4. Roads, Footpaths and Transport

The roads in the Cults, Bieldside and Milltimber areas are becoming increasingly busy and at times congested. This is for a variety of reasons, both short and long term.

Short term: Ongoing the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) construction and continuing road repair work and road closures due to the requirements for services to be provided for new housing developments.

Long term: Some of the current traffic issues may be resolved when the AWPR opens sometime in late 2017 or early 2018. There is some uncertainty as to whether traffic flow along the North Deeside Road will increase or decrease following the completion of the AWPR and if any new and unexpected issues may arise as road users adapt to the AWPR. Other problems however will remain, e.g. the increase in traffic volumes due to the large amount of new housing either planned or currently being built in the area. A better link road between the NDR and Inchgarth Road/Garthdee is needed. The condition of the roads is also poor and unless the Aberdeen City Council undertakes some major repair work, will continue to deteriorate for the foreseeable future. The poor quality of road reinstatement after utilities works is a particular problem.

 Footpaths and Cycleways

The main footpath and cycleway is the Deeside Way (formerly the Deeside railway) which runs East-West and connects the centre of Aberdeen to Ballater. There a number of other Core Paths (designated as such by the City Council) and a network of smaller paths, including some along the River Dee and others in the forested areas. The CBMCC has formed a footpath group to promote walking, improve the condition of some paths and signage and to liaise with the city authorities and other interested groups.

Transport

The Public Transport System in the Cults, Bieldside and Milltimber areas into the city centre is excellent along the North Deeside Road itself, but is otherwise poor. Older residents in many cases struggle to get to a bus if they live a distance away from the North Deeside Road especially given the steep gradients of many minor roads. In addition, large housing estates are being built a long way from the road, i.e. not within walking distance and currently no bus routes are available for these estates. In the future, bus services may be provided, but due to the narrow roads in some of the areas, such services may cause added congestion. Attempts by the Bus Operators and Aberdeen City Council to provide bus services into the estates to serve the elderly or vulnerable have repeatedly failed due to the high level of subsidy required to support a small number of users; innovative approaches are needed to try and resolve these issues.

The use of private transport is increasing in the area for many reasons. The building of new housing estates  all along the Dee Valley means that more people need to commute into Aberdeen or other employment centres, e.g., Dyce, Westhill, Bridge of Don along both the North and South Deeside Roads. The opening of the AWPR will relieve some of this traffic, but long term the trend is upwards. In the CBM area the large volume of house building will have a significant effect: many of the houses currently being planned or built are large and at least two cars per house can be expected. The lack of Public Transport linking housing estates directly to the main employment centres will lead to lengthy commuting journeys and a greater reliance on private transport.

 

Current Key Issues

  1. Traffic disruption and access around the construction of the AWPR. The CC is in continual contact with the AWPR Project and attends their briefing meetings. Issues affecting local residents are championed by CC representatives.
  2. Roads, access and transport requirements for new housing developments. The CC monitors all new housing developments and road developments and comments on all of them at the planning stage. The CC also lobbies for improved infrastructure to accommodate new developments.
  3. The requirement for public transport for new housing developments and for older, vulnerable residents and those with particular needs. The CC is continually reviewing Public Transport needs for all new and proposed housing development. In addition the CC is in discussion with Aberdeen City Council and bus operators regarding the transport requirements for older, vulnerable residents and those with particular needs.
  4. Road conditions and repairs. The CC works with the local elected Councillors to get Aberdeen City Council officers to address the issues with damaged and dangerous roads.
  5. Footpaths. The CC has been active in ensuring the continuity of the Deeside Way during the construction of the AWPR and that a final satisfactory solution is found to its crossing over the AWPR.

 

Community Council Objectives

To ensure that the views of the community are fully taken into account in all roads,  and Public/Private Transport issues in relation to existing roads, new roads, footpaths, new housing developments and other proposals, plans and changes affecting the local community. To promote walking and cycling.

 

Proposed Actions

  • To continue the current response to the key issues above.
  • To continue to determine the views of the community – in particular the requirement for access to public transport for vulnerable groups.
  • To further develop the work and membership of the footpath group.

 

Consultation

Views are specifically invited on the following:

  1. Transport requirements for older groups, vulnerable groups and those with particular needs.
  2. Public Transport requirements for new housing estates.
  3. Repair status of roads.