Hearing Aid Batteries

Because of Covid-19, many deaf people have not been able to collect new hearing aid batteries because it is not safe to go to hospitals to pick them up.

The Scottish Government aims to ensure a supply of batteries so that people have enough to see them through the lockdown (stay home).

The new arrangement is:

1) Contact your local Health Board to let them know you want new batteries.

2) Arrange with the Health Board for you either to collect from a community hub, or deliver them to your home along with your food delivery.

Taking Exercise During The Lockdown

Image by Mabel Amber from Pixabay

Even with the lockdown, it is important that we all try to keep fit. Taking appropriate exercise is good for our physical and mental health. 

People across the UK have been taking part in free online workouts, including those provides by Joe Wicks. The BBC has provided links to free workouts you can do at home. You can find lots of other resources available online.

Local councillor Steve Delaney said, “For many others, including myself and my wife, our daily exercise is a walk, often through the countryside paths which run from Sheddocksley to Kingswells or towards Tesco or Lidl if we’re run out of something! Please do say hello if you (I was going to say bump into us…) come within six feet of us!”

“Enjoy your walks, remember social distancing and please ring your bell if you’re cycling and just hope someone doesn’t think it’s an alert on their phone, as I did the other day!”

Aberdeen’s Libraries Go Online

Aberdeen City Library has had an online presence for some time and these services have seen an increase in use during the current lockdown. Unfortunately many residents are unaware of this and others might not have considered going digital. All you need is your library card to access these services.

The library service has increased the number of digital resources available to members. These include BorrowBox, RB Digital UK and PressReader which provide free access to thousands of eBooks, eAudiobooks, eComics and digital copies of newspaper and magazines.

Aberdeen City Council has confirmed that no fines will be issued for books currently out on loan and cannot return them due to the closures.

Local councillor Steve Delaney said, “There’s a vast resource of library books and other materials online. Whether you want to do some reading yourself to help pass the time or you’re looking for books for the kids, there’s a wealth of material you can access free of charge. If you’re no longer a member of the library, you can even register online”.

The library is also looking into ways to engage with users via its website and social media channels. This includes providing online help and reading recommendations, Bookbug sessions for children delivered over YouTube and Facebook Live, and much, much more.

The Bookbug sessions can be viewed here:

For more information, visit www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/library or contact Aberdeen City Libraries by emailing LibraryEvents@aberdeencity.gov.uk.

Look Out For Vulnerable Children And Adults

The City Council’s Integrated Children’s and Family Services and the Child Protection Committee are urging communities to adopt an ‘eyes open’ approach to young individuals struggling without the support of schools and nurseries network.

Anyone with any concerns about the health, safety or wellbeing of a child or young person should contact Police Scotland on 101 or the Aberdeen Joint Child Protection Team on 01224 306877 (0800 731 5520 for emergencies out of office hours).

Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership is also asking for an ‘eyes open’ approach for vulnerable adults. 

Measures are in place to provide the right level of support to those adults most in need of care and protection.

There will, however, be vulnerable people who are not known to the services and we need to ensure that they are safe and well.

If you think an adult may be at risk of harm and in need of protection, please contact Duty Social Work on 0800 731 5520.

You can also submit a reporting form online through the Aberdeen City Council website https://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/services/social-care-and-health/adult-support-and-protection./.

Local councillor Steve Delaney said, “I’m pleased to see support services in place to support vulnerable people during these unusually difficult times. Please don’t assume that someone who is clearly struggling has a support network in place. Unless you know this to be the case, please make contact on one of the above numbers”.

“There are going to be people who slip through the net, most especially elderly people who have no family, so please make that call. If you’ve got it wrong and support is already in place, at least you cared enough to take action”.

Update On Recycling & Brown Bin Collections

Aberdeen City Council has announced the resumption of brown bin recycling collections but on a reduced monthly frequency.

Commenting on the partial reintroduction all mixed recycling, garden and food waste collections in Aberdeen Liberal Democrat Operations Spokesperson Steve Delaney said, “ The Liberal Democrats welcome the reintroduction of collections of mixed recycling, food waste and garden waste in Aberdeen”. 

“Some residents were left confused and dismayed when the decision was taken to temporarily suspend emptying both brown bins and recycling bins in order to stick to social distancing rules. Not everyone got the news of this change which meant bins were still put out on dates when there was no collection. Some people also mistakenly thought they had to put all their waste and recycling in the same bin”. 

“I am delighted that staff from other council services have volunteered to help with waste and recycling collections. Thanks to them, mixed recycling and brown bin collections can restart, albeit on a reduced frequency.”

Councillor Delaney continued, “Whilst four weekly collections of mixed recycling, food and garden waste will present a challenge for some families, this is certainly a vast improvement on no service at all.

“With all household recycling centres closed throughout Scotland, the only remaining option is for excess recycling to be taken to supermarket recycling centres. I have done this myself, as have others but it’s not an option for residents who are either in the shielding group and unable to leave their home, or those do not have access to a car. For these people the challenge of what to do with overflowing recycling will remain unresolved”.

“Most people I have spoken with understand why this situation has arisen and the need to protect council staff. We should never be asking anyone, let alone our key workers, to put themselves at risk in order to deliver the essential services upon which we all depend. That’s why it was important for the council to find a solution that gets the job done without risking the lives of staff collecting waste and recycling”.

A calendar showing which collections are on which days can be found here.

Mind Of My Own APP Now Includes Coronavirus Support

Aberdeen City Council has issued a reminder to the city’s vulnerable young people that they can access support through the current Covid-19 pandemic via an innovative app launched by the council last year.  

Since March 2019 the Mind Of My Own app has helped the city’s care-experienced young people make their voices heard and make decisions on their lives by saying how they are feeling, what support they need and to tell their care worker about the things that are important to them.  

With the use of Mind Of My Own, users can help overcome feelings of anxiety, isolation or loneliness by sending their worker a statement , which will be received by email, to let them know how the user is feeling and allow the individual to feel connected and digitally close to them at this time.

The app can be downloaded from an app store or by creating an account at https://one.mindofmyown.org.uk/

If potential users find this difficult, they can contact their worker and be supported through the downloading process.  

Vouchers Issued For Those Entitled To Free School Meals

Following the closure of our schools on 27 March, pupils who were entitled to free school meals were still able to get these but had to attend school at lunchtime for these.

With effect from 6 April, supermarket vouchers will instead be issued to eligible families. These will be issued fortnightly and will also cover what should have been the Easter break. During this first week when vouchers are being sent out, school meals will continue to be provided at school as normal.

Lib Dem councillor for Kingswells, Sheddocksley, Summerhill said, “I’m sure families will appreciate the move to vouchers as it helps protect children by allowing for social distancing and avoids the need to travel to school daily at at time when we’re all much safer at home”.

Parents should automatically receive these vouchers by email or text. If you do not receive these next week or the school do not have your email or mobile number please call the Virtual School Helpline on 01224 523322.

Everyone’s Bin Confused!

As I look through my mailbox this morning and look out my window, it appears that last week’s announcement from the council about suspending recycling collections has left people confused. Today is recycling day in Sheddocksley but most people have put out their household rubbish bins.

The statement from Aberdeen City Council said, “Services have been suspended so the collections team can implement new ways of working, following the Government’s guidance on social distancing. The team can then assess the impact of the new ways of working and review. “

For avoidance of doubt, please note the following

  1. There will be no pickups of recycling bins or brown bins until further notice.
  2. I will post online when these resume.
  3. Mixed recycling can be disposed of at supermarket recycling points, otherwise it will need to be stored until collections resume..
  4. Food waste can be put in with household rubbish at the moment.
  5. There is no way to get rid of garden waste at the moment.
  6. Household rubbish collections remain fortnightly
  7. There is currently no collection at all on recycling days.
  8. Please don’t shoot the messenger 😟

Help For Communities

A new website and phoneline launched today, providing people all across Grampian with information on how to access social, practical and emotional support on Coronavirus (COVID-19).  

The new Assistance Hub goes live this morning, pulling together links to the latest advice from a range of partners including all three local authorities, Police, Health, Red Cross, volunteers and community information. It is a site for anyone in Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray, with information for residents and businesses alike.   

The website address is www.GCAH.org.uk or call 0808 196 3384 (8am-8pm 7 days a week). The number will complement other helplines, including Aberdeen City Council’s Crisis Support Line, which was launched last week and can be reached directly on 0800 0304 713.

The website is full of links with up-to-date information. The main objective is as a focal point for information and assistance for anyone affected by coronavirus anywhere in Grampian. It is also a way for residents to offer their support which they can safely deliver in their communities. Staff are on the phone to provide callers with up to date information, or to link them up with the right person who can quickly answer questions.  Another important feature is that the site can be used to request help on behalf of someone else, allowing friends and neighbours to signpost to someone in need. 

Lib Dem councillor for Kingswells, Sheddocksley, Summerhill said, “There’s so many useful new websites popping up offering advice about the coronavirus, public services, the lockdown and much more, that people are getting confused about where to go to locate specific information”.

“The amount of work which has gone into Aberdeen City Council’s coronavirus page is commendable as it the Business Gateway, NHS Grampian’s dedicated resource and a number of others but now we need to join the dots so people can find what they need quickly and easily without having to check a dozen sites with the risk that they encounter misinformation amongst the wealth of fact based resources”.

“My advice is simple, make the Advice Hub your homepage and you can’t go wrong. It links directly to all the other pages but offers much more besides, in a user friendly interface. Thanks to all the public sector partners in our area for this invaluable resource”.

Crisis Helpline

0800 0304 713

Aberdeen City Council has launched a freephone Crisis Helpline for people who find themselves in urgent need.

This service is for crisis only. It is for those who are hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak and unable to find the information they are looking for or unable to get help from their existing support networks, in these unprecedented times.

This number will be open from 8am-6pm Monday to Friday until further notice.

Members of the emergency helpline team are ready to provide welfare and financial advice and support, including what to do if you are struggling to get food or pay bills.

Further Reductions To Kingswells Bus Services

Following the temporary closure of most local businesses, bus passenger numbers have fallen even further.

With effect from Monday 30 March there will be further reductions to the frequencies of all Stagecoach services. Their new Kingswells timetables can be found here.

Local councillor Steve Delaney said, “Last week I raised serious concerns about the X17 starting an hour later than usual and the 14 starting two hours later, as these times were unworkable for shift workers. I’m pleased to say the 14 is now starting an hour earlier than last week, though still too late for most key workers on early shifts”.

“These new timetables, which start on Monday, result in the first X17 arriving at the Park & Ride at 06.44 then operating on an hourly service. The first 14 leaves opposite the medical centre at 07.09 and operates on a two hourly frequency all day”.

Steve continued, “Given the temporary closure of most places of work, it was only to be expected that passenger numbers would fall further. However, those who do need to get to work to support the efforts of the NHS, the Police, the Council, our supermarkets and our key supply chains are going to be put under additional stress and further inconvenienced by these service reductions”.

“I continue to have concerns for residents who have no option but to use public transport as reduced frequencies may increase the risk of more people on each bus, making social distancing somewhat challenging and potentially increasing the chances of spreading the virus”

A link to the new timetables for all Stagecoach services across our area and beyond can be found here.

Business Support Portal Launched

Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils have set up a page with useful links and the latest information for businesses affected by the measures put in place to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic. 

This page, which also links to various national agencies and the Business Gateway, is being updated regularly  The link is HERE.

The page includes information on the Council’s administration of the business grants scheme – there is a dedicated number that may be used in relation to specific applications – 01224 346146

A dedicated email address (businessgrowthteam@aberdeencity.gov.uk) has been set up to handle enquiries from local businesses. All issues are being logged and a response system is in place.

Are You Receiving Steve’s Email Updates?

Steve Delaney is the Liberal Democrat councillor for Kingswells, Sheddocksley & Summerhill. He sends out regular local news updates to residents by email.

