bressay Brae and Lang Stracht.

Route & Timetable For Kingswells Evening Buses (94A)

The new Kingswells evening bus service, the 94A, started yesterday evening and will run Monday to Friday only. It will be operated by Stagecoach and normal Stagecoach fares will apply. The route will be Union Terrace, Blackfriars Street, Skene Square, Westburn Road, Lang Stracht, Fairley Road, Kingswood Drive, Kingswells Crescent, C89C, Kingswood Drive, Kingswells P&R, C89C, Skene Road, Queens Road, Albyn Place, Alford Place, Union Street, Union Terrace. In other words it goes into the city centre via Queens Road and returns via Lang Stracht.

This service will be funded by Aberdeen City Council until the end of March 2018.

Steve Delaney said, “I’m pleased to see an evening bus reintroduced for Kingswells, especially one which goes to the city centre. The different outward and inward routes is less than ideal but it’s a start. What’s important is that the Council agrees a longer term solution for Kingswells at its meeting on 20th September”.

The timetable is available here.

The route map is available here.

Steve added, “Due to time constraints it has not been possible to make these changes widely known. Please let your friends and neighbours know and re-post this message to ensure it gets to as many residents as possible”.

Extended Hours For Kingswells Buses

From 14th August 2017 the hours operated by bus services in Kingswells will be extended. The earlier morning start will commence from this date. However, an evening service was also due to commence on the same date but this is not currently possible as it awaits Traffic Commissioner approval.

Steve said, “I’m pleased to see this early morning service introduced but disappointed the evening service is still awaiting Traffic Commissioner approval. Please rest assured I will issue a further bulletin as soon as this is approved and the full timetable is available”.

“Due to time constraints it has not been possible to make these changes widely known. Please let your friends and neighbours know and re-post this message to ensure it gets to as many residents as possible”.

The revised timetable for Kingswells bus services from 14th August 2017 can be accessed from the link below.

X94 Kingswells Shuttle Service (6am version July 2017)

Broadband Update For Kingswells

This week there’s a combination of good and bad news regarding the rollout of fibre broadband in Kingswells, but there’s a lot going on, which is why this special update is being released.

Cabinet 11 Capacity Addressed

The good news is that capacity was extended for Cabinet 11 users a couple of weeks ago. This area was upgraded over a year ago, but insufficient capacity was installed to allow all households who wanted the service to receiver the faster service. Councillor Steve Delaney raised this issue with Openreach and was initially informed it could take up to 9 months to resolve. Thankfully it has happened much sooner.

The streets which could potentially be affected are: – Kingswood Road, Kingswood Crescent, Kingswood Gardens, Kingswood Avenue, Kingswood Path, Kingswood Walk, Kingswood Grove, Fairley Road, Edmond Gardens, Whiterashes, Denview Wynd and possibly some other streets in this area.

Steve said, “It just seems plain daft that they would upgrade an area where people were either getting the slowest speeds in the UK or, in some cases, no connection at all, without installing sufficient capacity from day one. I have no idea if the cabinet will have sufficient capacity for everyone who wants to connect, but additional connections have been added”.

“I’d suggest if you live in these streets, want high speed broadband and have been unable to order it previously, that you place your order quickly”.

Derbeth Grange Connection Issues

The addresses in Derbeth Grange which are connected to TPON (about 60 homes) will be upgraded to fibre later this year. No firm timetable has been published to date. The same goes for other areas connected to TPON with the exception of Derbeth Park (see below).

However, the households in Derbeth Grange currently connected directly to the exchange (about 60 homes with the slowest speeds) had been upgraded a couple of months ago. However, a fault in the new cabinet 28 has resulted in some addresses not being able to be connected. As a result, some residents have placed orders, had these orders accepted, then either been told their line cannot be upgraded or indeed been cut off completely.

