Consultation on Eday Crescent Play Area Refurbishment

EdayAberdeen City council is holding a public consultation event for the refurbishment of the Eday Crescent play area.

This will be held from 12.30-15.00 on Tuesday 6th September at Mastrick Library. The different options for the play area refurbishments will be available to view.

A council officer will be on hand to answer questions and note opinions from members of the public who wish to comment.

Further consultation on all of these sites will take place in the local primary schools where some of the real experts in play areas will have a chance to make their views known.

Access To Properties During Kingswood Drive Resurfacing

diggingSome concerns have been raised by local residents regarding access to their homes during the resurfacing of Kingswood Drive between Broaddykes Drive and Coldstone Avenue from 3rd to 5th September. There should have been a letter drop (from the Council) to all affected residents but this does not appear to have happened.

There will be some minor hold ups as the work is carried out but residents and emergency vehicles will always have access to their residence in Coldstone Avenue. There may times when at key points of the operation there will be slightly longer delays but these will be at a minimum while the work is at or near the junction.

Broaddykes Drive will be closed to vehicular traffic at its north-most entrance though access from the other entrances to the Broaddykes/Huxterstone area will not be effected during these works. Traffic management signs will be put in place to help guide drivers until the work is carried out.

Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – C89C Chapel of Stoneywood to Fairley Road

diggingAberdeen City Council has made the above-named order in terms of its powers under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. The effect of the order, which will operate from 20:00 on the Friday evening until 06:00 on the Monday morning on weekends beginning 16, 23, 30 September, and 7 October, 2016, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on the C89C Chapel of Stoneywood-Fairley Road, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Kingswells Crescent and the C88C Newhills Road. Access to properties will be maintained, but no through traffic will be possible. The measure is necessary to protect public safety during AWPR works.
Alternate Route : An alternative route is available via the A944 Skene Road, Lang Stracht-Green Hedges, and A944 Lang Stracht, the A90 North Anderson Drive, the A96 Great Northern Road, Auchmill Road, and Inverurie Road.

Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – C89C Chapel of Stoneywood to Fairley Road

diggingAberdeen City Council has made the above-named order in terms of its powers under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. The effect of the order, which will operate from 00:00 on 8 September, 2016, until 18:00 on 7 March, 2017, is to impose a temporary 40mph speed restriction on the C89C Chapel of Stoneywood-Fairley Road, Aberdeen, between its junctions with the C88C Newhills Road and Kingswells Crescent. There will also be a prohibition of right turn manoeuvres at the junction with the C89C Chapel of Stoneywood-Fairley Road on to the two new access roads approximately 75 metres north east of Dykeside Steading. The measures are necessary to protect public safety during the movement of construction vehicles associated with the AWPR

Changes in Temporary Traffic Order – C89C Chapel of Stoneywood-Fairley Road

diggingABERDEEN CITY COUNCIL HEREBY GIVES NOTICE UNDER THE ROAD TRAFFIC ACT 1984 OF TEMPORARY RESTRICTION OF TRAFFIC In the interests of public safety at the access to and egress from Circus Vegas From 09:00 on 17 August, 2016, until 23:00 on 28 August, 2016, there will be a temporary 40mph speed restriction on the C89C Chapel of Stoneywood-Fairley Road, Aberdeen, from its southern junction with Kingswood Drive to a point 500m north of its southern junction with Kingswood Drive. There will be a temporary 30mph speed restriction on the C89C Chapel of Stoneywood-Fairley Road, Aberdeen, from a point 500m north of its southern junction with Kingswood Drive to a point 200m south of its northern junction with Kingswood Drive. There will be a temporary 40mph speed restriction on the C89C Chapel of Stoneywood-Fairley Road, Aberdeen, from a point 200m south of its northern junction with Kingswood Drive to its junction with Kingswells Crescent. THE COUNCIL REGRETS ANY INCONVENIENCE THAT MAY BE CAUSED BY THIS TEMPORARY MEASURE, WHICH IS IN THE INTEREST OF PUBLIC SAFETY.

Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – Lewis Road, Derbeth Crescent, Colonsay Crescent

diggingAberdeen City Council has made the above-named order in terms of its powers under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. The effect of the order, which will operate from 09:00 until 16:00 on 29 August, 2016, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on Derbeth Crescent, Aberdeen, between its junction with Lewis Road and a point 10 metres in a westerly direction. There will also be a prohibition of waiting on either side of Lewis Road, Aberdeen, between a point 20 metres south of its junction with Colonsay Crescent to a point 55 metres north of its junction with Derbeth Crescent, and also on either side of Colonsay Crescent, Aberdeen, between its junction with Lewis Road and the boundary between numbers 1 and 2 Colonsay Crescent. The measures are necessary to protect public safety during ironwork repairs being carried out by Scottish Water.

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

Temporary Traffic Order Imposed – C93C Borrowstone Road

diggingAberdeen City Council has made the above-named order in terms of its powers under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. The effect of the order, which will operate from 18:30 on 19 August, 2016, until 06:00 on 22 August, 2016, and from 18:30 on 26 August, 2016, until 06:00 on 29 August, 2016, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on the C93C Borrowstone Road, Aberdeen, between Westholme and East Kingsford Cottage. Access to properties will be maintained, but no through traffic will be possible. The measure is necessary to protect public safety during works associated with the AWPR.

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

Temporary Traffic Order – AWPR 28 C89C

diggingAberdeen City Council has made the above-named order in terms of its powers under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. The effect of the order, which will operate from 20:00 on the Friday evening until 06:00 on the Monday morning on weekends beginning 19, 26 August, and 2 September, 2016, is to impose a temporary prohibition of driving on the C89C Chapel of Stoneywood-Fairley Road, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Kingswells Crescent and the C88C Newhills Road. Access to properties will be maintained, but no through traffic will be possible. The measure is necessary to protect public safety during AWPR works.

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

Missed Opportunity for Broad Street

Artist-impression-of-Marischal-SAberdeen City Council has taken the decision to remove cars from Broad Street, whilst maintaining it as a through route for buses.

