Controversial social distancing measures on streets across Aberdeen could remain in place for at least three more months.
Pavements were widened, sections of roads were closed to cars and street layouts were changed earlier this year in a bid to enable social distancing in the city.
The alterations were made using a grant from the Scottish Government’s Spaces for People scheme.
However, some of the measures proved controversial, with business owners claiming access had been restricted and security guards had to be deployed on Union Street to stop drivers entering a pedestrianised section.
Earlier this month, a review into the project was ordered ahead of Aberdeen City Council’s city growth and resources committee meeting this week.
Now a report has been published recommending the interventions be kept under review until February.
The report reads: “Travel behaviour observed during and post-lockdown suggests significant latent demand for better active travel facilities should be catered for in order to help the council achieve a range of health, equalities, environmental and transport objectives.
“As such there is a requirement for the council to improve and increase active travel infrastructure to support physical distancing, mitigate the impacts of the pandemic on the road network, and ensure all citizens have the opportunity to travel in as safe and healthy a manner as possible.
“The message from both the UK Government and Scottish Government is that people should aim to walk and cycle as much as possible for short journeys, both to protect roadspace and public transport capacity for those making essential, and perhaps longer, journeys, and in recognition that these are the best way of ensuring physical distancing while travelling.”
Of the original £1.76 million grant from the Scottish Government, around £800,000 has been spent so far – although the funding also incorporates planned repair, maintenance and eventual removal costs.
Council co-leader Douglas Lumsden said: “Last month I directed officers to bring a report to this meeting of city growth and resources to give an account of the Scottish Government Spaces for People programme, which will allow us to consider its current status what changes we may wish to make.
“In some cases, this may be revisions while in others full removal of the measures. I will be reviewing officers recommendations, feedback from the public and consulting with colleagues to consider the next steps which will be decided at the meeting.”
The report will go before the committee when it meets at 2pm on Wednesday.