Bus firms have been forced to divert their services today as emergency works continue to cause major disruption in Aberdeen city centre.
Traffic during rush hour this morning was tailed back from the Guild Street junction back to North Esplanade West due to the works, with a broken down lorry on Market Street adding to the gridlock.
First Aberdeen notified customers of service updates this afternoon, announcing services 3, 12 and 20 are now being diverted.
Services 3, 12 and 20
Due to emergency roadworks at the corner of Market Street and Guild Street we will divert from 05 February until 7 or 8 February (depending on road works).
— First Aberdeen (@FirstAberdeen) February 5, 2019
Stagecoach was also forced to take action due to the ongoing works.
A statement on their website said: “Due to the closure of Guild Street/ Market Street a number of our services will follow the below diversion routes:
59, X17, 201, 202, 203, 7, 7B, X6, 14, X7, 420
“Inbound Services will divert down Bridge Street operate onto Guild St round South College Street onto North Esplanade West onto Market Street into the bus station. Please note that the no right turn from Union Street onto Bridge St has been suspended for the duration of this closure.
290, 291 and all Buchan Express Services
“Inbound Services will divert from King Street left onto East North Street round onto Virginia Street then onto Market Street before turning right into the bus Station.
10, 35, 37, X37
“Inbound Services will divert from Westburn Road down Hutcheon Street round Mounthooly roundabout onto West North Street then onto East North Street then onto Virginia Street then onto Market Street and into the Bus Station
“We thank you for your patience at this time.”
In addition to existing restrictions on Virginia, Guild and Market Streets, a lorry has now broken down on Market Street. Drivers are advised to avoid the area completely if they possibly can. Buses towards Torry will be diverted down South College Street.
— Abdn City Council (@AberdeenCC) February 5, 2019
Aberdeen Traffic Update: Coming to the end of your work day? Start thinking about your route home. Market Street, Virginia Street & Guild Street are still subject to emergency utilities repairs. Avoid the harbour area and use an alternative route home. #ABZTravel @AberdeenCC pic.twitter.com/lOMwMs7yTH
— NorthEastPolice (@NorthEPolice) February 5, 2019
Drivers cannot turn right on to Market Street from Guild Street, and there is no southbound route on to Guild Street from Union Street.
Both First Aberdeen and Stagecoach have issued warnings of disruption to passengers.
B/bird: #Aberdeen #Abztravel #UnionSquare
Due to roadworks scheduled to start on Market Street/Guild Street today at 09:30, All services operating in and out off Union Square Bus Station will be subject to delays and Diversion Please see our website for service diversion
— StagecoachNScot (@StagecoachNScot) February 5, 2019
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Engineers from Openreach worked throughout the day yesterday to fix the problem, which has affected Market Street, Virginia Street and Guild Street.
Workers later discovered the damage was much more significant than they had initially feared.
Traffic restrictions were put in place, leading to major traffic problems during the evening rush hour.
A spokeswoman for Openreach apologised for the disruption to road users.
She said: “A third party was carrying out roadworks in the area using heavy digging machinery, which has severed three steel pipes carrying telecommunications cables.
“The damage is so extensive it has not been possible to feed new cables through the pipes.
“We now need to open up the road to widen access so we can install new underground infrastructure.
“Road restrictions will be extended for three days initially and we’ll do everything possible to carry out repairs as quickly as possible.”