A Liberal Democrat amendment to fully pedestrianise the area was defeated by Labour, SNP, Conservative and Independent councillors. Instead they favoured “part-pedestrianisation”, with buses sharing the space with pedestrians.

Liberal Democrats went to lengths to point out that there is no such thing as “part-pedestrianisation”, it’s either pedestrianised or it’s not!

Kingswells, Sheddocksley, Summerhill councillor Steve Delaney said he would prefer to see the buses off Broad Street to make best use of the open space.

He also raised safety concerns about the use of shared surfaces, referring to the time when buses were permitted in the area of George Street in front of what’s now John Lewis. He spoke of pedestrians being lured into a false sense of security, only for a bus to come belting round the corner.

With regard to the public consultation exercise, Steve said, “I was concerned to see the consultation merely asked people’s views on the pros and cons of the three options. It did not even ask people to express a preferences. I would have liked to have known what the public thought before taking this decision, but sadly that was a missed opportunity. If nothing else I felt it was disrespectful to those who attended the events”.

Roadworks In Kingswells

diggingThe Old Lang Stracht bus route will be closed from 26th June to 3rd July inclusive. This is necessary to allow resurfacing to be carried out from the junction with Fairley Road to a point 200 metres eastwards. The X40 and X18 buses will be diverted along Fairley Road to the Kingswells roundabout then onto the A944 to the Green Hedges roundabout and onto the Lang Stracht during these works.

Local councillor Steve Delaney said, “This road is in a terrible state and I’m delighted to see these works are finally happening. It’s just a pity we’re only looking at a 200m section being resurfaced rather than its whole length, but it’s welcome nonetheless”.

Bus Route Diversion in Sheddocksley

As a result of resurfacing works in Arran Avenue between Benbecula Road and Skye Road, the No 23 bus will be diverted. The roadworks are due to run from 16th – 20th May inclusive.

Access to homes in Benbecula Road, Uist Road, Taransay Road, Lismore Gardens and Berneray Place will be maintained from 16th – 18th May, but there could be delays between 8am and 5pm.

On 19th and 20th May access will not be possible between 8am and 5pm when the road is being laid, until the surface has set. There will be no bus service on Lewis Road from Stornaway Crescent to Skye Road.

Additional bus stop will be in place on Lewis Road along the diverted route. Details as follows:-

Start date and time 16 May 06:00
End date and time 24 May 24:00

Service 23 when heading to Sheddocksley terminus
Normal service round Lewis Road to Sumburgh Crescent then:
• left into Sumburgh Crescent
• continue along Sumburgh Crescent
• right into Lewis Road
• continue along Lewis Road (using all temp stops)
• left onto the Lang Stracht (spend any layover time at the last temp stop on Lewis Road)

Buses

More Roads Misery for Kingswells

A944_2_sThe first phase of the Countesswells development is about to begin and associated roadworks have already started. This is a development of about 3,000 homes phased over 10-15 years on the south side of the A944 between the Sheddocksley roundabout and the Kingswells roundabout.

In advance of the first houses being built, public utilities (electricity, gas, water mains, plumbing, sewerage, telecoms etc) need to be taken from Kingswood Drive (near its junction with Fairley Road) across the A944 and over to the Cults road. In other words we are talking about months of disruption for Kingswells residents once again”.

“These works will result in road closures, diversions or other traffic management measures on Kirk Brae, Cults, C128C Cults to Kingswells, Countesswells Road, Kingswood Drive and the A944 Aberdeen to Alford carriageway.

In order to minimise the time taken to complete the works, construction teams will operate up to 12 hours a day Monday to Saturday with the possibility of Sunday working. Liberal Democrat councillor Steve Delaney has asked that extended hours not be worked on Kingswood Drive in order to offer some respite to residents in adjoining streets.

The first two phases of eleven are being conducted at the Countesswells Road end of the site with phase three being the Cults to Kingswells road (south end). The A944 works, Kingswells roundabout, Kingswells to Cults road (north end) and Kingswood Drive are affected during phases six to nine”.

“Access to Kingswells will be preserved at all times, though there will be lane closures on the A944 in the vicinity of the Kingswells roundabout and on the C89C Newhills road.

Roadworks are scheduled on Kingswood Drive between 18th July and 19th August during which time a one way system will operate from a point just northwards of its junction with Fairley Road to its junction with the C89C Newhills road.

Steve Delaney said, “It appears that public utility works have the right to carry out major works such as these as long as appropriate traffic management proposals are put in place. The fact these works will have a negative impact on Kingswells whilst offering no benefit to the area, does not seem to feature. No sooner have the dug up our roads and they’re back to dig them up again!”

“I asked for the Kingswood Drive works to be undertaken during the school holidays when there’s less traffic on the roads and this has been confirmed. I also asked for the extended working hours to be avoided in residential areas and this is being considered”.

“These are small but significant concessions. Unfortunately there will still be significant delays getting in and out of Kingswells via the A944 and the closure of the Cults road and there’s no getting around that”.

Removal Of “No Ball Games” Signs

_85113988_noballgamesAberdeen City Council has taken the decision to remove signage banning ball games across the city. All current signage is destined to be removed within the next 12 months and no new signs will be erected.

The decision was taken on the basis that these signs have no legal force, therefore no action can be taken against anyone who ignores the signs. In addition, it was also accepted that outdoor play should be supported and encouraged to foster team building and help tackle childhood obesity.

Lib Dem Group Leader Ian Yuill, supported by local councillor Steve Delaney had asked for a report back in six months identifying areas which are unsuitable for ball games with recommendations on how to manage these locations. In addition, the Lib Dems asked the committee to undertake an information campaign aimed both at those playing ball games and local residents, outlining what constitutes appropriate use of open space and ball play”.

Steve said, “Whilst supporting the sentiment of this proposal, I believe some basic safeguards should be put in place to reassure those who are subjected to unreasonable or ongoing anti-social behaviour. Those playing ball games need to respect local residents and their property. Anti-social behaviour and damage to property remain totally unacceptable and this decision must not be regarded as a free for all”

“Putting in place green space management for areas where it would be inappropriate to play with balls just makes sense. Similarly, an information campaign to outline what is acceptable and what is not, would have helped balance rights with responsibility and made it clear who to contact in respect of ongoing instances of unacceptable behaviour.