Steve said, “I’ve been in discussions with Openreach on this matter over the past few weeks. The fault has now been traced and the website updated to advise that the service is not currently available. I am unsure of the technical detail, suffice to say I have been advised it is not going to be possible to fix the fault. Options are being looked into but it will take at least three months to implement an alternative solution”.

Derbeth Park Infrastructure Works Are Now Underway

Works to upgrade Derbeth Park to super fast broadband are currently underway with the cabling and infrastructure being put in place. In order to receive the service a box needs to be attached to each property and permission is required from home owners. Openreach have already fitted several of these and are continuing works into next week and possibly beyond.

Steve said, “Derbeth Park will be the first of the streets in the TPON area to be upgraded to fibre broadband with speeds of potentially 300Mbps (though packages on offer may vary). I have received assurances from Openreach that any residents who are not at home when they call requesting permission to fit these boxes will be left contact details outlining how to get in touch to arrange for the works to be undertaken”.

You can track the status for broadband upgrades in respect of any address in Kingswells by logging on to www.scotlandsuperfast.com

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – C89C Chapel of Stoneywood-Fairley Road

Start Date and Time : 25 August 2017 20:00
End Date and Time : 28 August 2017 06:00

Location : C89C Chapel of Stoneywood-Fairley Road

Description : Aberdeen City Council has made the above-named order in terms of its powers under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

The effect of the order, which will operate from 20:00 on 25 August, 2017, until 06:00 on 28 August, 2017, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on the C89C Chapel of Stoneywood-Fairley Road, Aberdeen, between its junctions with the C88C Newhills Road and the U304C Kingswells Crescent.

Access to properties will be maintained, but no through traffic will be possible. The measures are necessary to protect public safety during Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route works.

Alternate Route : An alternative route is available via the C88C Newhills Road, Kepplehills Road, Inverurie Road, the A96 Inverurie Road, Auchmill Road, Great Northern Road, the A90 North Anderson Drive, and the A944 Lang Stracht, Skene Road.

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Mastrick Road

Start Date and Time : 19 August 2017 08:00
End Date and Time : 19 August 2017 22:00

Location : Mastrick Road

Description : Aberdeen City Council has made the above-named order in terms of its powers under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. The effect of the order, which will operate from 08:00 until 22:00 on 19 August, 2017 is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on Ross Crescent, Aberdeen, between its junction with Mastrick Road and a point 10 metres in a southerly direction.

There will also be a prohibition of waiting on either side of Mastrick Road, Aberdeen, between the junction of Derry Avenue and the gable end of number 50 Mastrick Road. The no-waiting restrictions will be demarcated by the use of no-waiting cones. The measures are necessary to protect public safety during duct laying works being carried out by City Fibre.

Alternate Route : An alternative route is available via Mastrick Road, Arnage Place, and Arnage Drive

Update On Early Morning and Evening Bus Services in Kingswells

Further details were released today regarding the extended operating hours for Kingswells buses. As previously reported, the intention is for the first bus of the morning to start off from the P&R round the village at 05.50. This remains unchanged in the current proposals.

Evening buses are scheduled to run on an hourly basis with the last bus scheduled to leave Kingswells just after 23.00. It is proposed that the evening service runs directly to the city centre.

The start date for these changes is currently pencilled in for 14th August, subject to Traffic Commissioner approval. The delay has resulted from ongoing work to finalise the timetable for the evening service.

Kingswells councillor Steve Delaney said, “I’m pleased to see this moving forward and will publish the full details online as soon as the route and timetable has been approved by the Traffic Commissioner. Better still that a direct link to the city centre is being offered”.

Changes in Temporary Traffic Order – OLD SKENE ROAD

An existing Temporary Traffic Order has been modified. The details are as follows :

Start Date and Time : 28 August 2017 05:30
End Date and Time : 01 September 2017 22:00

Location : OLD SKENE ROAD

Description : Aberdeen City Council has made the above-named order in terms of its powers under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. The effect of the order, which will operate 05:30 on 28 August, 2017, until 22:00 on 1 September, 2017, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on the entire length of Old Skene Road, Aberdeen, from its junction with Fairley Road in an easterly direction.