These updates are normally infrequent, only going out when there’s something of local interest to bring to people’s attention. However, they have become a useful source of accurate information about the impact on public services in our area during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you are not already receiving these updates and would like to be added to the list, click here.

The list is open to anyone living in the Kingswells, Sheddocksley, Summerhill Ward, so please forward this page to others who may have an interest. You can of course unsubscribe at any time.

Council Suspends Recycling Collections

Aberdeen City Council has had to temporarily suspend the uplifting of our mixed recycling bins and garden waste brown bins. Their statement on this is reprinted in full below. 

Please read to the end of this page for the latest updated information.

Collection of household mixed recycling bins and brown bin collections (for garden waste and food waste) have been temporarily suspended to allow the City Council’s waste service to introduce measures aimed at adhering to recent guidance on coronavirus prevention.

The waste service will now be working at reduced levels and, in order to prioritise resources to the general waste collection, other services have temporarily been suspended.

This affects only households with wheeled bins and residents should not present their recycling bin or brown bin for collection. Residents are asked to keep their brown bin and recycling bin for now. Food waste should go in the general waste bin during the suspension. The general waste bin is being collected.

Recycling points are still available at many supermarkets and shopping centres but residents should not make special trips to use them. Instead, residents could use them while they are doing their essential shopping, in line with Government guidance. Residents should, where possible, clean their hands before and after use.

Householders should be aware any additional items left beside bins will not be collected. Residents are also reminded that they should not leave anything beside the bins at recycling points or communal bins.

In addition, all household waste and recycling centres in Aberdeen have closed to the public. The household waste and recycling centres are at Bridge of Don, Hazlehead, Bucksburn, Dyce, and Tullos. The decision to close the centres has been made following the new measures imposed by the UK government.

With the closure of the household waste and recycling centres and the suspension of the bulky uplift service, residents should ensure that large items intended for disposal are stored safely away from communal areas.

There is also a Frequently Asked Questions section which can be found here.

Changes To Registrar Services

Aberdeen City Council has published the following information

As from today [March 23], Aberdeen City Council has introduced the following measures in relation to registration service (Births, Deaths, Marriages, Still-Births, Civil Partnership and Citizenship Ceremonies) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Births

• Birth registrations have been suspended until further notice.

Deaths

• Face to face still birth registrations and face to face death registrations have been suspended until further notice. We are awaiting emergency legislation changes and will update our website when the information is available.

Civil Ceremonies

• New measures are in place for our civil ceremonies. A maximum of 4 people can attend a civil ceremony at our offices. This includes the couple and their witnesses.

• Pre-booked civil ceremonies must also adhere to the current attendee restrictions of 4 persons.

• Any marriage/civil partnership paperwork which was due for collection (eg schedules) will be from Marischal College.

• Notice of marriage or civil partnership can only be accepted by post to Marischal College. Please do not send your documentation if your wedding is any further than 6 weeks ahead.

• Should you wish to postpone or cancel a marriage or civil partnership ceremony, please contact the office as soon as possible on 01224 522616. If you wish to cancel you will be entitled to a full refund or we can hold onto your booking until you have decided on another date.

Citizenship Ceremonies

• Citizenship Ceremonies have been postponed until further notice.

Copy Certificates

• Request for historical certificates are only be available via our online service at present.

Coronavirus Assistance

Housing, Welfare, Business & Financial Information All In One Place

Aberdeen City Council has set up links to information which will assist people and businesses who find themselves running into difficulties during the coronavirus outbreak. These difficulties may be health related, financial or indeed have arisen as a result of measures taken by local or national government to control the spread of this deadly virus.

Help For Individuals & Families

It is understood many people may be unfamiliar with the benefits system since the recent introduction of Universal Credit or they be unaware of the raft of additional support measures introduced by UK and Scottish Government to assist them and their families to get by during the enforced closure of their workplace.

With extra strain on household budgets, additional protection has been put into legislation to ensure you do not lose your home (be it council, housing associated, privately rented or mortgaged) and you don’t get your fuel supply cut off if you can’t pay. There’s also help available if you find yourself homeless.

There’s help for people who are in “at risk” groups are self isolating and have no family to support them. There’s also crisis loans and grants for those who have been hit hardest and are unable to get by in the short term.

Help For Businesses

Business can now apply for help to the Scottish Government Coronavirus Business Support Fund. The fund is administered by local authorities. Depending on the type and size of your business premises, you can apply for either a £10,000 grant or £25,000 grant.

Finally there’s a freephone Crisis Helpline for people who find themselves in urgent need.

This service is for crisis only. It is for those who are hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak and unable to find the information they are looking for or unable to get help from their existing support networks, in these unprecedented times.

The telephone number 0800 0304 713 will be staffed initially from 8am-6pm Monday to Friday from Tuesday 24 March until further notice.

Members of the emergency helpline team are ready to provide welfare and financial advice and support, including what to do if you are struggling to get food or pay bills.

Local Councillor Steve Delaney said, “I commend council staff for putting this helpful resource together so quickly. The council’s switchboard is being inundated with calls and your waiting times are going to be lengthy if you do decide to call”

“Please use this online help page, which links into information on what assistance is available to you and how to access it, as your One Stop Shop. You will either find the information you need or be transferred to another site with more information. This page lets you access information much quicker than you would by trying to get help over the phone”.

All the information mentioned above, and much more, can be found on Aberdeen City Council’s updated Coronavirus Help Page

Please Help Us Keep Our Children Safe

Aberdeen City Council has issued a plea for communities to support local children and young people through the current Covid-19 outbreak.

Graeme Simpson, Chief Officer for Aberdeen City Council’s Integrated Children’s and Family Services and Sheena Gault, Independent Chair of Aberdeen City’s Child Protection Committee (CPC), issued the following joint statement: “Regardless of the unprecedented situation we all find ourselves in, the health, wellbeing and safety of our young people remains of paramount importance.

“With schools and nurseries having closed from today for the foreseeable future, the onus is on all us to be watchful and to know what to do if we become aware of a child who is struggling or in distress.

“We urge everyone to play a part to keep local children safe. The onus of care has now shifted from schools to local communities, and we’re asking everyone to keep their eyes and ears open.

“Local communities always provide a significant protective factor for children and that’s even more important at a time when families may be under significant additional stress. If you’re at all worried about a child’s welfare, it’s much better to say something than do nothing.”

Anyone with any concerns about the health, safety or wellbeing of a child or young person, should contact Police Scotland on 101 or the Aberdeen Joint Child Protection Team on 01224 306877 (0800 731 5520 for emergencies out of office hours).

Council Frees Up Parking For NHS Staff

Aberdeen City Council has issued 200 free parking permits to NHS Grampian allowing key staff to park within the Foresterhill Controlled Parking Zone during the coronavirus outbreak. Permits will be prioritised and will allow holders to park in any parking bay within the zone, including residents only bays.

NHS Grampian has also lifted all parking restrictions on the Foresterhill site, with the exception of disabled parking bays, which will continue to be enforced to ensure people with disabilities can continue to park close enough to facilities. The restriction preventing NHS staff from using the multi-storey car park has been removed.

These measures have been put in place to ensure NHS staff can get to work and parked during the current pandemic

First Reduces Services In Wake of Coronavirus

Following on from reductions in Stagecoach services earlier this week, FirstAberdeen has announced that its routes will operate on a Sunday services from Thursday 26 March 2020 until further notice.

Lib Dem councillor for Kingswells, Sheddocksley, Summerhill Steve Delaney said, “With all but workers in the NHS, the council, food stores and other key support and supply roles now in self isolation it had become inevitable that First’s services would be cut back”.

“Early morning services are to to commence at least an hour later and all services outwith the first few buses will run on a 30 minute frequency”.

“Everything has changed in the last 24 hours. For your own safety please do not travel on public transport unless you are a key worker or you require essential food shopping for yourself or others who are self isolating”.

Within our area the No 3 will start at 06.45, the 13 starts at 07.10 and the 23 starts at 06.40.

Full timetables for all First’s Aberdeen routes effective from 26 March 2020 can be found here

First’s Press Release is reprinted in full below.

First Aberdeen has announced that bus services will operate a revised Sunday timetable during the working week effective from Thursday, March 26th 2020, with additional morning journeys added in to ensure it sustains services for those key workers and emergency service staff needing to make essential travel across the region.

The bus operator is committed to continuing services wherever possible so that those who need to make essential journeys, like health service and emergency workers, can continue to do so.

The announcement comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined strict new measures to tackle the spread of coronavirus, including advice that people should leave home only to exercise once a day, travel to and from work where “absolutely necessary”, shop for essential items and to fulfil any medical or care needs.

Recent days have seen bus passenger numbers continue to reduce as people adhere to the government lockdown

This is reflected across other sectors, all of which have had to review and reduce their operations in view of the fast-moving coronavirus outbreak.

First has written to the Local Traffic Commissioner about its intentions as well as keeping the relevant local authorities and key stakeholders up to date. Andrew Jarvis, Managing Director of First Aberdeen, said: “With much of the UK effectively ordered to stay at home for at least the next few weeks, we have made the decision to move to a Sunday timetable to support those who still need to get to and from work and get out to shops and pharmacies, whilst fulfilling our own role as vital key workers during this time of national crisis.

“Just a few weeks ago it was almost inconceivable that these restrictions would be in place, which only underlines what a challenging, dynamic and rapidly evolving situation the UK faces, and one which First Aberdeen is monitoring and responding to day-by-day, hour-by-hour.

“It’s important to emphasise that we are in constant contact with stakeholders, including local authorities and ministers, and rest assured everything is being done to keep those key workers mobile as the nation comes together to limit the spread of coronavirus.

“We are doing everything possible to deploy staff across our operations with a view to minimising the impacts for everybody.

“Regular customers can be assured we will endeavour to get more frequent services back up and running as soon as the Government decides it is safe to do so.

“Please bear with us as given the fast-changing nature of the situation it will be difficult to keep all our communication channels updated with the latest information.”

The service information in the First Bus app for example, will not reflect updated timetables, so customers are advised to refer to the First Aberdeen website for the most up to date service information, travel advice and information about Coronavirus.

https://www.firstgroup.com/aberdeen/plan-journey/covid-19-update

Emergency Timetables Axe Kingswells Early Morning Services And Reduce Bus Frequencies

Stagecoach have announced a reduction in frequency on all their services with effect from Monday. The X17 service is reduced to half-hourly and the council funded 14 reverts to a Sunday service 7 days a week. There are also changes to the 727 Aberdeen Airport service which can be found here.

Local councillor Steve Delaney said, “Passenger numbers across all bus routes have dropped dramatically in light of Government advice not to use public transport unless you have to, but many people have no choice”.

“These new timetables result in the first X17 arriving at the Park & Ride at 06.44 rather than 05.49. The changes to the 14 are even worse with the first bus opposite the medical centre leaving at 08.03 rather than the usual 06.03 which is going to prevent many residents from getting to work on time”.

Steve continued, “whilst I can fully understand that adjustments to timetables may be necessary if some of the drivers are having to self isolating, the later starting times leave many people unable to get to work”.

“In addition, the reduced frequency on the X17 is likely to result in more passengers on each bus, which makes social distancing somewhat challenging and increases the chances of spreading the virus. I am very concerned that Stagecoach have not thought this one through”

Current Kingswells timetables can be found here

New Kingswells/Westhill timetables can be found here.

Stagecoach’s Press Release is reprinted in full below.

Temporary changes to bus services in Aberdeenshire and Moray are being introduced by Stagecoach from Monday 23rd March following new government advice around social contact and non-essential travel to help combat the coronavirus.

A reduced timetable will operate across the region until further notice. The timetables have been carefully created to ensure that critical routes are maintained wherever possible.