Disappointingly Labour, Conservative, SNP and Independent councillors took the decision to remove the signage without taking on board the Lib Dem proposals.

Potholes Report in January

Local councillor Steve Delaney called for a report on pothole repairs at the Communities, Housing & Infrastructure Committee on 27th August 2015.

Steve said, “I note one of the poorest customer ratings has gone to roads maintenance. A couple of years ago we were trialling a number of different approaches to pothole repairs, but I’ve heard no more on the outcome of these trials”.

“Two years on, many repairs are still of poor quality. Furthermore, repairs are being undertaken to areas which meet the set criteria only and adjoining defects which do not fit this criteria are being left. The result is that these areas soon afterwards meet the criteria and repeat visits are needed. I struggle to see how this can be cost effective”.

Steve requested a report to a future committee outlining the current criteria for road repairs, detailing the repair processes for repairing potholes and outlining any possible improvements which could be introduced”.

It was agreed this report will be considered by committee in January 2016.

New Heating System for Regensburg Court

Steve at RegensburgAberdeen City Council set up Aberdeen Heat & Power in 2002 to deliver combined heat and power solutions for hard to heat multi-storeys. The city now has a network of buildings linked directly to their combined heat and power infrastructure, complimented with several stand alone district heating systems. Where possible the Council also seeks to link public buildings into the CHP “grid” as larger scale initiatives are more economic to operate.

Three years ago local councillor Steve Delaney asked the Council to look at the inclusion of Regensburg Court in any future rollout. At that time the programme was fully committed to works elsewhere, though it was agreed this proposal would be given serious consideration. He also asked if Kingsford School could be included to improve the potential viability of any such a scheme.

On 27th August 2015 the Communities, Housing & Infrastructure Committee approved the inclusion of a district heating (stand alone) system for Regensburg Court in the next investment phase during 2016/2017. They are also looking at the feasibility of extending the initiative to include Kingsford School, as was initially requested. At committee, Steve also asked for the viability of connecting this new scheme to the existing district heating system at Mastrick Land with a view to eventually connecting directly into the combined heat and power “grid” at a future date. It was agreed this will be looked at further.

Steve said, “Combined heat and power along with district heating lifts tenants in hard to heat properties out of fuel poverty and assists us in meeting our carbon reduction targets. This will make a huge difference to heating bills at Regensburg Court. It’s been a long time coming, but I’m absolutely delighted and I know tenants will be too”.

Countesswells Update

CountesswellsAs a result of a failure of the members of the Countesswells Consortium to sign an agreement legally binding them to deliver the schools, roads and other infrastructure, the Planning Application came back to Council.

This application refer to land to the south of the A944 between the roundabout at the end of Lang Stracht to the Kingswells roundabout, where 3000 homes and associated facilities are destined to be built.

Local councillor Steve Delaney said, “When we first considered this last year, I was happy enough with the proposals within the site boundary but voted against the application due to the absence of any detailed traffic mitigation proposals. I considered this to be an unsafe position then, and it has become more so over time. It’s some 10 months later and we still don’t know whether or not sufficient measures will be put in place to address this legitimate concern”.

The proposal before councillors had advocated the signing of separate agreements with the different developers.

Comment in on this, Steve said, “If we proceed, there is a real risk that contributions do not all line up as expected as a result of any disputes or disagreements between developers. A “best case negotiated settlement” may not necessarily represent the level of contribution which is needed to address either the required education or roads requirements, or indeed both”.

Steve voted to refuse the application on the basis that the current roads infrastructure could not cope with the increased traffic and no details of traffic mitigation had been put forward. When that was defeated he supported the previous Council decision to progress the development but only following the signing of the said legal agreement jointly by all three developers. This proposal eventually won the day.

He said, “It’s not up to the Council to sort out falling outs between developers. They either agree to take joint responsibility for delivering the roads and schools needed to support this development or they don’t build”.

Sheddocksley Roadworks

diggingA number of roadworks are soon to commence in the Sheddocksley area. There will be a prohibition on driving and parking in order to ensure public safety during gas mains replacement works.

These works will be carried out in a phased manner. No phase will commence until such times as the phase before it has been completed, so dates given are subject to alteration.

Phase 1, Sheddocksley Road, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Bellfield Road and Kingsford Road, from 07:30 on 24 August, 2015, until 24:00 on 11 September, 2015.

Phase 2, Sheddocksley Road, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Kingsford Road and Auchlea Road, from 07:30 on 31 August, 2015, until 24:00 on 25 September, 2015.

Phase 3, Sheddocksley Road, Aberdeen, between its junction with Auchlea Road and and its southern junction with Windford Square, from 07:30 on 7 September, 2015, until 24:00 on 9 October, 2015.

Phase 4, Sheddocksley Road, Aberdeen, between its junction with Windford Road and its southern junction with Sheddocksley Drive. Sheddocksley Drive, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Borrowstone Place and Sheddocksley Road. Borrowstone Place, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Sheddocksley Drive and Derbeth Crescent, from 07:30 on 14 September, 2015, until 24:00 on 23 October, 2015.

Phase 5, Derbeth Crescent, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Borrowstone Place and number 20 Derbeth Crescent, from 07:30 on 21 September, 2015, until 24:00 on 6 November, 2015.

Please contact Scottish Gas Network or the Roadworks Coordinator at Aberdeen City Council for more details.

Lib Dem Budget Supported Education, Infrastructure & Local Communities

Town HouseOn 5th February 2015 Aberdeen City Council passed its General Fund and Common Good Budgets for 2015/16. This essentially covers everything except Council housing, which was dealt with in December.

All Parties were agreed on over 99% of the £455 million expenditure on essential services, with the different groups proposing alternative spending priorities for the remainder. The Liberal Democrats prioritised education, roads resurfacing, potholes, street lighting and the gritting/clearing of roads and pavements in winter.