Access to properties will be maintained, but no through traffic will be possible There will also be a temporary prohibition of waiting on the entire length of Old Skene Road, Aberdeen, from its junction with Fairley Road in an easterly direction, from 08:00-17:00 Mon-Fri. The measure is necessary to protect public safety during carriageway resurfacing works.

Kingswells Buses Latest

Bus services in Kingswells are to run from 06.00 – 23.00 on weekdays following the decision by Aberdeen City Council on 22nd June 2017.

The first No 94 of the day will leave the Park & Ride heading towards Derbeth at 5.50am, resulting in two additional runs in the morning. The service will extend into the evenings, running until 11.00pm. Matters relating to timetabling are still be finalised and, subject to Traffic Commissioner approval, it is hoped the increased hours will be able to commence from 31st July 2017.

Kingswells councillor Steve Delaney said, “This will offer some solace to everyone who depends on the bus to get to and from work and is very much welcomed in that respect”.

“However, it remains the case that we have no weekend service and the daytime frequency leaves much to be desired. Hopefully we’ll see a positive longer term solution emerge from the Finance, Policy and Resources meeting on 20th September”.

Kingswells High Speed Broadband Expected By Year End

High speed broadband is planned for all homes in Kingswells Village by the end of 2017. For avoidance of doubt, this includes the 774 homes currently connected to TPON network in the Derbeth, Concraig and Wellside areas.

Lib Dem councillor Steve Delaney has been campaigning for full coverage of high speed broadband in Kingswells over the past five years, working with Aberdeen City Council, BT, Digital Scotland and the Scottish Government to press the case and ensure delivery under the current programme of works which concludes in the next few months.

He was also instrumental in pushing for a solution for the slowest lines in Kingswells, the ones connected directly to the Westhill Telephone Exchange, something which has now been delivered.

Steve said, “I’m absolutely delighted to see the end is finally in sight. Back in April I spoke of there being some good news in respect of Kingswells broadband and I’m pleased to say I am now in a position to offer some detail on that”.

“I met with BT’s Regional Director a few weeks ago to discuss the remaining properties which do not currently have access to high speed broadband. We also discussed ongoing issues with a lack of capacity for new lines in the area served by cabinet 11 (Kingswood Avenue area and Fairley road area including the new Dandara/Stewart Milne development) as well as connection for rural properties”.

Works have commenced and are ongoing in the TPON areas. The target date for completion is the end of 2017, though this may possibly slip. The connection in these areas will be made directly to the premises (FTTP) allowing potential speeds of up to 300Mbps, though actual speed will depend upon your provider and the packages they offer. These areas, which are having to wait longer than the rest of Kingswells to get a decent speed, have the potential for the fastest speeds currently available in Aberdeen.

Steve added, “The TPON network will remain connected for the meantime as there’s costs associated with the faster speeds and some people may be happy to remain on the old system, so there’s no issue about anyone being cut off, though it is expected that most people will upgrade. Details of timescale for specific addresses are not yet clear but the information on www.scotlandsuperfast.com will be updated as the roll out commences, with the first updates expected in the next few weeks”

“This has been a long time incoming but unfortunately there’s still work to be done. The capacity issue at cabinet 11 remains, though it will be addressed in the coming months. Some rural addresses on the outskirts of Kingswells will be upgraded as part of this programme, others will not. Some rural addresses will see an improvement in speed short of an upgrade, others will not. Unfortunately 100% coverage will not be achieved as part of the current programme”.

Council Needs To Sort Out Bin Collections!


In March this year Aberdeen City Council started rolling out the new mixed recycling collections across the city. As we all know, this has resulted in our existing 240L black bins becoming recycling bins and being replaced by 180L bins for unrecyclable rubbish. All households were also given access to food and (if appropriate) garden waste collections, including rural properties which had, to date, been excluded from recycling collections.

