Aberdeen business owners fear new social distancing measures are driving people away from the city centre.
Louise and Kevin Carr, who run the chip shop Fish ‘n’ hook on Rosemount Place, believe the new one-way systems on busy streets will put people off visiting local businesses.
New measures were introduced in the area on Monday to widen pavements to make sure pedestrians had enough space to safely walk down the street.
Louise said: “Our major issue, apart from the obvious fact that they are taking away business from local businesses and damaging them, is these roads changes will drive people away from Aberdeen city centre.
“The other issue with us is deliveries and how we get them. There is a loading bay available at Sainsbury’s but can only be used until 11am which is no use to any business.
“It’s just a shame no residents or business owners were consulted over this as surely the people count.”
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A local gallery owner said he believes there was also a lack of consultation carried out with the local community before the measures were put in place.
And Alan Watt, boss at the Belvidere Gallery, fears the communication with local residents was just a “box-ticking exercise”.
The city council was awarded a £1.76 million grant from the Scottish Government’s Spaces for People fund to carry out temporary works on streets in May.
Works are also being carried out in Culter and Torry.
However, shop owners in Rosemount believe the measures could put further pressure on businesses in the area which are already struggling due to the lockdown.
Alan said: “We were told that this was a directive from NHS Scotland to allow social distancing, but cycle lanes have been introduced.
“There is no connection between the two.
“The council officials said they had consulted us but it seems more like a box-ticking exercise.”
Faye Howard, from Wool for Ewe added: “The consultation process was something that needed to be done but all evidence shows that our concerns were not listened to.
“As a group we agreed that if Rosemont Place were to become one way that the direction of traffic needed to be from Mount Street to Argyll Terrace; this would ease the bottleneck in front of Skene Square school and reduce congestion at the Hutcheon Street junction with Berryden Road. This would also allow for access to Rosemount place from the south.
“It’s sad to say that although Rosemount is a beloved community it is not the hotspot that the those putting these ridiculous plans in place think it is.
“There is no doubt that we need to ensure the safety of those that live in and visit Rosemount, but the shops have put measures in place to do so.
“Reduced access, limited bus service and general mayhem to Rosemount place will successfully close many small businesses.”
Works in the area began on Monday with Rosemount Place now one way, eastbound, with bus stops on the south side of the road removed between Mount Street and Esslemont Avenue.
A bus gate will be put in place between Esslemont Avenue and Albert Street, and a new cycle lane created on the former westbound carriageway.
The parking areas in Rosemount are shown in light blue. The new bus stop on Leadside Road is shown as a red dot.Eight new 45-minute stay parking spaces have been created as a result of the new road layout.
Aberdeen City Council transport spokeswoman Councillor Sandra Macdonald said: ‘We have responded to the concerns raised by businesses and have amended the scheme where it has been possible.
“We’re aware we cannot keep everyone happy as something that works for one business may not work well for another.
“We will continue to have dialogue with local businesses, stakeholders and residents and to review the measures once they have had an opportunity to get established.”