The Lib Dem proposals on Education, which were rejected by Labour, SNP, Conservative and Independent councillors offered additional funding to every school in the city based upon their school roll. It was for head teachers to use this where they saw the greatest need.

Local councillor Steve Delaney said, “Had this proposal been accepted, it would have resulted in an addition £12,807 going to our primary schools, consisting of £4,384 for Kingswells, £2,995 for Kingsford, £2,762 for Fernielea and £2,706 for Muirfield. Secondary education was not forgotten either with an additional £6,689 earmarked for Hazlehead and £4,472 for Bucksburn. At just £200,000 for the whole city, this represented an affordable investment in our children’s future”.

The Liberal Democrats, acknowledging the Council’s inability to keep our roads and pavements clear of snow and (more importantly) ice during a fairly mild winter, also put forward proposals to help address the deficiency. They proposed additional staff and equipment to grit an extra 12.5 miles of pavements AND 12.5 miles of side roads/cul-de-sacs on a “normal” snowy day. During the rest of the year these staff would be deployed to undertake an additional 6,000 road surface treatments/pothole repairs. This was a fully costed proposal which was affordable to the Council, but rejected by Labour, SNP, Conservative and Independent councillors.

As in previous years the Lib Dem Group proposed an additional £2 million expenditure in our crumbling infrastructure. This would have delivered an additional 5.5 miles of road resurfacing, or 5.5 miles of pavement resurfacing or 1,333 lighting columns or a combination of these to best meet priorities within our communities.

Steve Delaney said,”I was advised by officials a couple of years ago that £20 million of investment is needed per year for the next 10 years to bring our infrastructure up to scratch. Aberdeen’s Labour led Council spends about 20% of what’s needed each year, allowing our roads and pavements to further deteriorate with little hope of being resurfaced in the short term. Sadly this is not a priority for them”.

The Liberal Democrats also put forward proposals to set aside £250,000 from the Common Good Fund to make awards of up to £15,000 to local organisations to support projects which would deliver long term benefit to communities. In fairness, many councillors, cross-Party saw merit in this approach but other than the Lib Dem members, none were willing to support them when it came to the vote.

Lib Dems Call For 20mph Speed Limit In Aberdeen

IMG_0169-0.JPG Democrat councillor Ian Yuill is asking Aberdeen City Council to look at the “feasibility, desirability and implications” of introducing 20mph speed limits on many more Aberdeen Roads.

Ian Yuill’s move came after the City of Edinburgh Council agreed to introduce 20mph speed limits across much of Scotland’s capital.

Ian Yuill said “I want the council to find out what Aberdeen’s residents, communities and businesses think of introducing 20mph speed limits across much more of Aberdeen. Other cities have introduced widespread 20mph limits but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily right for Aberdeen. I do think though that it is worth investigating.”

“Many residential roads in Aberdeen already have 20mph limits or are ‘20s Plenty’ zones. People living in other areas regularly ask for reduced speed limits or traffic calming on roads to improve pedestrian and road safety. It may make more sense to look at a more widespread 20mph scheme rather than continue a piecemeal approach.

“Clearly, if a 20mph scheme was ultimately introduced in Aberdeen, it would not apply to every single road in our city. As has been the case in other cities introducing widespread 20mph speed limits, major roads in Aberdeen would continue to have a 30mph or 40mph speed limit. ”

Countesswells Development Approved

CountesswellsAt its meeting on 8th October 2010 Aberdeen City Council approved the Countesswells Development. The proposal will see over 3,000 new homes to the south side of the A944 between the roundabout at the end of the Lang Stracht (where it meets the A944) and the Kingswells roundabout. For avoidance of doubt, the proposals refers to the large orange blob in the centre of the above map.

Local councillor Steve Delaney spoke in the debate. He expressed no specific concerns over the development within its own boundaries and said that much thought had gone into the layout, open space and town centre. His primary concerns related to the traffic impact arising from the development.

The junction with the Lang Stracht is to receive a major upgrade which will address current pinch point and increase capacity and throughput but Steve’s concern related to the funnel effect as most of this additional traffic would head down the Lang Stracht, which is ill-equipped to cope.

He said, “This proposal is aimed at getting the traffic out of Countesswells, but it fails to adequately address capacity issues elsewhere on the network. The Lang Stracht is already nose to tail during the morning peak. Unless we take drastic action, such a dualing the Lang Stracht, we will see residents in Summerhill and Sheddocksley struggle to get to work”.

The developer’s own figures suggest 82% of peak time movements will be northwards and the bulk will go down Lang Stracht as it’s the easiest and most direct connection, with some traffic also heading down the B1119 Hazlehead road leading to Queens Road. Steve described the peak time traffic from 3000 new homes as “significant” and in addition to the 750 homes planned for Maidencraig and phases 2-4 of Prime Four.

Steve continued, “Only junction improvements being considered for the Lang Stracht. I was filled with horror to read about “potential contributions” towards mitigation on Lang Stracht. Why only potential?”

“This is not sustainable development. Key infrastructure requirements are being ignored as is so often the case. Are we to gridlock whole communities in the name of progress or does Aberdeen deserve better?”

Council Dismisses Traffic Concerns

CountesswellsAberdeen City Council today agreed to progress the Countesswells Masterplan following a period of public consultation but without any further changes to address concerns raised during that consultation.

The proposal will see over 3,000 new homes to the south side of the A944 between the roundabout at the end of the Lang Stracht (where it meets the A944) and the Kingswells roundabout. For avoidance of doubt, the proposals refers to the large orange blob in the centre of the above map.

It is proposed that the roundabout at the end of the Lang Stracht will be removed and the road widened at the junction to eliminate the pinch point turning towards Hazlehead. No other road improvements are proposed. It is intended that this new road from the development which feeds directly into the Lang Stracht will form the main route in and out of this new development.

Kingswells/Sheddocksley/Summerhill councillor Steve Delaney expressed a number of concerns at Committee regarding traffic impact from this development, the bulk of which will be funnelled down the Lang Stracht, referring to the need to dual the Lang Stracht in order to avoid gridlock.

