Call to demolish Aberdeen’s Guild Street Bridge as part of city masterplan

A call has been made to demolish the Guild Street Bridge.
A call has been made to demolish the Guild Street Bridge.

The  demolition of Guild Street Bridge is among the options that could be considered as part of the masterplan for the future of Aberdeen.

Businesses and community councils have been submitting ideas on how to improve the city centre and breathe life into the area around Aberdeen railway station.

They were consulted as part of the Station Gateway project, which forms part of the wider City Centre Masterplan – a 20-year blueprint for the future development of Aberdeen.

And Network Rail today refused to rule out calls to knock down the bridge – if the council wanted to take the proposal forward.

The consultation results will go before the communities housing and infrastructure committee tomorrow.

A total of 25 organisations, including First Group, Network Rail and Savills, on behalf of Union Square owners Hammerson, were consulted.

The Gateway project aims to upgrade links between public transport, cycling and pedestrian access.

It could also result in changes to Guild Street station, including the expansion of the concourse to the north and moving taxi drop-offs to South College Street.

The stakeholders that suggested Guild Street Bridge should be removed described it as a “barrier” to improving pedestrian connectivity.

The removal of the bridge would result in a redesign of the city centre.

Atholl Square Developments, which owns Atholl House, has already put forward a proposal of application notice to signify its intention to submit plans for a hotel, shops and restaurants at that site.

Today finance convener Willie Young said: “What we have always said is there are some things we can’t do and some our partners need to do and this is something Network Rail needs to look at.

“I think Network Rail need to look into this to see how easily this could be done in relation to what they’re doing at the station.

“I can’t answer what the alternative would be but we need options to come forward.

“It could be that the benefits outweigh the costs of doing this.”

A Network Rail spokesman said: “We have no plans to remove the Guild Street Bridge at this time. If the demolition of the structure was identified as a priority for local government, as part of a wider redevelopment plan, then we would be happy to discuss the proposal.”

Other consultees recommended elevated walkways connecting the station with the Trinity Centre or escalators.

Groups also called for a dedicated taxi rank to be developed within Union Square, with the city council confirming discussions are under way with the owners of the busy shopping centre to make this a reality.

The council also said it will discuss a call for a 24-hour access route through the Trinity Centre following the consultation.

 

A spokesman for the Trinity Centre said it was too early to comment at this stage, while no one from Union Square was available for comment.

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