An Aberdeen campaigner has hit out at the council, claiming it has gone back on its word to make the city more accessible to cyclists.
Rachel Martin, secretary for campaigns and communications for the Aberdeen Cycle Forum, has criticised the local authority after plans to add another lane to South College Street were given the green light.
The 44-year-old has written an open letter to Aberdeen City Council after a cycle path was not included in the plans to widen the road.
Rachel stated she is “disappointed” after being told by officers on two separate occasions that work to encourage cyclists would take place after the AWPR was open.
She added: “I just cannot believe this. Aberdeen City Council’s urban planning looks like it is from the 1960s or ’70s.
“The plan for South College Street is more than 20 years old and widening a road will just make it more difficult for pedestrians to cross.
“What we really need to do is to discourage cars to come into the city centre and allow for provisions for cyclists.”
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Emails from council officers, dated September 2018 and April 2016, stated that the AWPR allows for a “shift” of vehicular traffic from outwith the city centre and “less traffic in the city centre and more space to devote to people”.
It also states that there will be options available in early 2019.
Rachel, who lives in Ferryhill, added: “This is just progressing too slowly and adding another lane to South College is contrary to what they have said.”
Aberdeen City Council transport spokeswoman Sandra Macdonald said she would reply to the group to “reassure” them of that the council was prioritising cycling.
She said: “South College Street is one part of the jigsaw which ultimately aims to reduce traffic in the city centre and make it a more cycling and pedestrian friendly place generally.
“We want people to go to the city centre as a destination rather than go through it and that is why this piece of infrastructure will fit in with the likes of the AWPR.
“But we have a fairly short window of opportunity to lock in the benefits of the AWPR so we need to act quickly.”
Councillor Jennifer Stewart added: “We should definitely keep a cycle lane on South College Street as an option, and with the AWPR, this offers us this opportunity.
“I know a lot of people want a cycle lane and I think this is something the council should consider.”
Rachel’s open letter to Aberdeen City Council can be found at bit.ly/2VsCcXY