He said, “We need to look at the cumulative impact of traffic generated from future phases of Prime Four, the Maidencraig development and Countesswells and I’m convinced that the Lang Stracht cannot cope with this additional traffic”.

“Sufficient land has been reserved in the Maidencraig Masterplan to allow for dualling and I’d like to see developer contributions secured at this point to ensure that this work can progress”.

The Liberal Democrat proposal sought to defer approval of the Masterplan pending firm proposals on traffic mitigation. Labour, SNP and Independent councillors did not feel that such measures were required and voted through the Masterplan with no changes.

Camping Bye Law Update

caravansKingswells/Sheddocksley/Summerhill councillor Steve Delaney welcomed the Council’s decision to progress work on the proposed bye-law designed to prevent camping in designated areas.

The areas specified in the propsals include Kingswells Park & Ride, Hazlehead Park, Lochinch Park, Westburn Park, Duthie Park, Stewart Park, Seaton Park, Calder Park, Bay of Nigg, Riverview Drive, Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre, Queens Links, Kings Links, Aulton Playing Fields, Alan Douglas Park, Eric Hendrie Park and Westfield Park.

The report to Council highlighted over £70,000 spent on cleaning up sites and other associated costs during 2013. The aim of the bye-law is to make it a criminal offence to camp in these areas overnight with the hope that this reduces both the the damage and the clean up costs associated with unauthorised encampments.

Steve said, “I have no issue with the right of travellers to follow their chosen lifestyle, but with rights come responsibilities. I fully accept it would be unfair to tar all travellers with the same brush as not all travellers are leaving a mess behind them, but a number are, and it is this irresponsible behaviour which needs to be addressed.”

“What we need is for the Scottish Government to level the playing field and impose the responsibilities which accompany the rights afforded to the travelling community. Otherwise perhaps the Scottish Government should be picking up the costs of the clean up instead of imposing it on local authorities and private land owners.”

“This bye law will go some way towards minimising the ongoing damage caused to sensitive areas in the city and I fail to see how anyone could responsibly resist its progression.”

The Council agreed to progress the proposed bye law and agreed to write to the Lord Advocate asking him to look at the guidelines issued to Procurators Fiscal relating to unauthorised encampments and the current presumption against prosecution.

SNP councillors opposed the progressing of the bye law. The final decision now rests with the Scottish Government.

Labour, Tories & SNP Block Lib Dem Proposal For £2.5 Million on Roads Investment

pothole1Aberdeen’s Liberal Democrat councillors today called for the City Council to invest an extra £2.5 million in repairing the city’s crumbling roads and pavements.

The move came at the 6 May meeting of the council’s Finance, Policy and Resources Committee after the council’s Head of Finance reported that the council had a surplus of £5.9 million at the end of March.

Ian Yuill, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Aberdeen City Council, said “Thanks to hard work and prudent management by council staff, the council had a surplus of £5.9 million at the end of March 2014. The Liberal Democrats believe £2.5 million of that should be invested in making long-term repairs to Aberdeen’s crumbling roads and pavements. We believe the balance of the surplus should be used to repay some of the council’s long-term ‘capital’ debt.

Local councillor Steve Delaney said, “Whilst I welcome the £0.5 Million additional investment which was agreed, our proposals would have added a further £2 Million, more than doubling this year’s inadequate budgetary provision for roads and pavements.”

“The extra £2 Million was certainly affordable. It was completely irresponsible of Labour, Conservative and SNP councillors to sit back and watch Aberdeen’s roads and pavements continue to crumble, given that they had the money to make a difference and they chose not to use it.”

Delaney Calls on Castlegate Re-opening To Ease Congestion

Castlegate1940sKingswells/Sheddocksley/Summerhill councillor Steve Delaney has called for the Council to look into the possible benefits of re-opening the Castlegate to through traffic in order to support the pedestrianisation of Broad Street (from Queen Street to Upperkirkgate).

Steve raised this at a meeting of Aberdeen City Council on 5th March, along with a request for discussions to be opened with the developers of Marischal Square on substantially improving the views of Provost Skene’s House from Broad Street. In an otherwise tense meeting, both proposals were unanimously agreed with councillors calling for a further report to come back to a future meeting.

Steve said, “I’m very much in favour of full pedestrianisation of Broad Street to complement a new civic square, but not at any cost. We need to ensure that robust traffic management is in place and capable of handling any displacement of traffic resulting from these proposals, otherwise we’ll create gridlock in our city centre.”

“In order to ensure we get this right I’d like to see all options explored and that includes the re-opening of the Castlegate to through traffic. At present it’s a huge unused space and the current surface makes it very inaccessible, especially for people with disabilities. We need to model in the effect such a re-opening would make to the traffic impact in and around the city centre to establish whether or not this would help support the pedestrianisation plans”

Council Budget 2014/15

BudgetAberdeen City Council held its annual Budget meeting on 6th February 2014. The Priority Based Budgeting introduced when the Liberal Democrats were running the city has led to increased stability and improved strategic planning of the city’s finances. In excess of 90% of the proposals were common to all parties with an element of expenditure available for allocation to specific priorities. It was for each grouping to prioritise how this amount was spent.

The Liberal Democrats, as part of their balanced budget proposals, urged additional investment in education and repairing Aberdeen’s crumbling roads and pavements.

Liberal Democrat proposals would have seen £300,000 of Common Good funds spent enhancing Hazlehead Park and the area around it during 2014/15. Kingswells/Sheddocksley/Summerhill councillor Steve Delaney said, “Hazlehead Park is in need of some serious investment and £300,000 could have done much to upgrade this much loved park. Had the Council supported our proposals this would have seen major revamps of the Queen Mother Rose Garden and the poor quality roads around the park”.

The Liberal Democrats also proposed investing £125,000 for replacement or refurbishment of our childrens’ play parks. Although some improvements have been made, investing an additional £125,000 in play parks would have made a real difference by helping to refurbish and improve play parks across Aberdeen.

Turning towards education, Steve said “We believe investing in our children’s education is vital so we proposed giving an extra £100,000 to schools to buy additional books and equipment. That would have made a real difference to every school in the city. Sadly Labour and their Conservative sidekicks rejected this extra investment in Aberdeen’s children’s future.”

