An Aberdeen city centre road has taken a step closer to fully reopening.
Upperkirkgate and Broad Street have been closed since last June – and were originally due to open just a month later.
The closure has been due to a £3.2 million part-pedestrianisation project on Broad Street, which has suffered numerous delays due to “unforeseen road conditions”.
Work is currently under way to transform the street into a civic area, which will be accessible only to bikes, buses and those on foot.
Yesterday, Upperkirkgate reopened to one lane of traffic and is expected to open fully later this month.
Shops along the street say the closure has hit business, with one telling the Evening Express it had lost up to £10,000 due to a drop in footfall.
Some businesses said they believed the street would not open completely to motorists until May – although Aberdeen City Council says the street will be fully open on February 25.
And owners remain frustrated with the disruption to bus routes.
Andrew Begg, owner of the Andrew Begg shoe shop, said it was still too early to tell if opening one lane would have an effect on business.
Mr Begg said: “We have a bus stop right outside the shop here and they’ve rerouted the buses and if the route is going to be one way, it would make an awful lot of sense if they started routing the buses up the Upperkirkgate.”
Jackie Wilson, of Upperkrust sandwich shop, said: “I’d say it is a bit better. Because there’s not such a mess at the top of the road for people looking up, it looks a lot neater.”
Business owners have called for the council to cut their business rates as means of compensation – but the council told the Evening Express it would not do this, citing UK Government advice.
A council spokeswoman said: “Local businesses are being kept informed of progress through regular face-to-face meetings on the £3.2m revitalisation of Broad Street which is being transformed into a pedestrian-priority area designed to bring more people to the east end of the city centre.
“We look forward to the space opening in spring/summer.”