When will Aberdeen City Council wake up to the dangers of Union Street ?

Updated: Nov 23

The Council talks a lot about its pedestrianised area of Union Street (between Market Street and Bridge Street) as if it is some haven or sanctuary for pedestrians.


It is nothing of the sort. It is the exact opposite. It is positively dangerous for pedestrians.


I can only assume from the fact that the Council continues to turn a blind eye to the dangers, that either:

a) No one from the Council has ever walked along the pedestrianised area, and/or

b) No one in the Council has been employed to ensure the safety of pedestrians, and/or

c) No one in the Council is capable of carrying out a risk assessment accurately (or perhaps honestly) and/or

d) No Council employee can be bothered to raise the issue as it goes against the agenda of "active transport", and most Council employees are happy just to get through the day without any hassle, never mind cast an eye upon the threat to life and limb that currently exists, and/or most likely that

e) The Council takes its lead from other Councils, and in creating a "pedestrianised" area with access to cyclists, it believes it can turn a blind eye to the dangers, because if other Councils are also creating similarly accessed pedestrianised streets, then who cares that it's not safe, as it can always mitigate the blame if there is an accident by saying every other Council does exactly the same.


So what are the dangers that I am alluding to?


Quite simply, it is the mixing of cyclists and pedestrians together. Bikes hurtle through the pedestrianised area at speed. There is no time for a pedestrian to get out of the way of one of these machines if they should be caught wrong-footed.


I have seen cyclists travel at full pelt through the pedestrianised area with no thought whatsoever for the fact that a person, let alone a child, disabled person or elderly pedestrian, might be caught out by a bike hurtling towards them at speed.


There is an absolute abundance of cyclists using this pedestrianised area. The majority of them are working for food delivery companies. But not all. Some are just maniacs wearing cycling gear and acting as if Union Street is their personal speedway.


The Council must act before there is a tragedy.


Either the Council must segregate cyclists from pedestrians, or it must decide whether this part of Union Street roadway is for the exclusive use of cyclists or the exclusive use of pedestrians. But it cannot continue to be used by both without any segregation, in some childish belief that the two types of users can somehow mingle together like we are mixing ducks and chickens. Currently we are mixing foxes and chickens.


I suspect it will take a death before the Council decides to tackle the glaringly obvious danger that exists.


Quite frankly, Union Street was safer for pedestrians BEFORE it was pedestrianised.






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