The Liberal Democrats also proposed investing a home safety initiative to help address carbon monoxide poisoning, which is still, sadly, responsible for a number of deaths each year. Commenting on this initiative, Steve said, “Investing £50,000 in this would have allowed the council to work with the Fire and Rescue Service and provide thousands of homes across Aberdeen with Carbon Monoxide detectors. This relatively modest amount of money would have made people across Aberdeen feel safer and quite possibly have saved lives.”

The most significant proposal from the Liberal Democrat Group was to nearly double investment in roads and pavements during 2014/15. Currently Aberdeen City Council has a budget of £2.2 million per annum for this which is clearly insufficient. Had these proposals been accepted, this would have resulted in a total of almost £22 million over the next five years being spent on repairing roads and pavements in Aberdeen

Steve Delaney said “Too many of our city’s roads and pavements are crumbling. What the council must do is invest more in the permanent repair and resurfacing of roads and pavements to bring them back to an acceptable standard. In the long-run that will reduce the cost of jet-patching and other less permanent repairs.”

“Sadly Aberdeen’s Labour and Conservative councillors rejected our carefully costed proposal to invest nearly £22 million in road and pavement repairs over the next five years.”

The Liberal Democrats also proposed abolishing “on street” Sunday parking charges and ending both on and off street parking charges on other days at 6.30pm, rather than the current 8pm.

Steve said, “The Liberal Democrats believe ending on street parking charges on Sunday and making on and off street parking free after 6.30pm would help bring more people back into our city centre on Sundays and weekday evenings. The council should be encouraging people to come into the city centre and not making it more expensive for people.”

As part of their revenue and capital budget proposals the Liberal Democrats also proposed investing:

– £50,000 in installing additional bus shelters

– £50,000 to fund a flood guard grant scheme to help households threatened by flood

– £50,000 in small scale environmental initiatives, providing dog waste bins and warning signs

Kingswells/Sheddocksley/Summerhill councillor Steve Delaney said,”Despite the rejection of this by Labour and Conservative councillors today we will continue to campaign for greater investment in our children’s future, action to repair our crumbling roads and pavements and more effort to improve Aberdeen’s environment.”

Kingswells Roundabout Confusion

A944_1Kingswells residents have certainly not been lost for words in recent weeks when it came to the road markings at the new roundabout on the A944! Although the road signs make sense, the road markings do not!

Carriageway marking leading up to the new Kingswells roundabout from all directions are unbelievably daft!  When approaching the roundabout from Kingswells road markings suggest you go straight on to Alford when you should turn right!  People who are new to the area will go straight on and not right, ending up at Cults.
 
The same if true coming from the city centre.  You turn right to Kingswells and not straight on as per road markings, otherwise you’d end up in Westhill! 

If coming from Westhill, you turn right to Cults and not straight on as per road markings, otherwise you’ll end up at Hazlehead.
 
Also, when coming from the city centre there’s a small section of hatched lines painted on the outside lane on the approach to the roundabout artificially narrowing the road on the approach to the roundabout.  This surely defeats the purpose of the road widening and serves no useful purpose. The concern is that this could increase the risk of accidents. 

Local councillor Steve Delaney has made numerous representations to the Council in recent weeks regarding safety at the roundabout. Following on from this additional markings have been placed on the carriageway and improved signage erected, but the incorrect markings still remain as does the hatched area.

Steve said, “A safety audit is currently being undertaken. This will look at all issues of concern raised to date as well as the overall operation of this junction. I am hopeful of further improvements being recommended but cannot guarantee this. I continue to have concerns, especially in respect of anyone who is not familiar with the area.”

The outcome of the safety audit will help inform recommendations by the Council which the developer will be obligated to implement. This process should take no more than a few weeks at most.

Labour Led Council Blocks Roads Spending

Aberdeen City Council has once again blocked Lib Dem proposals to increase spending on roads, pavements and lighting. This is the third time such proposals have been knocked back this year. Adding insult to injury, Labour and Conservative councillors referred to the initiative as a “pet project”, completely missing the need to invest more in our crumbling infrastructure.

The Finance, Policy and Resources Committee was informed of a predicted £4 million underspend this financial year. Kingswells, Sheddocksley, Summerhill councillor Steve Delaney proposed setting aside £1 million of the underspend for resurfacing of roads and pavements and the upgrading of street lighting.

Steve said, “We took a responsible view suggesting investment of £1 million in roads, pavements and street lighting, accepting there are competing demands on limited Council resources. Given that the annual roads and pavements budget is £2.1 million (and £20 million per annum is needed for 10 years to bring our infrastructure up to standard), this additional expenditure would have made a real difference”.

“To hear administration councillors describe these proposals as a ‘pet project’ clearly shows their lack of understanding of how to run this city. We need to continue to invest in our city to ensure its continuing prosperity”.

Summer Of Disruption Coming To An End

A944_3_sKingswells residents have had a lot to put up with over the Summer months by way of roadworks and excessive noise at unsociable hours. Hopefully all is now starting to get back to normal.

Local councillor Steve Delaney has dealt with complaints relating to unauthorised excessive noise from roadworks during the night, early morning noise from the Prime Four site in breach of agreed operating hours and coned off lanes causing severe hold ups when no roadworks were taking place. All issues were taken forward and eventually resolved, often after repeated attempts!

Steve said, “I accept you can’t make an omlette without breaking eggs, but this project has been handled appaulingly by the Council. It should not be necessary to have to make repeated complaints in order to ensure compliance with agreed procedures. Little or no respect has been afforded to local people who, at times, have felt like they were under seige!”

Roadworks are due to be completed within a matter of days. The first phase of the Prime Four Business Park is due to open in a few weeks. There are of course additional phases but hopefully their construction should not impact on local people to the same extent.

A944 Speed Reduction To Be Considered

A944_1Steve Delaney has been campaigning for a speed reduction to 40mph on the A944 for almost two years. This came up at Committee with an an officer recommendation to retain the current 50mph limit.