The majority of bus services in Aberdeenshire and Moray will operate to a Sunday timetable with additional journeys in the mornings to allow those continuing to commute by bus to work can do so, 7 days a week. Discounted bus travel continues to be available for NHS staff commuting with Aberdeen zone 2 (zone 2 covers services in the city centre and to Balmedie, Westhill and Portlethen). The discounted 7-day bus ticket is available to purchase direct from any Stagecoach bus driver.

The reduction in service follows extensive action by bus operators to enhance cleaning regimes and protect the safety and well-being of customers and employees.

Peter Knight, Managing Director for Stagecoach Bluebird said: “Along with other bus operators and key sectors, we are working hard to support the national effort to tackle the current challenging situation.

“The safety of our customers and our employees is at the heart of everything we do and the vast majority of the workforce cannot work from home. We also know that our bus services play a vital role in keeping the country running and ensuring key sector personnel get to work.

“Following the latest government advice, we have reviewed our timetables and made temporary changes which reflect the reduced level of travel. Our objective has been to focus resources on where we know they are needed most at this time.

“We are working hard to best maintain essential services, safeguard jobs and ensure the long-term sustainability of a sector which is central to our economy and communities.

“I want to reassure all members of the community that Stagecoach Bluebird remains closely engaged with a number of local and national stakeholders to ensure that our services meet the needs of the communities that we proudly serve, in what is a dynamic situation.”

Since the impact of the coronavirus in the UK, Stagecoach has implemented additional hygiene measures to protect passengers, frontline bus workers and office-based staff.

In addition to well-established and rigorous cleaning regimes, there has been more frequent cleaning of main customer touch-points on buses, such as hand poles and grab rails.

Travel shops in Aberdeen, Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Elgin and Inverness will also close until further notice.

Local councillor Steve Delaney said, “This announcement relates to all services travelling in and out of Aberdeen with the exception of the No 14 Kingswells service which is funded by Aberdeen City Council. There are currently no changes proposed for this service apart from the removal of the weekend service, as previously advised, from a yet unspecified date in April”.

Customers can stay up to date with all the latest news from Stagecoach on Twitter @StagecoachBBird or by signing up to their email mailing list, full details are available at stagecoachbus.com.

Information On Available Support Following School Closures

Following the Scottish Government’s decision to close of all schools from 20 March 2020, Aberdeen City Council has put in place a number of measures to try to minimise the impact on both pupils and their families.

Kingswells, Sheddocksley, Summerhill councillor Steve Delaney said, “In a national emergency such as this, it has become necessary to close our schools to the majority of pupils for their own safety during what is expected to be the peak period in the life cycle of this virus. Those who will remain in our schools – pupils, teachers and support staff, should find social distancing to be less of a challenge due to the vastly reduced numbers”.

“The education team, working with others, has done an excellent job of putting in place support measures for our children to allow them to continue learning at home during this difficult time. I would like to thank all staff for the work they have done to pull everything together in such a short timeframe”.

“However, these and other support measures listed below will not take the place of regular schooling and it is understood many families may struggle to make suitable childcare arrangements at such short notice”.

Arrangements During School Closures Are As Follows

Schools will remain open for S4, S5, S6 pupils who require to attend sessions to complete senior phase course work for national qualifications. This vital service must as there will be no formal examinations this year, with grades being awarded on the basis of course work.

Families whose children who would normally receive free school meals during term time will be contacted through Groupcall to advise on how this service will continue to operate for their children.

Parents who work in the NHS and other workers defined by the Scottish Government as being critical to supporting the coronavirus response (who have nobody available to look after their children) will be able to apply online for childcare places. These places are limited and will often not be at the child’s usual school. There is a waiting list and two categories of key workers, with category one parents receiving access to places first. Work is ongoing to create additional places.

A Digital Learning Hub learning has been put in place to allow children to continue their work through the curriculum from home. Separate log ons will be available to support teachers and parents. Digital provision will be made available for children who have no access at home. The Digital Learning Hub can be accessed here.

A virtual school helpline has been established to support children and families in need of assistance.  The phoneline will be made available from 9am on 23 March 2020 and the number is 01224 523322.

Necessary Changes To Ensure Delivery Of Essential Services

Aberdeen City Council is in the process of moving into resilience mode in order to ensure they have sufficient resources to tackle the coronavirus whilst protecting the most vital public services and our most vulnerable citizens.

This means that certain services we expect the council to deliver will be reduced or even stopped for a number of weeks, possibly months, to ensure essential core services can still be delivered. This has become necessary as a result of staff being sent home after displaying virus-like symptoms and others having to self-isolate for their own safety due to underlying health conditions, all in accordance with Scottish Government guidance.

The council’s statement reads as follows:-

The core services include gritting as road surface temperatures are still going to about 0C overnight, traffic coordination and traffic lights to assist emergency services, emergency repair work and health and safety maintenance to council homes and properties, collection of recycling and waste bins from households, ensuring a capacity of HGV-licensed drivers, crematorium and burial services, essential janitorial and school meal provision services, and essential health, environmental protection and trading standards services.

To ensure these core services can be carried out over the coming weeks, other work will be reduced or is stopped meantime. This includes planned road repairs (excluding emergency works), special refuse collections also known as bulky uplifts (excluding where there is a fire risk in multi storeys), communal recycling and waste bins, planned repair or maintenance works to council homes, and reduced grass cutting and gardening work. All libraries across the city have now closed.

While cremations will continue to take place, no new bookings for chapel services at Aberdeen Crematorium are being taken from Monday to help minimise the spread of coronavirus. There will only be City Council staff at the Aberdeen Crematorium building.

Kingswells, Sheddocksley councillor Steve Delaney said, “None of want to see council services reduced but, sadly, we need to face the reality of a national emergency situation and ensure that Aberdeen City Council have sufficient staff and resources to play their part in the work being done by all public sector partners, including NHS, Police, Fire Service and voluntary sector partners”.

“These measures will enable us to play our part in the fight against the coronavirus as well as ensuring our household bins are emptied and our key workers, our most vulnerable residents and those self isolating are all adequately supported”.

Coronavirus (COVID19) Latest Update On Council Buildings & Council Services

Message from Councillor Steve Delaney

The situation around the Coronavirus pandemic is evolving daily, if not hourly. I would advise everyone to take heed of the official advice coming from UK Government, Scottish Government and Aberdeen City Council, which will continue to evolve based upon the best evidence available.

Aberdeen City Council has had to shut down all public buildings with the exception of Marischal College (which is opening for reduced hours).Most council services are continuing to operate but this may be subject to change to ensure the most critical services can continue to run at all times.

For the latest information from Aberdeen City Council click HERE

Changes in Temporary Traffic Order – Stronsay Drive

Start Date and Time : 17 February 2020 06:00 
End Date and Time : 30 March 2020 06:00

Location : Stronsay Drive

Description : The effect of the order is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on Stronsay Drive, Aberdeen, between its junction with Stronsay Crescent and the access to numbers 110-120 Stronsay Drive, from 06:00 on 17 February 2020, until 022:00 on 18 March 2020, and on Gairsay Road, Aberdeen, between its junction with Stronsay Drive and a point 40m in a westerly direction from 06:00 on 17 February 2020, until 06:00 on 30 March 2020.

There will also be a prohibition of waiting on the same stretches of road. Access to properties will be maintained.

An alternative route is available via Stronsay Place, Summerhill Terrace, Summerhill Road and Lang Stracht.

The no-waiting restrictions will be demarcated by the use of no-waiting cones, and illegally parked vehicles will be removed at the owner’s expense.

The Stronsay Drive section is expected to be completed within three weeks if no difficulties are encountered.

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during sewer installation works for Aberdeen City Council.

Any queries regarding this restriction can be directed to Hatton Traffic Management on 01224 795399, or info@hattontraffic.co.uk

Tory Council Axes Kingswells Weekend Buses

Aberdeen’s Conservative led coalition have axed weekend bus services to and from Kingswells as part of this year’s “budget savings”. Other services to face the axe are the 15A weekend service and the Sunday service on the 40 (Bridge of Don).

Kingswells councillor Steve Delaney said, “The No 14 bus service was hard fought for by Kingswells residents following the withdraw of First’s X40 service three years ago. The No 14 has proved popular with residents and passenger numbers are growing. Just as we thought bus services were starting to settle down, this happens”.

The No 14 service is operated by Stagecoach but fully funded by Aberdeen City Council after First withdrew from Kingswells maintaining the service was not commercially viable and Stagecoach were unwilling to pick up the route commercially.

Steve added, “Under current legislation, councils must consider introducing financially supported bus service bus services to serve communities which have no commercially operated services. They key is that they must consider but there is no obligation on councils to pay for such services nor is there any minimum specification required for such services. Consequently there is no prospect of reversing this cut to services”.

The current contract with Stagecoach was for two years with the option of re-tendering at the end of that time or extending the current contract for a further 12 months. The two years ends on 31 March 2020 and council officers are looking to extend the contract with the current bus operator for a further 12 months, but on the basis of a Monday to Friday service only.

Steve continued, “The date the weekend service will cease on, is not yet confirmed but it’s likely to be some time in April. The remaining weekday service will then continue for a further year but it’s anyone’s guess what will happen this time next year. It’s an absolute disgrace that Kingswells, a village of around 5,000 people, will be effectively cut off from the rest of Aberdeen every weekend. The services at the Park & Ride are fine for people who live within walking distance or have a car, but they do not serve the majority of residents in Kingswells”.

Aberdeen’s Conservative, suspended Labour and Independent Alliance councillors have shown they have no interest in Kingswells and should hang their heads in shame”.

Please note:- This change currently affects the weekend No 14 service only. Stagecoach services operating from Kingswells Park & Ride are not council supported and are therefore subject to different changes from April.

City Lib Dem budget proposals focus on Education, the Environment and Road Repairs

At this week’s budget meeting Aberdeen’s Liberal Democrat councillors proposed investing in education, protecting the city’s libraries, abolishing the Garden Tax, repairing crumbling roads and pavements and enhancing Aberdeen’s environment at Aberdeen City Council’s budget meeting.

Liberal Democrat Group Leader Ian Yuill said: “The Liberal Democrats’ priorities are education, the environment and repairing Aberdeen’s crumbling roads and pavements.

“Our proposals create a £1 million Education Fund, abolish the hated Garden Tax and invest in properly maintaining Aberdeen’s roads and pavements. Things that affect the whole city. It is important that the council gets the basics right.”

Key points of the Liberal Democrats’ budget proposals included:

  • Creating a £1 million Education Fund to enhance educational opportunities across Aberdeen.
  • Abolishing the Garden Tax, the unpopular charge made to collect residents’ garden waste from brown bins.
  • Investing an extra £9.5 million over five years in repairing roads and pavements across Aberdeen. This would pay to resurface over 50 miles of road surface.
  • Investing in improving Aberdeen’s environment – including tree planting, enhancing biodiversity and decarbonising the council’s fleet of lorries, vans and cars by 2030.
  • Investigating the feasibility of planting rose beds at key points alongside Anderson Drive.
  • Investigating generating green energy using ground source heat pumps in council playing fields and parks.
  • A 3.74% 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, the environment and repairing Aberdeen’s roads and pavements.”

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Clova Park

Start Date and Time : 16 March 2020 07:30 
End Date and Time : 16 March 2020 17:30

Location : Clova Park

Description : The effect of the order, which will operate from 07:30 – 17:30 on 16th March 2020, is to impose a prohibition of waiting on Clova Park, from its junction with Kingswells Drive to no.5 Clova Park.

The restrictions are necessary to protect public safety during resurfacing works. 

Tougher Measures To Remove Politicians Convicted Of Serious Offences

A former Conservative councillor on Aberdeen City Council remains in office following his conviction for sexual assault last December. His conduct is currently under investigation by the Ethical Standards Commissioner to establish whether or not he broke the Councillors Code Of Conduct. Councillor Alan Donnelly was suspended from his role for three months by the Standards Commission on 5 March, pending the outcome of that investigation.

