City centre road to reopen during busy festive period

Aberdeen business owners and managers have reacted to the reopening of a city centre street after being shut for half-a-year.

Upperkirkgate will reopen to eastbound traffic on Sunday during the busy festive period.

Businesses in the area have been advised of the plans, lifting the current closure between the junctions with Flourmill Lane and Gallowgate.

The city centre area has been closed since June 7 to allow for work on the £3.2 million Broad Street project to make the area pedestrian priority and improve the streetscape.

Andrew Begg, 59, owner of shoe shop Andrew Begg, received a letter about the closure.

He said: “The closure has negatively impacted the business. They say it’s been closed for safety regulations and other checks, but it has been closed for six months straight.”

Work to complete the project will start again in January, with further updates on closures to be released later.

He added that while the Christmas Village will bring footfall back to the area, he feels it will only benefit businesses like restaurants rather than shops.

He said: “The Aberdeen public will go to it as it is something to do – they will not go to shop and look at our businesses..”

Scott Galloway, manager of Games Workshop, said: “We rely on foot traffic and the opening will cause busier foot traffic for us. Christmas is a busy time, and our area will be busier because of it.

“Since the closure there has been a 30% decrease of business.”

Jackie Wilson, director of sandwich shop Upper Krust, said: “The building site has gone on for what feels like a year and the council has not put in rate relief due to the closure.

“They still charge us a premium area when it hasn’t been recently.”

Marie Boulton, the council’s masterplan spokeswoman, said: “Reopening Upperkirkgate in December will enhance accessibility and traffic flow during the busiest shopping month of the year and is a positive step forward as we work towards the overall vision for Broad Street and the surrounding area. We are continuing to engage with traders, with a meeting scheduled for early in the New Year to provide a further update on the milestones and timeline of the project.”