Speaking at Committee, Steve said, “This is the only arterial route into the City which does feature a speed limit of 40mph within such close proximity to the built up area. Anyone who uses this route and sits at 50mph sees countless vehicles overtake them and this happens on a daily basis”.

He also raised concerns over the accident record on the A944 and drew attention to the difficulties being faced by people living in the cottages located on the A944 trying to access their homes.

Committee were not minded to commence statutory consultations on reducing the speed limit now, as Steve had requested, but they did agree to carry out further surveys and report back to Committee in 12 months’ time.

Steve said, “I am somewhat frustrated at the lack of willingness to progress a speed reduction at this point in time but I appreciate the decision to take another look at this issue. It’s certainly a step in the right direction. I have no doubt that a case can be built to support a speed reduction, given the countless vehicles exceeding the limit on this road. I just hope we don’t see further accidents or fatalities which we wait for data to be gathered and decisions to be made”.

More Bickering Over Haudagain Upgrade

Haudagain_sThe need to address traffic congestion at the Haudagain is of major concern to everyone but it is turning into a political football between Labour and the SNP, with attacks firing across the bows from the Labour led Council and the SNP Scottish Government with increasing regularity, none of which is helping the situation.

Labour want to speed up the decanting of residents in the area which needs to be demolished for the road improvements. New housing is due to be built nearby, but will not be ready within the Council’s revised timescale. The SNP Scottish Government insists construction can’t begin until the Western Peripheral Route has been opened. Whether or not such works could be done in advance of the WPR but following completion of the Third Don Crossing is a question which remains unanswered.

Steve Delaney said, “The upgrade to the junction needs to be done as soon as possible, but shouting for it to be done quicker sort of misses the point. If we carry out works prior to necessary infrastructure being in place, traffic will gridlock during the works. Clearly a modicum of commonsense is needed here. There is also a need to accept that even if families in the affected area could be re-housed sooner, the upgrade won’t happen any faster as these works are the responsibility of the Scottish Government and they will run to their own timetable, like it or not”.

“If we progress along Labour’s chosen route have no doubts about it, the need to re-house 325 families in advance of new housing being built, can only be done by suspending the housing waiting lists and that means a longer wait for people in housing need, many of whom have already been waiting a considerable amount of time for an offer”.

“What we need is a pragmatic solution with Aberdeen City Council and the Scottish Government working together to deliver a real solution as soon as possible rather than the sound bite mentality which delivers nothing. My real concern is that works get delayed beyond currently envisaged timescales as a result of all this bickering”.

Labour Blocks Investment In Roads ….Again

pothole1Following on from Lib Dem proposals to increase spending on roads, pavements and street lighting at February’s Council Budget, the Lib Dem Group has proposed allocating additional monies twice and been defeated by Labour and their allies on both occasions.

In March the Lib Dems proposed spending £750,000 of underspend in the 2012/13 Enterprise, Planning & Infrastructure budget towards addressing the poor state of our roads, pavements and street lighting. More recently at the April Finance & Resources meeting they proposed spending an additional £600,000 on roads. Both proposals were voted down by the Council’s Labour led administration.

Kingswells/Sheddocksley councillor Steve Delaney said, “Given the poor state of our roads and pavements, it would make good sense to re-invest surpluses in much needed improvements. This is what we did on a number of occasions when we were running the Council. Shame this administration can’t employ a bit of common sense rather than simply rejecting a suggestion because somebody else thought of it first!”

“I accept the Council is significantly under-funded by the Scottish Government, but we need to prioritise the spending of what we have at our disposal. If they can justify spending £200,000 on a Hogmanay Party, how can they sit back with a clear conscience and watch our roads crumble?”

Bressay Brae Resurfacing

diggingResidents will be aware that Bressay Brae was due to be resurfaced during 2012/13, but this had to be delayed to facilitate the laying of cabling, rather than having a new road surface dug up. Hopefully all residents in the area will have received a letter from the Council regarding the resurfacing works.

Local councillor Steve Delaney said, “I’m delighted and relieved to hear that these works are to start very soon. I have been in touch with the Council regarding access to homes during works, especially for disabled residents, and have received assurances that access to properties will be maintained wherever possible during the works programme”.

Resurfacing works are due to start on 2nd May 2013 from the junction of Eday Gardens with Eday Road to the firepath on Bressay Brae at its junction with Lang Stracht and should be completed within nine working days, weather and unforseen circumstances permitting.

Steve said, “I have brought the condition of the pavements in this area and both roads and pavements elsewhere in the ward to the Council’s attention for repair and replacement and will continue to do so”. Insufficient funds have been invested in our infrastructure by the Labour led Council and the Lib Dems will continue to press for more investment at every opportunity as we have already done several times this year”.

Kingswells Crescent Resurfacing

diggingKingswells Crescent is currently being resurfaced from Wellside Place to Derbeth Grange. This is arguably the worst road in Kingswells and local councillor Steve Delaney has made numerous representations to the Council about the state of this road over the past year.

Steve said, “This road provides the only means of access to several hundred homes and was literally crumbling. As such it had to be the main priority for Kingswells, accepting there are others in poor condition. I’m absolutely delighted work has finally started”. Works are programmed to run until 30th April, weather and unforeseen circumstances permitting.

Kingswells Roundabout Details

Kingswells Roundabout
Local councillor Steve Delaney has had a number of queries regarding the new road layout at the Kingswells roundabout and adjoining streets. He has summarised the plans below, but Steve is not a Roads Engineer so it must be accepted that the summary is offered in good faith and is his best interpretation of the drawings. For anyone requiring more detailed information, the plans can be inspected at Marischal College. Please call the Roads service first to arrange a mutually convenient time, so someone can be on hand to answer any queries.

A944

From City Centre westbound towards Kingswells roundabout the approach to roundabout will be three lanes and the roundabout itself will be three lanes. There will be no crossing point due to the widening of the road as this necessitates the removal of the gap in the central reservation. The bus stop beside the Church (eastbound towards the city centre) will remain but the stop opposite (westwards towards Westhill) will be removed as there is no safe crossing point. This stop is not due to be removed until the new bus stops and pedestrian crossing to the west of the roundabout are in place.