Currently a councillor may not be removed from office following a conviction unless they are sentenced to at least 12 months imprisonment and there are no restrictions on a convicted councillor’s duties following their conviction, but that looks like it is about to change.

Following the conviction, Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Ian Yuill, reported the matter to Ethical Standards Commissioner. The council’s Urgent Business Committee unanimously removed Councillor Donnelly from all council committees and his positions on external organisations which require councillor representatives and also reported the matter to the Ethical standards Commissioner. In addition, all political group leaders called on Councillor Donnelly to resign.

However, although he resigned from the Conservative Party, Councillor Donnelly has continued to sit as an independent councillor, supporting his former Conservative, Aberdeen Labour and Independent Alliance coalition colleagues to pass measures this week which retained their majorities on all council committees despite them having lost that majority in the council itself. He also attended a civic event a few weeks ago.

Liberal Democrat councillor Steve Delaney said, “I was horrified to see Councillor Donnelly attend an event held in January to celebrate 25 years of good work from a local charity which supports some of the most vulnerable people in society, just seven days after his sentencing. I considered his presence to be inappropriate and subsequently raised my concerns”.

“I contacted the council’s Chief Executive asking that political group leaders meet to discuss at what measures can be put in place to prevent him from attending civic functions and prevent him from having unsupervised contact with members of the public in the course of his duties as a councillor. The Lord Provost has subsequently advised the council that Councillor Donnelly will not be attending civic events for the duration of the time he is on the Sex Offenders Register or whilst still under investigation by the Standards Commission”

“I also contacted the Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Local Government , asking that appropriate legislation be brought forward urgently to introduce appropriate measures to protect the public in such circumstances. The Minister has since advised that work by civil servants to look at how future legislation could be strengthened to remove councillors in these circumstances is indeed being expedited”.

Meanwhile Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton is promoting legislation which would require elected members at all levels to be disclosure checked at each election with strict criteria specified to ensure the protection of children and vulnerable adults should any elected member fall foul of those checks.

Steve said, “This has now gone beyond the actions of an individual and has highlighted serious flaws in the system. Councils currently have no powers to either remove a councillor convicted of a serious offence or indeed to monitor or restrict their activities following conviction. What this case has demonstrated is that the legislation needs to be tightened up and I’m pleased to see this is what looks like happening”.

Haudagain Roundabout Update

The following press release has been issued by Transport Scotland. Looks like it might be best to avoid the Haudagain for the next few weekends if at all possible.

Weekend lane closures on A96 Auchmill road

Road users are advised of lane closures on the A96 Auchmill Road at the Haudagain Roundabout for four consecutive weekends beginning Friday 21 February 2020.

The A96 weekend lane closures will allow preparatory work to be undertaken to construct the new A92/A96 Haudagain Improvement link road junction.

The lane closures will commence at 7 PM each Friday evening until 7 AM each Monday morning, to allow continuous 24 hour working.

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said:

“The work planned for the A96 Auchmill road will be carried out during weekends to minimise disruption to road users where possible. Drivers are asked to approach the area with caution.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank the public for their continued patience and co-operation. We ask road users to continue to be mindful of the safety of our workforce as you drive though this area.”

The project will, upon completion, help to reduce congestion and improve journey time reliability on this key route, as well as providing a safer route for pedestrians and cyclists.

Completion of the project is expected in Spring 2021.

Kingswells South Junction Upgrade Scheduled for April

Transport Scotland have put forward a proposal to Aberdeen City Council to help resolve both safety concerns and excessive queueing at the Kingswells South junction of the AWPR. at peak times.

Liberal Democrat councillor Steve Delaney has been campaigning for intervention at this junction for the last year, following a number of accidents, occurring on an almost daily basis.

He said, “The solution put forward by Transport Scotland is for the junction to be fully signalised with traffic signals on the roundabout itself and the two slip roads”.

“Thankfully these will not operate on a fixed timed basis like the Kingswells roundabout but will instead be triggered by traffic volumes. They will be linked into the council’s intelligent traffic management system which monitors all other movements on surrounding routes with the aim of optimising the number of vehicles getting through the junction whilst ensuring public safety”.

These works are expected to commence in April and last for about six weeks.

Steve continued, “I had concerns about works clashing with the closure of the C128C Kingswells to Countesswells road, but have received assurances the intention is for the AWPR junction upgrade to be carried out during off-peak hours”.

“There are bound to be delays during these works but the aim is to keep these to the minimum. Given the high number of accidents over the past year or so, it’s vital the works are carried out as soon as possible”.

New Services to replace Stagecoach’s X17 at Kingswells Park & Ride

Stagecoach has announced a number of their bus routes in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. These changes will affect the current X17 route, the less frequent 218 service and the 747 airport service.

Local councillor Steve Delaney said, “”The most significant change for our area is the proposal to replace the X17 with three different services. Heading to and from the City Centre you can catch one of these three services every 10 minutes (Mon-Sat). If you’re travelling to Westhill, you have a choice of the 5 or 6 with four buses per hour (Mon-Fri). All three routes operate 7 days a week”.

“I am disappointed to say that the 747 which ran from Stonehaven to Aberdeen Airport via Kingswells Park & Ride is to be withdrawn after only a year of operation. As well as the airport connection, this service offered an easy connection to Stonehaven (and Montrose at certain times of day)”.

All three services will continue to use the Queens Road route followed by the current X17 service.

Only minor timetabling changes are proposed for the 218 but it’s still worth checking out if you use that service”

Stagecoach is claiming a 13 minute reduction in journey times from Kingswells Park & Ride to Aberdeen Bus Station. The proposed timetables can be found here.

PLEASE SEE SEPARATE ARTICLE ON CHANGES TO THE 14 ROUTE WHICH IS FUNDED BY ABERDEEN CITY COUNCIL AND OPERATED BY STAGECOACH

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Stronsay Drive

Start Date and Time : 17 February 2020 06:00 
End Date and Time : 30 March 2020 06:00

Location : Stronsay Drive

Description : The effect of the order is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on Stronsay Drive, Aberdeen, between its junction with Stronsay Crescent and the access to numbers 110-120 Stronsay Drive, from 06:00 on 17 February 2020, until 06:00 on 15 March 2020, and on Gairsay Road, Aberdeen, between its junction with Stronsay Drive and a point 40m in a westerly direction from 06:00 on 17 February 2020, until 06:00 on 30 March 2020.

There will also be a prohibition of waiting on the same stretches of road. Access to properties will be maintained.

An alternative route is available via Stronsay Place, Summerhill Terrace, Summerhill Road and Lang Stracht.

The no-waiting restrictions will be demarcated by the use of no-waiting cones, and illegally parked vehicles will be removed at the owner’s expense.

The Stronsay Drive section is expected to be completed within three weeks if no difficulties are encountered.

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during sewer installation works for Aberdeen City Council. 

Changes in Temporary Traffic Order – Summerhill Crescent

Start Date and Time : 06 January 2020 07:00 
End Date and Time : 31 January 2020 17:00

Location : Summerhill Crescent

Description : The effect of the order, which will operate from 07:00 to 17:30 on 6th January to 31st January 2020, is to impose a temporary prohibition of waiting from no.36 to no.50 both sides on Summerhill Crescent and from the entrance of Holy Family RC School to no.36 on Summerhill Terrace.

The no-waiting restrictions will be demarcated by the use of no-waiting cones. Illegally parked vehicles will be removed at the owner’s expense.

The measure is necessary to protect public safety during footway works. 

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Summerhill Crescent

Start Date and Time : 06 January 2020 07:00 
End Date and Time : 24 January 2020 17:00

Location : Summerhill Crescent

Description : The effect of the order, which will operate from 07:00 to 17:30 on 6th January to 24th January 2020, is to impose a temporary prohibition of waiting from no.36 to no.50 both sides on Summerhill Crescent and from the entrance of Holy Family RC School to no.36 on Summerhill Terrace.

The no-waiting restrictions will be demarcated by the use of no-waiting cones. Illegally parked vehicles will be removed at the owner’s expense. The measure is necessary to protect public safety during footway works. 

Possible Solution To Kingswells South Junction Delays & Safety Concerns

A long awaited solution to the Kingswells South junction of the AWPR may finally be coming forward. As residents are aware, the road layout, combined with lengthy traffic jams at peak times, has led to a number of accidents and countless near misses at this junction where the AWPR meets the A944.

Transport Scotland have now confirmed they have worked up a possible solution and put this to Aberdeen City Council for consideration. They have given no details of their proposed solution other than to say that the proposed measures would help alleviate peak hour queuing on the AWPR from the diverging slip road.

Lib Dem Infrastructure Spokesman and local councillor Steve Delaney said, “It became obvious shortly after the AWPR opened that the Kingswells South junction was not operating safely. At peak hours the queueing is excessive and there’s been countless near misses and a number of accidents”.

“As a local councillor I have raised these concerns on numerous occasions dating back to March of this year. Initially I was told Transport Scotland would be reviewing the operation of the junction after 12 months of operation, which I found, quite frankly, to be a somewhat cavalier approach when people are risking their lives on a daily basis at this junction”.

“Later responses suggested they were actively monitoring the junction and had accepted an engineering solution would be required. Meanwhile as the first anniversary of the opening of this junction passes, we’re only now seeing Transport Scotland coming up with a possible solution”.

“Although I’m pleased to hear of a solution now being within reach, I fear we’re likely to be looking at some more months down the line before it is implemented. It’s an absolute disgrace that Transport Scotland has been aware of these safety concerns for at least nine months and are only now looking to progress a solution”.

“Meanwhile there’s been countless more near misses and several accidents, many of which could possibly have been avoided if these concerns had been acted upon much quicker. The sooner we see diggers on the ground delivering these improvements, the better”.

Work On Kingswells To Cults Road Delayed

Works on the C128c Kingswells to Cults road which were to close the road to through traffic for three months from 6th January 2020 have been postponed. This will in turn have a knock on effect on the enlargement of the Kingswells roundabout (north side) which is to commence shortly after completion of works to create a new C128C road layout (which also includes the enlargement of the Kingswells roundabout on the south side). The new start date for the C128C closure is estimated to be March 2020, but this is subject to confirmation.

Local councillor Steve Delaney said, “I can appreciate people’s frustration with this delayed start, after having perhaps put in place alternative plans to get to work from January to March and of course some people will just be wishing for an early start to get it over and done with sooner”.

“However, I warmly welcome the delay as it does mean the road will not now be closed during the worst of the wintry weather, which would have caused lengthy diversions and much longer journey times at the worst possible time of year when people just want to get home from work and get warmed up.

“The knock-on effect is that about half the works on the north side of the Kingswells roundabout will likely take place during the Summer holidays when the roads are much quieter”.

“Make no mistake, these roadworks are going to cause significant disruption at any time of year. I’m just pleased to hear that avoiding works during the winter resulting in some of the works falling during Easter and Summer breaks will help minimise the adverse impact on local residents”.

Further updates will be posted as and when available.

Changes in Temporary Traffic Order – Hogmanay

Start Date and Time : 30 December 2019 18:00
End Date and Time : 01 January 2020 06:00

Location : Hogmanay

Description : In connection with the Aberdeen City Council Hogmanay Fireworks event 2019.