The introduction of the new service was long overdue as people wanted to recycle more, but the recycling facilities in Aberdeen were very poor and the system in place did not make it easy for people to recycle. It took about three months to cover all addresses so you’d think that, subject to a few hiccups, it would have settled down by now. Regrettably, this does not appear to have been the case.

The Implementation Phase

Lib Dem Environment Spokesman Steve Delaney said, “We’ve been screaming out for a better recycling service for years but its introduction has been nothing less than chaotic. In some areas, mostly flats but also areas where there was inadequate ground space to accommodate the number of bins, it was obvious other solutions such as communal facilities would be needed. However, rather than return to base and report the issue, the crews just dumped the bins on the street regardless. Surely it would have made more sense to re-examine options for these addresses at the end of the programme?”

“By way of an example, I alerted the Council to the need for communal bins in a section of North Anderson Drive and the inability to store this volume of individual bins at this location due to lack of ground space. This information was passed on some weeks prior to the roll out, yet the individual bins were delivered regardless and residents are now being told it may take up to a year until communal bins are put in place. It’s an absolute disgrace”.

Rural Properties Being Missed

He continued, “I’ve also had complaints from rural properties in Kingswells which are being routinely missed out of recycling uplifts, despite having been provided with the bins. Some addresses are being done, others are being missed and some of these are within sight of each other. The Council response has acknowledged they are aware of ‘a handful of outstanding issues’ and confirmed they are working towards resolving these. If you live in one of the rural properties around Kingswells and are still experiencing difficulties, please let me know”.

Assisted Uplifts Were Not On The System

Steve added, “In addition, the Council uplifts a number of bins from addresses where people are unable to put out their own bins as a result of infirmity or significant physical disability. These too were being missed as the software designed to manage the routes did not flag up these addresses. It wasn’t until I raised this that a manual system was put in place in an attempt to resolve matters. This was reported as a result of a couple in their nineties not having their bin collected for several weeks. I’ve since been assured the software issues have now been addressed, but if you know differently, please let me know”.

Brown Bins Left Lying For Days

Steve said, “Then there’s the issue with brown bin uplifts where bins are being left lying for days, sometimes longer, before they get picked up. The Council has blamed the increase in recycling, the highest ever in Aberdeen between April and June, and the challenges this creates during the rollout of a new service. Could this not have reasonably been anticipated with the increase in the different types of materials which can now be recycled? I’m advised the capacity issue is now being addressed, but it may be another 2-3 weeks until matters are fully resolved”.

Dumped Rubbish And Fire Risks

He said, “Just to cap it all, the Council has recently suspended the uplift of bulky items with no advance warning in order to try to clear the backlog of missed collections. As people put items out for collection outside their homes, my fear is that this will attract fly tipping. Requests for bulky goods uplifts will resume from 31 July but I suspect the backlog will take many more weeks to clear”.

“A constituent yesterday raised concerns that the mattress she had put outside her home for collection might be set on fire after being told that collections have been suspended. Following on from the Grenfell tragedy we need to re-evaluate everything we do in respect of minimising any potential fire risk and keeping people safe”.

‘At an absolute minimum the Council needs to communicate any intentions to suspend future bulky uplifts in advance and risk assess any applications received during a suspension period from a safety perspective. I am currently pressing for assurances on these points”.

Furious…

“To say that I’m absolutely furious would be an understatement! The new refuse collection service was planned out over a long period of time, yet the foreseeable and obvious difficulties do not appear to have been built into the delivery plan”.

“Even accepting that some unforeseen difficulties have arisen, I’m appalled the Council appears to have lost control of the situation and is only now, five months after the new service commenced its roll out, that there appears to be an end in sight”.

“Please rest assured I will be happy to follow up on any further concerns until matters are fully resolved. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you are experiencing ongoing issues with bin collections”.