Beyond the Kingswells roundabout heading towards Westhill there will be two lanes to a point about half way between the roundabout and the entrance to Prime Four. At this point there will be bus stops on either side of the road and a Puffin Crossing. There will be an island enclosed by railings to allow the crossing of both carriageways. From this point the road widens to four lanes with two being dedicated right turn lanes into Prime Four.

Coming eastwards from Prime Four to the Kingswells roundabout there’s two lanes from Prime Four to the Puffin Crossing then they go into three lanes leading up to the roundabout. From Prime Four to the Puffin Crossing there’s a dedicated cycle lane and a dedicated pedestrian walkway. From the crossing to the roundabout there’s a shared cycle/walkway. This shared walkway terminates at the new Puffin Crossing on the Kingswells/Bucksburn road, providing a safe return route for people using the X17 to get back to Kingswells.

Coming off the roundabout onto the A944 eastwards towards the city centre there will be two lanes.

Kingswells/Bucksburn Road

Northbound from the Kingswells roundabout heading to Kingswells there will be two lanes coming off the roundabout, splitting to offer a third lane dedicated to right turns into the slip road leading to Fairley Road. Just past this junction the remaining two lanes narrow to one and it’s single lane up to the traffic lights at Kingswood Drive.

Southbound towards the A944 there will be two lanes from the traffic lights at Kingswood Drive to the the slip road which goes to Fairley Road. From that point it goes into three lanes down to the roundabout. The Fairley Road slip road will be left only turning onto the Bucksburn to Kingswells road. In other words there will be no right turn towards Bucksburn as there is now. This will necessitate going to the roundabout and coming back, otherwise going to the top of Fairley Road and turning onto Kingswood Drive, which makes more sense.

Kingswells to Cults Road

This will remain single lane in both directions

Bressay Brae Resurfacing Update

Bressay BraeResidents have raised concerns about the poor state of Bressay Brae and Eday Road (from Rousay Drive to Bressay Brae) with a large number of potholes on the road and sections of the pavement in a poor state. There were further concerns that Bressay Brae has not yet been resurfaced despite having been on the 2012/13 programme of works.

Local councillor Steve Delaney said, “I have brought the state of the road and the pavement to the Council’s attention and the worst of the potholes have been filled, but many more remain. I can confirm that Bressay Brae remains on the resurfacing programme for this financial year, having been postponed due to roadworks in recent months”.

Lib Dems Propose More Spending On Roads

Liberal Democrat councillors in Aberdeen today urged the City Council to invest an extra £750,000 in repairs to Aberdeen’s roads, pavements and street lights. The move came at the Enterprise, Planning and Infrastructure Committee.

Liberal Democrat Enterprise, Planning and Infrastructure Spokesperson Councillor Ian Yuill said “Thanks to prudent management by council staff, the Council’s Enterprise, Planning and Infrastructure budget for 2012/13 is set to be underspent by £1.3 million. The Liberal Democrats believe it makes sense to invest part of that in repairing roads, pavements and street lights and in work to improve road safety.

“Sadly the Labour, Conservative and Independent councillors who run the council rejected the Liberal Democrat proposal to invest an extra £750,000 and go some way to tacking potholes and broken roads and pavements.”

Lib Dem Deputy Leader Steve Delaney said, “Lack of investment in our infrastructure is the single issue raised by the vast majority of my constituents. There’s a clear lack of prioritising under the current Labour led Administration when they can set aside £250,000 on a Hogmanay Party when our roads and pavements are crumbling. During previous Liberal Democrat led Councils, we used additional resources to fund additional infrastructure improvements. Please rest assured we will continue to press for increased investment in our city’s infrastructure at every possible opportunity”.

Road Works At Eday Road/Stronsay Drive/Stronsay Place Junction

I have just been informed of temporary road closures in connection with the Tesco development. This will affect the junction of Eday Road, Stronsay Drive and Stronsay Place.

• Eday Road will be closed for a distance of forty metres westwards from its junction with Stronsay Drive.

• Stronsay Drive will be closed for a distance of forty metres southwards from its junction with Eday Road.

• Stronsay Place will be closed for a distance of forty metres eastwards from its junction with Stronsay Drive.

• Finally, Stronsay Drive will be closed for a distance of forty metres northwards from its junction with Eday Road.

The closures will be applied from Wednesday 8 August 2012 for up to four weeks. I will update you as each stage in the works ends and begins. Only one leg of this junction shall be closed at any one time, and these closures shall follow the sequence noted above.
 
The measures are necessary to protect public safety during traffic signal installation works in connection with the new Tesco development on Lang Stracht / Rousay Drive.
 
Alternative routes for the first two closures noted shall be via Fernielea Road, Fernielea Crescent or vice versa. Alternative routes for the remaining closures shall be via Stronsay Place, Summerhill Terrace, Summerhill Road, Lang Stracht,  Stronsay Drive or vice versa

Friends Of Sheddocksley Park

Work is to be ongoing over the Summer on making the Sheddocksley play park safe and bringing it back into use following vandalism some years ago.

Councillor Steve Delaney, who lives in the area, said, “I’m delighted to have a firm commitment from the Council to bring this much needed facility back into use. As residents will be aware, this small play park is the only facility of its kind in Sheddocksley. I’ve had numerous requests for something to be done  about it over the past few years and I’m delighted to see things move forward.”

Steve has also been looking into ways to improve and expand upon what’s already there. He added, “There are real possibilities of accessing external funding to increase the size of the play park and add new play equipment, but only if this is led by a community group. As a parent myself I would be happy to facilitate the creation of such a group, but it needs local people who are willing to get involved.

Such a group would find its own way and could help look after the existing facility or could go the whole hog and become a charity with the aim of raising funds locally and supplementing these from Lottery related sources or other external funding streams. It’s up to the individuals concerned as to how they wish to take this forward and appropriate support would be available to offer advice and assistance.

If you live in the Sheddocksley area and would like to be part of this exiting challenge, please drop Steve Delaney an email.