The temporary traffic management arrangements are shown in the schedule below,and will apply at the times indicated therein. Road Closures From 10:00 on 31 December 2019 to 06:00 on 1 January 2020

• Rosemont Viaduct, between its junctions with Union Terrace and Blackfriars Street

• Schoolhill, (westbound) between its junctions with Blackfriars Street and Back Wynd

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

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

• Upperkirkgate, between its junctions with Schoolhill and Flourmill Lane From 1300 on 31 December 2019 to 0600 on 1 January 2020

• Blackfriars Street, for its entire length

• St Andrews Street, between its junctions with Blackfriars Street and Charlotte Street

• Schoolhill (eastbound), between its junction with Blackfriars Street and Back Wynd. From 1800 on 31 December 2019 to 0600 on 1 January 2020

• Harriett Street, between its junctions with Schoolhill and Loch Street From 2100 on 31 December 2019 to 0600 on 1 January 2020

• Rosemount Viaduct, between its junction with Skene Street and Union Terrace

• Union Terrace (Whole Length)

• Diamond Place (Whole Length) From 2200 on 31 December 2019 to 0600 on 1 January 2020

• Windmill Brae, for its entire length

• Windmill Lane, for its entire length

• Bath Street, for its entire length

• Bridge Place for its entire length

• Belmont Street, between its junctions with Little Belmont Street and Union Street

• Little Belmont Street for its entire length

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

• Gaelic Lane for its entire length From 2330 on 31 December 2019 to 0045 on 1 January 2020

• Union Street, between its junctions with Crown Street and Market Street EXCEPT for buses travelling from Guild Street/ College Street via Bridge Street to Union Street – left turn only onto Union Street. Buses travelling in other direction to turn right onto Crown Street (see below for revocation)

• Bridge Street from its junction with Wapping Street to Union Street EXCEPT for buses travelling from Guild Street/ College Street via Bridge Street to Union Street – left turn only onto Union Street.

• Diamond Street, between its junctions with Diamond Lane and Union Street From 2350 on 31 December 2019 to 0030 on 1 January 2020

• Denburn Road (both directions, whole length). This will be facilitated with a mobile road closure by ACC Road Services Temporary One-Way system, From 10:00 until 22:00 on 31 December 2019 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 2019 St Catherine’s Wynd, Aberdeen, Temporary suspensions of turning bans From 10:00 on 31 December 2019 to 06:00 on 1 January 2020 Skene Street, Aberdeen, into Rosemount Viaduct (right turn), for buses only From 23:30 on 31 December 2019 to 00:45 on 1 January 2020 Union Street, Aberdeen, into Crown Street (right turn) Holburn Street, Aberdeen, into Willowbank Road (right turn), for buses only Temporary suspensions of no entry From 13:00 until 22:00 on 31 December 2019 Union Street, Aberdeen, into Belmont Street for taxi’s and delivery vehicles only. Parking Restrictions From 18:00 on 30 December 2019 to 06:00 on 1 January 2020

• 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 (Pocket Park)

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


Alternate Route : Alternative routes shall be available during the closures.

Changes in Temporary Traffic Order – Stronsay Drive and Gairsay Road

Start Date and Time : 15 July 2019 08:00
End Date and Time : 20 December 2019 22:00

Location : Stronsay Drive and Gairsay Road

Description : Stronsay Drive, Aberdeen, will remain closed between its junction with Stronsay Crescent and the access to numbers 110-120 Stronsay Drive Road, until 22:00 on 17 December, 2019, and Gairsay Road, Aberdeen, will remain closed between its junction with Stronsay Drive and a point 30m in a westerly direction, until 22:00 on 20 December, 2019.

There will also be a prohibition of waiting on the same stretches of road.

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

Access to properties will be maintained when possible.

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during sewer installation works for Aberdeen City Council.

Any queries regarding the restrictions can be directed to Hatton Traffic Management on 01224 795399, or info@hattontraffic.co.uk

Alternate Route : An alternative route is available via Lang Stracht, Summerhill Road, Summerhill Terrace, and Stronsay Crescent, and via Eday Road and Eday Drive.

Latest Update On LED Street Lighting

Local councillor Steve Delaney continues to receive complaints about the new LED lighting, mostly from Kingswells but also from other parts of our area. People have been expressing concerns about safety as a result of the lower levels of illumination.

He has posed a number of additional queries to the council in the hope of finding a way to improve lighting levels which did not run contrary to the council’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions or indeed their requirement to make cost savings to balance the books.

Steve said, “I have asked about lighting levels compared to other areas of Aberdeen where LED bulbs have been installed and I have received assurances that lighting levels there are equivalent to those in Kingswells”. 

“I have raised concerns about security on the basis that well lit areas deter criminal activity. I have raised concerns about possible trip hazards if people (especially those who are frail or have poor eyesight) have to walk along poorly lit roads”.

“I have also asked about the specification of these bulbs and looked at the possibility of making changes to somehow improve the lighting levels emitted from them. To date a way forward has yet to be identified”.

“These lights meet or exceed the legal minimum levels  for street lighting and there is no obligation on the council to offer a level of illumination above what is currently being installed. Personally, I remain unconvinced these legal minimum lighting levels are insufficient for public safety but they are, as I have said, all that the council is obligated to comply with”.

“My view is that nobody within Aberdeen City Council (officers or councillors) would support a return to the old style light bulbs by way of cost, reliability and environmental factors. Instead, my own focus has been on getting improved lighting levels out of the new LED bulbs and my recommendation is that this is the approach most likely to succeed if indeed it proves possible to find a solution”. 

“A constituent recently asked for details of who to complain to and enquired about the possibility and effectiveness of starting a petition. In this respect there are two different routes a member of the public could take. I have since been asked to make this information publicly available and have provided an overview below”.

Petitions

There used to be a petitions committee but now any valid petition goes directly to the committee whose remit it falls under. Petitions can be online, paper based or a combination of both. Full guidance can be found here.

Any petition which is valid (the relevant criteria is set out in the guidance) and attracts at least 100 valid signatures by its closing date will be placed on the agenda for the next available meeting of the relevant committee.

The person or persons submitting a petition will be invited to attend the committee to present their case to councillors and answer any questions relating to the petition which councillors may wish to ask. It is then for the committee to make a decision on your petition’s proposed outcome but there is no right of appeal on their decision. 

Formal Complaint

Any citizen has the right to make a formal complaint in respect of any service provided to them by the council with which they are dissatisfied. This something individuals would need to do themselves as it is not something which can be taken forward by a councillor.

A letter or email detailing the nature of your complaint should be sent to the Chief Executive, Aberdeen City Council, Marischal College. The Chief Executive will then re-direct the correspondence to the most appropriate person for a response.

Any such letter needs to say that you wish it to be dealt with under the council’s complaints procedure, otherwise it will merely be treated as a service query.

A copy of the council’s complaints procedure should be requested as that will outline the process which must be followed by you, should you remain dissatisfied with the council’s initial response to your complaint.

Ultimately you may refer the matter to the Public Services Ombudsman, should you remain dissatisfied after following the complaints process to its conclusion, should you feel this to be necessary.

There is no cost attached to this course of action but the Ombudsman will immediately reject your complaint if you have not followed and fully exhausted the council’s own complaints procedure first.

School Bus Access During C89C closure

A recently published Road Traffic Order has caused significant concern across Kingswells. The proposed closure was of the C89C “Kingswells bypasss” from its junction with Kingswells Crescent at Derbeth to the Kingswells North junction of the AWPR from 2nd to 13th December.

Local councillor Steve Delaney said, “This has very understandably caused concerns for parents as to how their children will get to and from school as this route is used by the school bus to Bucksburn Academy”.

“I contacted the council last Friday and have discussed matters at length with various people in the hope of finding a solution in respect the school buses. A meeting between relevant council officers took place earlier today and I now have more details of what’s proposed and the access arrangements which have been put in place for the school buses”.

The road closure is necessary in order for works to be undertaken to install street lighting on the section of road from the junction with Kingswells Crescent and the Kingswells North junction of the AWPR. This will involve the laying of underground cabling, so the closure is unavoidable as the road will effectively be operating as a construction site during this time.

The traffic order is for 12 days but it is expected the works will be completed sooner than this and the aim is for the road to be re-opened as quickly as possible.

Steve continued, “I am pleased to confirm agreement has been reached for the school buses to be given access to the closed section of road for both the morning and afternoon journeys but no other vehicles will be allowed through. The buses will have to proceed at a much slower pace so journeys will take a little longer”.

“I appreciate the road closure will cause significant disruption in respect of children attending after school activities and indeed for everyone who regularly travels between Kingswells and Bucksburn. Unfortunately this is unavoidable so the best we can hope for is an early completion of these works which, I’m assured, is everyone’s aim”.

“I have contacted Bucksburn Academy to make them aware of the revised arrangements and would ask that everyone reading this posting pass on the details to others who may not be fully aware of the situation”.

That meeting took place earlier today. The outcome was that …..

REGISTERING YOUR ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES MIGHT JUST SAVE YOUR LIFE

Did you know that around three quarters of fires in Scottish homes are caused by electricity – with most linked to electrical appliances?

Electrical Safety First has launched “Do it Now” – a campaign to get people to register their electrical appliances. If your electrical items are registered, it means you can be contacted much more easily if an electrical appliance you have bought has been recalled by its manufacturer for safety reasons. 

Registering your appliances will only take a few minutes but it really could save your life and others’ lives. You can register your appliances here.

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – C89c Chapel of Stoneywood to Fairley Road

Start Date and Time : 02 December 2019 08:00
End Date and Time : 13 December 2019 17:00

Location : C89c Chapel of Stoneywood to Fairley Road

Description : C89c Chapel of Stoneywood to Fairley Road will be closed between Kingswells Crescent to AWPR access roundabout at North Kingswells.

This will be done for public safety during ACC Lighting works.

Alternate Route : C89c Chapel of Stoneywood, Hope Farm Road, A96, AWPR, A944 Roundabout, C89c Chapel of Stoneywood

C128C Closure & Kingswells Roundabout Enlargement

Following on from concerns raised at Kingswells Community Council and those raised separately by a number of local residents, Councillor Steve Delaney met this afternoon with representatives of Countesswells Development Ltd.

Steve said, “I was pleased to have had the opportunity to meet with the developers to discuss residents’ concerns about the closure of the Kingswells to Cults road and the disruption this will cause. It was a friendly but frank exchange of views and I’m pleased to now be in possession of much fuller information to share with residents”.

“We discussed timeframes for various stages of the works and I made it known that Kingswells residents were unhappy they had not been offered any information, given that the works are likely to impact more significantly on Kingswells than the small number of people living in the new Countesswells development”.

The Kingswells to Cults road will close for three months from 6 January 2020. This timeframe was confirmed as being inclusive of all works on the C128C as well as the enlargement works to the south side of the Kingswells roundabout. There will be no through access to the C128C from the roundabout during this time on safety grounds.

The second phase of the works, which will see the enlargement of the Kingswells roundabout on the north side, is to commence shortly after conclusion of phase one. These works are timetabled to take a further three months. During this time the A944 will remain open but there’s almost certainly going to be significant disruption on the section heading from Westhill towards Kingswells (north carriageway only).

Steve said, “I wa assured that works will go on for no longer than is absolutely necessary and the time of year, being winter, has already been factored into the timetable. Both the developer and the council have confirmed the works to the C128C cannot be carried out safely without closing the road”.

“Having now seen the plans, the significant works to the Kingswells to Cults road will be particularly welcomed by everyone who uses that route. I just struggle to understand why it needs to take three months to complete, given that there will be no traffic on the road during construction works”.

“The enlargement of the Kingswells roundabout will help increase capacity but my view is that may still struggle to handle traffic volumes at peak times even after the enlargement due to the fact there’s no plans to widen the lanes within the roundabout and these narrow lanes have been a cause for concern from the outset with HGVs having to straddle lanes due to their size”.

Changes in Temporary Traffic Order – Summerhill Road, Campsie Place

Start Date and Time : 09 December 2019 08:00 
End Date and Time : 20 December 2019 17:00

Location : Summerhill Road, Campsie Place

Description : The effect of the order, which will operate from 08.00 on 9 December, 2019, until 17:00 on 20 December, 2019, is to impose a temporary prohibition of waiting on either side of Summerhill Road, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Dumgoyne Place and Balfron Place, and also on either side of Campsie Place, Aberdeen, from its junction with Summerhill Road to the boundary between numbers 5 and 7 Campsie Place.

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

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during works being carried out by BT Openreach.

Any queries regarding this restriction can be directed to Wright Traffic Management on 01466 751316, or info@wtm.scot

Changes in Temporary Traffic Order – Gairsay Road and Stronsay Drive

Start Date and Time : 15 July 2019 08:00 
End Date and Time : 06 December 2019 22:00

Location : Gairsay Road and Stronsay Drive

Description : There is a prohibition of driving on Gairsay Road, Aberdeen, between its junction with Stronsay Drive and the access road to the play area at the side of 13 Gairsay Road, until 06:30 on 25 November 2019.

There is also be a prohibition of waiting on the same stretch of road. From 06:30 on 25 November, 2019, until 22:00 on 6 December, 2019, there will be a prohibition of driving on Gairsay Road, Aberdeen, between its junction with Stronsay Drive and a point 30m in a westerly direction, and also on Stronsay Drive, Aberdeen, between its junction with Stronsay Crescent and the access to numbers 110-120 Stronsay Drive.

There will also be a prohibition of waiting on the same stretches of road. Illegally parked vehicles will be removed at the owner’s expense.

Access to properties will be maintained when possible. The measures are necessary to protect public safety during sewer installation works for Aberdeen City Council.

Any queries regarding the restrictions can be directed to Hatton Traffic Management on 01224 795399, or info@hattontraffic.co.uk

Alternate Route : An alternative route is available via Stronsay Drive, Eday Road, and Eday Drive, and via Stronsay Place, Summerhill Terrace, Summerhill Road and Lang Stracht. 

Changes in Temporary Traffic Order – Summerhill Road, Campsie Place

Start Date and Time : 02 December 2019 08:00 
End Date and Time : 13 December 2019 17:00 

Location : Summerhill Road, Campsie Place

Description : The effect of the order, which will operate from 08.00 on 2 December, 2019, until 17:00 on 13 December, 2019, is to impose a temporary prohibition of waiting on either side of Summerhill Road, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Dumgoyne Place and Balfron Place, and also on either side of Campsie Place, Aberdeen, from its junction with Summerhill Road to the boundary between numbers 5 and 7 Campsie Place.

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

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during works being carried out by BT Openreach.

Any queries regarding this restriction can be directed to Wright Traffic Management on 01466 751316, or info@wtm.scot

Changes in Temporary Traffic Order – Gairsay Road

Start Date and Time : 15 July 2019 08:00 
End Date and Time : 01 November 2019 22:00

Location : Gairsay Road 

Description : There will be a prohibition of driving on Gairsay Road, Aberdeen, between its junction with Stronsay Drive and the access road to the play area at the side of 13 Gairsay Road, until 22:00 on 1 November 2019.

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.

Access to properties will be maintained when possible.

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during sewer installation works for Aberdeen City Council.

Any queries regarding the restrictions can be directed to Hatton Traffic Management on 01224 795399, or info@hattontraffic.co.uk

Alternate Route : An alternative route is available via Stronsay Drive, Eday Road, and Eday Drive. 

It’s Not Too Early To Get Ready for Winter

With winter approaching, it is worth taking a few minutes to make sure you, your home and your car are ready for winter.

There is lots of information available online to help you get ready for winter.

Age UK publish a guide to keeping warm and well during winter and you can download that here.

You can find out more about dealing with cold weather on the Met Office’s advice webpages.

You can also find advice on how to deal with frozen pipes on Scottish Water’s website, the AA’s guide for winter motoring here and advice from Cycling UK and the AA about cycling in the winter here.

You can find out about the council’s one-tonne community salt bag scheme here. If you or an organisation you know would like to apply for a one-tonne salt bag the deadline for doing so is 1st November.

Information about the council’s road and pavement gritting service is available here.

Remember, the grit bins around our area are there for residents to use. If you know of one in our area that needs refilling then please do let me have the details.

Lengthy Closure Of C128C Kingswells to Cults Closes Planned For Early 2020

A number of Kingswells residents have contacted local councillor Steve Delaney raising their concerns about the proposed closure of this road. This comes only a couple of years after prolonged closure of the road to get utility services across to the new Countesswells development.

Matters came to a head a couple of weeks ago when it emerged that the developer had set up a meeting but had not publicised this beyond the residents of the new development. Kingswells residents were given no advance warning of this, nor were councillors. Steve has since been in touch with several council officers and representatives of the developer, Countesswells Development Ltd to try to get some answers.

The works overall are expected to take about a year, though it’s not expected the road will be closed for the duration of the works. An initial road closure application has now been received by the council. The closure is proposed from 6 January 2020 for three months.

The works involve widening the C128C where it joins the roundabout and stopping up the current road southwards and replacing it with a new road to line up with Countesswells Road. Longer term this is going to be very welcome but in the interim there’s going to be significant diversions for anyone trying to get from Kingswells to Cults.

Steve said, “Council officers do not believe a 12 month closure  to be either required or indeed acceptable”. Just yesterday I received a response from Countesswells Development Ltd in which they said, “there will not, and never has been, the intention to close that road for a 12 month period”. They went on to say that they would be, “building the road up to the roundabout and then introducing a closure for as minimum a period as we possible can”.

At this point in time it remains unclear as to whether further works are envisaged beyond the initial 3 month period, whether or not the enlargement of the Kingswells roundabout is included in these works and a number of other questions also remain outstanding. 

Steve concluded, “Although the closure cannot be avoided for safety reasons I have sought assurances from both the council and the developer that these need to be kept to the absolute minimum in order to minimise disruption to local people”.

“Please rest assured I will remain in touch with both the council and Countesswells Development Ltd until matters become much clearer. Further updates will be posted if and when available”.

Latest Update On AWPR Junction On A944

A number of concerns were raised earlier this year in respect of getting on and off the AWPR/A944 at the Kingswells South junction safely at peak times and also of lengthy queues.

Liberal Democrat Infrastructure Spokesman and local councillor Steve Delaney raised these concerns inito be told initially that a full evaluation would be undertaken after 12 months looking at various factors including accident statistics.

Steve said, “This really concerned me as it seemed like Transport Scotland were going to sitting back for 12 months waiting for accidents to happen. Even then, an assessment of the statistics and any recommendations arising from these would likely have taken a few months more. to agree, never mind to implement

After pursuing matters further Steve was given assurances that the situation as reported was “most certainly understood”, being “closely monitored” by their technical advisers and “should the monitoring indicate that enhancements to the junction are required, then these will be considered accordingly”. 

He has been in regular contact with council officers and Aberdeen Roads Ltd since then and can confirm there is now a recognition by Transport Scotland that an engineering solution is required in order to reduce queueing at peak times.

Steve said, “There is hardly a week that goes by without a constituent contacting me about either an accident or a near miss. Despite this, Transport Scotland appear to be in no hurry to address the issue.

“My understanding is that a report is to come to committee early next year outlining firm proposals on how to improve safety at the junction. I just hope it’s not too little, too late by then.

“Please rest assured I will continue to press for a solution to be taken forward an, more importantly, implemented as soon as possible”.

Concerns About LED Street Lighting

A significant number of residents have contacted local councillor Steve Delaney to raise concerns about lighting levels since the council upgraded the street lighting to LED bulbs.

These bulbs are much cheaper to run, they last much longer, they are less likely to fail, they significantly reduce our carbon footprint and the lighting in their immediate vicinity is much improved.

However, the radius of the area illuminated around each column is significantly reduced, resulting in dark spots between the columns, unlit driveways and the entrances to people’s homes no longer being illuminated. This in turn has led to safety concerns with regard to fear of crime and possible trip hazards for people who are perhaps unsteady on their feet or have poor eyesight.

Steve said, “I have raised these concerns and more with the council and I have also tried to explore possible solutions with them”.

“The council has responded by saying that the aim was get the electricity costs and carbon footprint as low as possible while still achieving the required lighting levels that the public were used to and also that of the British Standards which set the minimum levels for lighting”.

“I’m informed that by using white light, facial recognition is better than that of orange light sources and the new LED lanterns are much more focussed in where they direct their light with a dramatic reduction in ‘spill light’ which may have led to the perception that the area is less lit due to the fact that house gardens and paths are no longer illuminated”.

It appears that the council has an obligation to light adopted roads and footpaths. Unfortunately they are not under any obligation to illuminate driveways or private footpaths leading to residents’ doors. In that respect the wider angled beam of the older style lighting was subject to a fair amount of light spillage and therefore better at giving a uniform lighting level in all areas.

Steve asked for tests to be carried out in a few streets to ensure they did indeed meet the minimum British Standard with respect to lighting levels. In every case they actually exceeded that minimum standard. The issue seems to be that the lit areas are fine, it’s the unlit areas that are causing understandable concern.

Steve said, “I have asked about any possible ways the dark spots could perhaps be eliminated. One suggestion was that perhaps the height of the columns could be shortened. However,  it appears they had in fact been heightened to improve the uniformity of lighting across the length of the street and to reduce the number of light and dark areas in the street”.

“Another idea was to fit reflectors around the bulbs to increase lighting levels. I was informed that every lantern has specially designed optics around each LED to make sure that the lantern puts the light exactly where it is required and that it is not possible to fit reflectors around the bulb as could be done with the old style lanterns”.

Steve concluded, “As long as the council is meeting the legal minimum standards, which they appear to be, then nothing is going to change.”

“The only solution I can see is for householders to install additional lighting, possibly motion activated, in order to illuminate any dark spots on their own property.  It’s something myself and my neighbours had to do some years ago as our street has always been particularly badly lit”.

Changes in Temporary Traffic Order – Stronsay Drive, Gairsay Road

Start Date and Time : 15 July 2019 08:00 
End Date and Time : 01 November 2019 22:00 
Location : Stronsay Drive, Gairsay Road 

Description : The effect of the order is to impose temporary prohibition of driving on Stronsay Drive, Aberdeen, between its junction with Stronsay Crescent and its northern junction with the loop road at numbers 27-65 Stronsay Drive until 22:00 on 23 October, 2019 .

There will be a prohibition of driving on Gairsay Road, Aberdeen, between its junction with Stronsay Drive and the access road to the play area at the side of 13 Gairsay Road, until 22:00 on 1 November 2019.

There will also be a prohibition of waiting on the same stretch of road. Also, there will be a prohibition of driving on Stronsay Drive, Aberdeen, between its junction with Lang Stracht and Stronsay Crescent until 22:00 on 18 October 2019.

The no-waiting restrictions will be demarcated by the use of no-waiting cones, and illegally parked vehicles will be removed at the owner’s expense.

Access to properties will be maintained when possible.

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during sewer installation works for Aberdeen City Council and duct laying works for City Fibre.

Any queries regarding the restrictions can be directed to Hatton Traffic Management on 01224 795399, or info@hattontraffic.co.uk

Alternate Route : An alternative route for the Stronsay Drive closure is available via King’s Gate, Summerhill Road and Lang Stracht, and for the Gairsay Road closure via Stronsay Drive, Eday Road, and Eday Drive. 

Changes in Temporary Traffic Order – Arnage Place – Mastrick Road to Arnage Drive

Start Date and Time : 09 September 2019 07:00 
End Date and Time : 04 October 2019 17:00 

Location : Arnage Place – Mastrick Road to Arnage Drive

Description : The effect of the order, which will operate from 07:00 on 9 September 2019, until 17:00 on 04 October 2019, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on Arnage Place between Mastrick Road and Arnage Drive.

There will also be a temporary prohibition of waiting either side of Arnage Place, Aberdeen, between Mastrick Road and Arnage Drive.

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 footway resurfacing works.

Alternate Route : Ross Crescent, Arnage Drive and vice versa. 

Changes in Temporary Traffic Order – Whitemyres Avenue

Start Date and Time : 02 September 2019 06:00 
End Date and Time : 13 October 2019 22:00 

Location : Whitemyres Avenue 

Description : The effect of the order, which will operate from 06:00 on 2 September, 2019, until 22:00 on 13 October, 2019, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on Whitemyres Avenue, Aberdeen, between its junction with Mastrick Drive and Whitemyres Place, other than in a westerly direction.

There will also be a prohibition of waiting on either side of the same stretch of road. Illegally parked vehicles will be removed at the owner’s expense.

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during gas main replacement works by SGN.

Temporary traffic signals will be in use from 25 September to 13 October, 24 hours/day.

Any queries regarding this restriction can be directed to Scotland Gas Networks on 0800 912 1700, or roadworkscoordination@aberdeencity.gov.uk

Alternate Route : An alternative route is available via Whitemyres Avenue, Lang Stracht and Mastrick Drive. 

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Arnage Place – Mastrick Road to Arnage Drive

Start Date and Time : 09 September 2019 07:00
End Date and Time : 20 September 2019 17:00

Location : Arnage Place – Mastrick Road to Arnage Drive

Description : The effect of the order, which will operate from 07:00 on 9 September 2019, until 17:00 on 20 September 2019, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on Arnage Place between Mastrick Road and Arnage Drive.

There will also be a temporary prohibition of waiting either side of Arnage Place, Aberdeen, between Mastrick Road and Arnage Drive.

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 footway resurfacing works.

Alternate Route : Ross Crescent, Arnage Drive and vice versa.

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Whitemyres Avenue

Start Date and Time : 02 September 2019 06:00 
End Date and Time : 13 October 2019 22:00 

Location : Whitemyres Avenue 

Description : The effect of the order, which will operate from 06:00 on 2 September, 2019, until 22:00 on 13 October, 2019, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on Whitemyres Avenue, Aberdeen, between its junction with Mastrick Drive and Whitemyres Place, other than in a westerly direction.

There will also be a prohibition of waiting on either side of the same stretch of road. Illegally parked vehicles will be removed at the owner’s expense.

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during gas main replacement works by SGN.

Any queries regarding this restriction can be directed to Scotland Gas Networks on 0800 912 1700, or roadworkscoordination@aberdeencity.gov.uk

Alternate Route : An alternative route is available via Whitemyres Avenue, Lang Stracht and Mastrick Drive. 

Changes in Temporary Traffic Order – Surface Dressing Brodiach Road

Start Date and Time : 15 July 2019 07:00
End Date and Time : 26 July 2019 22:00

Location : Surface Dressing Brodiach Road

Description : The effect of the order is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving and a 20mph speed restriction on the following roads; Brodiach Road, Aberdeen, between its junction with the A944 Skene Road and the city boundary at Brodiach Burn.

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

Each road will be closed for a maximum of two days between 07:00 on 15 July, 2019, and 22:00 on 26 July, 2019.

The 20mph speed restriction will be enforced on each road for a period of one week following surface dressing.

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during and following carriageway surfacing dressing 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 the A944 Skene Road, Westhill Drive, and Westhill Road;

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Broadiach Road

Start Date and Time : 22 June 2019 07:30 
End Date and Time : 06 July 2019 22:00

Location : Broadiach Road

Description : The effect of the order, which will operate from 07:30 on 22 June, 2019, until 22:00 on 6 July, 2019, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on Brodiach Road, Aberdeen, between Cairdhillock Farmhouse and The Bungalow.

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during water connection works for a new development. Any queries regarding this restriction can be directed to WM Donald on 01569 730590, or info@wmdonald.co.uk

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

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – City Fibre 14 Kingsford Road

Start Date and Time : 15 June 2019 08:00 
End Date and Time : 15 June 2019 17:00 

Location : City Fibre 14 Kingsford Road 

Description : The effect of the order, which will operate from 08:00 until 17:00 on 15th June, 2019, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on Kingsford Road, Aberdeen, from the gable end of number 20 Kingsford Road to the gable end of number 26 Kingsford Road.

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.

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

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.

Any queries regarding this restriction can be directed to Hatton Traffic Management on 07940598693, or roadworkscoordination@aberdeencity.gov.uk

Alternate Route : An alternative route is available via Sheddocksley Road, Brodinch Road and Springhill Road. 

Changes in Temporary Traffic Order – Shapinsay Road

Start Date and Time : 10 May 2019 07:30
End Date and Time : 17 May 2019 17:00

Location : Shapinsay Road

Description : The effect of the order, which will operate from 07:30 until 17:00 on 10 May, 2019, and from 07:30-17:00 daily from 13 May, 2019, until 17 May, 2019, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on Shapinsay Road, Aberdeen, for its entire length.

There will also be a prohibition of waiting on the area shaded red below. Illegally parked vehicles will be removed at the owner’s expense.

Access to properties will be maintained when possible.

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during carriageway 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

Axe The Garden Tax

On 5th March Conservative, Labour and SNP councillors in Aberdeen all voted to impose a Garden Tax, an annual charge for collecting garden and other “green waste” from people’s brown bins.

This new Garden Tax will be on top of your increased council tax bill.

Aberdeen’s Liberal Democrat councillors opposed this Garden Tax. The Liberal Democrats believe it is wrong to introduce this Garden Tax. Garden waste collection is an important council service and should be paid for from council tax. Composting green and garden waste is also important for our environment.

Conservative and Labour councillors, together with their Independent allies, voted for a £30 Garden Tax.

The SNP councillors wanted to have a Garden Tax of £35.

The Liberal Democrats will continue to oppose this unfair tax on people with gardens.

If you back the campaign to axe the Garden Tax please sign up here.

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Shapinsay Road

Start Date and Time : 14 May 2019 07:30 
End Date and Time : 20 May 2019 17:00

Location : Shapinsay Road

Description : The effect of the order, which will operate from 07:30-17:00 daily from 14 May, 2019, to 20 May, 2019, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on Shapinsay Road, Aberdeen, for its entire length.

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.

Access to properties will be maintained when possible.

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during carriageway 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

Aberdonians to get £345 less per head from the Scottish Government than the average council area

From 1st April, Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire councils will be the second and third worst funded local authority areas in Scotland, according to the latest figures produced by the Scottish Parliament’s information centre. 

Per head of population, Aberdeen City Council will receive £345 and Aberdeenshire Council £199 less than the average Scottish local authority next year. Only Edinburgh will receive less from the Scottish Government.

Commenting on the figures, North East Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Rumbles said: “These figures are disgraceful. The Scottish Government is using the North East as a cash cow and that means less money for our schools, roads and local lifeline services.

“It’s no wonder people feel let-down by this SNP Government. Instead of supporting and investing in the North East, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire are two of the worst funded local authorities areas in Scotland.

“Our public and healthcare services have been at the back of the queue for funding for over a decade and there is no recognition of the unique challenges faced by people living in our area. If we ever want to get a fair deal from the Scottish Government, we need a complete rethink about how our local services are funded.”

Aberdeen City Councillor Ian Yuill added: “Year-after-year the SNP government in Edinburgh has badly short-changed people in Aberdeen. This means cuts to vital services which hits some of the most vulnerable in our city.”

Figures below are provided by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) on 20th March 2019

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Croft Road

Start Date and Time : 27 March 2019 07:30 
End Date and Time : 28 March 2019 17:00

Location : Croft Road

Description : In the interests of public safety during works being carried out by Aberdeen City Council

The effect of the order, which will operate from 07:30 on 27 March, 2019, until 17:00 on 28 March, 2019, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on Croft Road, Aberdeen, from the boundary between numbers 1 and 3 Croft Road to its junction with Croft Place, and also on Croft Terrace, Aberdeen, from the boundary between numbers 29 and 31 Croft Terrace to its junction with Croft Road.

There will also be a prohibition of waiting on the same stretches of road, and also on Croft Place, Aberdeen, from its junction with Croft Terrace to a point 10 metres in a northerly direction from 07:30 to 17:00 daily.

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

The existing one-way system on Croft Place, Aberdeen, will be suspended to maintain egress from properties.

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

The Council regrets any inconvenience that may be caused by this temporary measure. 

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

Kingswells Fibre Nears Completion

The roll out of high speed fibre connections began in Kingswells 5 years ago. Despite getting off to a promising start, various obstacles were encountered and, at times, it was less than certain that we would see full coverage of the village.

Local councillor Steve Delaney has been working with Aberdeen City Council, Digital Scotland, BT and Openreach to ensure that the programme was fully delivered.

Steve said, “I’m pleased to announce that Derbeth Grange is now 100% completed. To my knowledge there are only a handful of addresses in Wellside Place and Derbeth Park which are not yet capable of being connected to fibre.

“I fully understand the frustration of these families who are still experiencing prehistoric connection speeds but we are getting there. The final challenges appear to be down to obscure technical issues which have yet to be resolved as all other homes in these streets are already connected.

“Please rest assured I will remain in regular touch with Openreach and will post further updates as final completion nears”.

Changes in Temporary Traffic Order – Brodiach Road

Start Date and Time : 08 April 2019 07:00
End Date and Time : 22 April 2019 18:00

Location : Brodiach Road

Description : The effect of the order, which will operate from 07:00 on 8 April, 2019, until 18:00 on 22 April, 2019, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on Brodiach Road, Aberdeen, between its junction with the A944 Skene Road and the city boundary at Brodiach Burn.

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

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during carriageway 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 the A944 Skene Road, Westhill Drive, and Westhill Road.

Anne Frank awards 2019

What are the Anne Frank Awards?

Anne Frank is representative of millions who suffered the horrific, depraved consequences of prejudice and genocide during the Nazi era. The GREC Anne Frank Awards invites all schools and youth groups throughout Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray to take part in activities to promote equality, Children’s Rights and positive relations between all people.

Examples of activities:

  • Celebration of appropriate events and anniversaries
  • Artwork, Poems, Drama, Movies, Comic Strips, Songs, Short Films or Project/topic work
  • PowerPoint presentations

TheUNSustainable Development Goalsmay also provide inspiration for activities.

Why take part?

Taking part is a great way to demonstrate your school or group’s commitment to equality and human rights, which in turn will cover various experiences and outcomes of the curriculum and may feed into other initiatives like Rights Respecting Schools. All those taking part will:

  • Be invited to the Awards Ceremony in June 2019 (attendance is not a requirement)
  • Be invited to present their work in front of their peers
  • Receive certificates, both for named individuals and school, class or other groups
  • Receive a framed photograph with pupils and the Anne Frank statue.  

“The event was very good and provided a fantastic experience for our pupils as they presented to an audience. The event was valued by our school as it allowed our wider achievement groups to get their messages across on the importance of fairness, equality and tolerance. It encouraged pupil voice and let pupils know their rights are respected and their opinions valued.”

Tom Whyte, Faculty Head, Harlaw Academy

How to take part:

To take part,simply fill in the short form (which can be downloaded from www.grec.co.uk/anne-frankor by using the contact details below) and attach evidence of the work that has been undertaken.  

Closing Date for entries:   Friday 17thMay 2019

Awards Ceremony: Friday 21stJune 2019

For more information and examples of previous entires visit www.grec.co.uk/anne-frankor contact Dave at dblack@grec.co.uk

New Temporary Traffic Order- Brodiach Road

Start Date and Time : 08 April 2019 07:00 
End Date and Time : 18 April 2019 22:00 

Location : Brodiach Road

Description : The effect of the order, which will operate from 07:00 on 8 April, 2019, until 22:00 on 18 April, 2019, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on Brodiach Road, Aberdeen, between its junction with the A944 Skene Road and the city boundary at Brodiach Burn.

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

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during carriageway 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 the A944 Skene Road, Westhill Drive, and Westhill Road. 

Help Fuel The Renewal

Local councillor Steve Delaney said, “Sheddocksley Baptist Church offers activities for all ages within our community with their toddler groups, youth cafe, community nurses, senior citizens’ lunches and much more, including the Fine Peace Cafe, which runs 3 days a week

“If you use their facilities and are able to either make a small donation or undertake a fundraising event to help them enhance their offering to our community, I’m sure they will appreciate your support”.

 

Changes in Temporary Traffic Order – Windford Road

Start Date and Time : 04 February 2019 07:30
End Date and Time : 08 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 8 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.

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Stronsay Drive, Stronsay Place

Start Date and Time : 26 February 2019 09:30
End Date and Time : 26 February 2019 15:30
Location : Stronsay Drive, Stronsay Place

Description : The effect of the order, which will operate from 09:30 until 15:30 on 26 February, 2019, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on Stronsay Drive, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Lang Stracht and Sanday Road, and on Stronsay Place, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Stronsay Drive and Summerhill Drive.

There will also be a prohibition of waiting on Stronsay Drive, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Lang Stracht and Fernilea Crescent, and on Stronsay Place, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Stronsay Drive and Summerhill Drive.

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

An alternative route is available via Lang Stracht, Summerhill Road and King’s Gate.

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during sewer investigation works. Any queries regarding this restriction can be directed to Aberdeen City Council Structures team on 03000 200292, or roadworkscoordination@aberdeencity.gov.uk

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Croft Road

Start Date and Time : 11 March 2019 07:30
End Date and Time : 15 March 2019 17:00

Location : Croft Road

Description : The effect of the order, which will operate from 07:30 on 11 March, 2019, until 17:00 on 15 March, 2019, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on Croft Road, Aberdeen, from the boundary between numbers 1 and 3 Croft Road to its junction with Croft Place, and on Croft Terrace, Aberdeen, from the boundary between numbers 29 and 31 Croft Terrace to its junction with Croft Road.

There will also be a prohibition of waiting on the same stretches of road between 07:30 and 17:00 daily, and also on Croft Place, Aberdeen, from its junction with Croft Terrace to a point 10 metres in a northerly direction. 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 existing one-way system on Croft Place, Aberdeen, will be suspended to maintain egress from properties.

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during carriageway 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 Mastrick Drive, Arnage Drive, Fernhill Drive, and Hillylands Road.

Council Considers Stair Lifts For Sheltered Housing

Aberdeen City Council has agreed to seriously consider installing stair lifts in all sheltered housing blocks with upper floors.

This initiative has come about as a result of a notice of motion by Lib Dem councillor Steve Delaney, following concerns raised with him towards the end of last year.

Steve said, “I raised this matter as a result of an unfortunate set of circumstances whereby a resident came home from hospital only to find she could not access her flat on the upper floor because the lift had broken down the day before.

“Whilst I commend the actions of staff from both the Housing team and Bon Accord Care, for their support and prompt action, the matter was eventually resolved with assistance from the Fire Service, which was less than ideal.

“Other residents with limited mobility on the upper floor of the sheltered complex had to miss out on social events in the building as well as medical appointments until the lift was fixed, but this took no less than five days.

“This is not the first time lifts have been out of order in sheltered blocks, but when someone who was newly discharged from hospital could not access the comfort and privacy of their own home it became clear that action was needed.  It is vital that as a responsible, caring local authority we address this matter in respect of the safety, amenity and dignity of our sheltered housing residents”.

Committee agreed unanimously to instruct officers to bring back information on likely costings for this proposal to the budget meeting on 5 March 2019.

Steve said, “I’m grateful for the recognition all councillors gave to this issue. Also their willingness to move the proposal on to the next stage so it can be properly considered as part of next month’s budget proposals”.

Extended Opening Hours At Park & Ride Waiting Room

With effect from 11/2/19 the waiting room at Kingswells Park & Ride will be opened when the first No 747 service arrives and closed when the last bus departs, seven days a week, making it much more comfortable for passengers waiting for a bus, especially in cold or wet weather.

Local councillor Steve Delaney said, “I first raised this matter some years ago following budget cuts which had left the facility unmanned.

“Temporary solutions were put in place from time to time but some fell by the wayside and most arrangements only covered a few hours a day on weekdays.

“With the introduction of the No 14 service last year I once again approached the council’s Public Transport Unit on this matter and they agreed to try to identify a solution and keep it under review.

“Now that the 747 Airport Service is up and running, Stagecoach has agreed to have their drivers open and close the waiting room at the start and end of each day, seven days a week.

“This is going to make a huge difference to local residents and make it much more appealing to use the bus to get to and from work”.

This arrangement will continue for the foreseeable future unless otherwise advised by the operator.

Need Assistance On Public Transport?

Thistle Assistance Card logo

The Thistle Assistance Card is the size of a credit card and can fit into the wallet of anyone who might need extra help when travelling about on public transport. 

It is supported by all seven Regional Transport Partnerships in Scotland, Transport Scotland, many transport operators and disability groups including RNIB, SATA and Disability Equality Scotland.

The card, and its associated App, are supported by a wide variety of voluntary organisations across Scotland and by most bus, train, tram, ferry and airport operators. It is credit-card sized and comes with a supply of peel-off stickers, which advise the driver or conductor of your disability and the help you need in an easy-to-read format.

The App is downloadable for both Apple and Android enabled devices from Apple App Store and Play Store.

This card has a series of stickers to attach to the card and personalise the information so that it can be shown to the bus driver to make them aware. The stickers illustrate needs such as mobility hearing and sight challenges. There are then further stickers showing that the passenger may need more time to get to their seat or a reminder of when they get to their destination. There is also space on the back of the card for information such as phone number of the family or carer.

If you would like to find out more information about Thistle Assistance Card you can visit the SEStran website, e-mail thistlecard@sestran.gov.uk or call 0131 524 5153.

Wind Farm Cash Available Soon

Photo of Aberdeen Bay windfarmThe company which operates the Aberdeen Bay wind farm is to run a community benefit fund which is open to community groups across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

Vattenfall have committed to annually investing £150,000 to a community benefit scheme for the 20 year lifetime of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre in Aberdeen Bay.

Applications for the Unlock our Future Fund are now open and will run until 15 April 2019. Application forms are available from the fund’s webpage which will go live on that date. It is expected that funding awards will be made in early summer.

Any constituted organisation or community group in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire is eligible to apply.

There are four key priorities of the scheme and each application must demonstrate how it will meet all four. Each application must:

  • Contribute to a climate smarter world with sustainability at its core
  • Invest in community facilities and/or activities that are fit for the future
  • Be innovative
  • Ensure a legacy and lasting impact which clearly brings benefit to the local community

An independent community champions panel will select the successful applications. Foundation Scotland will administer the fund.

Applying For School Places

The method of applying for school places in Aberdeen has changed – it now needs to be done online.

Applications can only be submitted by parents, guardians or, if they are over 16 years old, the young person themselves.

If you want your child to start school in August 2019 the application must be made by Friday 15th March.

You can find out more and apply online here.

Stagecoach Launches AWPR Services

Stagecoach have launched two new services which offer half hourly connections to Aberdeen Airport from Kingswells Park & Ride 7 days a week.

The 747 and 757 serve a number of locations on the AWPR including Montrose, Stonehaven, Kingswells Park & Ride and Ellon.

Service 747 offers a new link across Aberdeenshire and Angus. The new service will replace services 107 and current 747 and operates hourly throughout most of the day between Montrose and Ellon using the AWPR.

The service will operate from Montrose to Stonehaven before serving Kingswells Park & Ride and Aberdeen Airport. The service will then continue to Ellon and some journeys extend to Cruden Bay and Peterhead.

Service 757 provides a direct link to the airport from Portlethen and Newtonhill. The 757 service operates hourly throughout most of the day, 7 days a week, and will also stop at Kingswells Park & Ride.

Kingswells Park and Ride will benefit from both of the new bus services and, as a result, journeys from the popular Park & 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.

A discounted ticket is currently available on the 747 and 757 to celebrate the start of the new services. Customers will be able to travel all day on either service for £6 when they buy their ticket on the Stagecoach mobile app.

This ticket is valid on the full route for services 747/757 from Peterhead to Montrose and offers customers over 60% saving.

For the shorter journeys such as Kingswells Park and Ride to Aberdeen Airport daily travel is available for £3.70.

Local councillor Steve Delaney, who attended the launch event earlier this week at Aberdeen Airport, said, “I must commend Stagecoach for this initiative which clearly demonstrates that the bus can offer a fast, reliable, cost effective alternative means of transport.

“The new route incorporates also stops at Bristows Heliport and Kirkhill Industial Estate at peak times, making it much easier for people to get to and from work quickly instead of having to make a lengthy and tortuous journey on two buses.

“It also opens up the opportunity for a day out in Stonehaven, Montrose, Ellon or Cruden Bay from Kingswells Park & Ride with buses leaving every hour.

“Last but not least is the 30 minute airport service which offers people living in Kingswells and indeed the wider area, the opportunity to leave their car at the Park & Ride and hop on a bus to the airport”.

Timetables for service 747 and 757 are now available to download at stagecoachbus.com. 

Printed copies will soon be available to pick up in Aberdeen bus station, Kingswells P&R, Ellon P&R, Peterhead Interchange and Aberdeen Airport.

Plastic Roads Update


Aberdeen City Council has agreed to keep current developments on plastic roads firmly on its radar. This was agreed unanimously at the Operational Delivery Committee in response to Lib Dem Councillor Steve Delaney’s Notice of Motion.

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 show any significant signs of wear or tear.

Since then technology has moved on and roads with plastic content have been in more common use in Australia and the USA for a number of years where they 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.

A new proprietary product has been developed by a UK based company which promises much by way of longer lasting roads, but also taking into account environmental concerns. The process involves replacing bitumen in the asphalt mix with plastic pellets. Very little plastic is used but the result is a stronger, longer lasting road surface which is reputed to be less susceptible to potholes.

A number of trials of this product have already been undertaken with more to come. Dumfries & Galloway, Cumbria & Enfield councils have all carried out trials and Fife Council are said to be looking to trial this product. It has recently been used to resurface a major junction on the A6 and a section of the A7.

Steve said, “With ongoing financial challenges and the poor state of many of our roads, we really need to be open minded to products which may help reduce our costs and keep our roads in a much better condition for much longer.

“The use of new emerging technology is absolutely essential to the future growth and prosperity of the city but I’m sure everyone would agree we must first satisfy ourselves that the product is safe, environmentally friendly and offers the cost savings and durability promised.

“Clearly we need to recognise that we don’t have India’s climate nor indeed Australia’s, with potholes continuing to be a major issue on all our roads and the lifespan of of these roads being much less than in some other parts of the world. So it is essential that we satisfy ourselves that this product will deliver what it promises in in our colder climate”.

The committee agreed to continue to monitor trials of the product elsewhere in the UK and to gather more evidence relating to the durability, longevity and environmental credentials of this product. A further report will come back to committee when there is sufficient evidence to take an informed decision on the possible use of this product.

Steve added, “I truly believe this technology and products derived from it could represent a revolutionary breakthrough for the road construction industry and I was pleased to see the willingness of all councillors to embrace it as long as it proves to be an effective solution for the challenges we face maintaining our roads in Aberdeen”.

New Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Lang Stracht

Start Date and Time : 12 February 2019 07:30
End Date and Time : 15 February 2019 17:00

Location : Lang Stracht

Description : The effect of the order is to impose temporary restrictions as per the schedule below;

From 07:30 on 12 February, 2019, until 17:00 on 15 February, 2019 there will be a prohibition of driving on Lang Stracht, Aberdeen, on the access to the inset road east of lighting pole number 108.

The measures are necessary to protect public safety during carriageway patching 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 for egress will be available via the construction site to Maidencraig Way.

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”