Taxi drivers have finally been permitted access to a controversial bus gate.
There has been growing frustration among the ranks as councillors had originally agreed in principle to allow cabs through the Bedford Road bus gate in November 2017.
New signs have finally been put in place on the road, around six months after a public consultation was held into the move, which received no objections.
It had initially been expected to open to taxis for the first time in April but the local authority said this was held up by waiting for manufacturers to deliver the signs.
The move should speed up journeys and make parts of the city more accessible to taxis.
Residents in the Powis and Bedford Avenue area of Aberdeen have previously raised concerns they are “disproportionately disadvantaged” by the controversial bus gate and asked councillors to be given access to the gate to avoid “long tailbacks” in the area.
However, this was rejected by members of the ruling Labour, Conservative and Independent administration, with fears it could set an “undesirable precedent” throughout the city as other residents may expect similar measures.
SNP councillor Alex McLellan, who represents the area, said his group had supported allowing residents access.
He added: “I am pleased that the taxi access is now in place as this was well overdue, given committee agreed the course of action back in 2017.
“The SNP group also supported officers investigating local resident access through the bus gate, but this was turned down by the ruling Labour/Tory administration.”
However, Aberdeen Labour councillor Ross Grant, who also represents the ward, said: “Careful consideration has gone into ensuring that taxis can now pass through the bus gate and, based on the views of local residents who are keen to see these changes, I’m very pleased to welcome this now coming into place.
“The SNP opposition were invited to make alternative proposals but it was as clear then as it is now that their proposals would be neither remotely feasible or sustainable and would only lead to mass confusion and a significant increase in fines for unsuspecting commuters.”
Although the gate is now open to taxis, it will not be open to private hire vehicles, which are booked in advance.
Buses, bicycles, emergency service vehicles, winter maintenance vehicles and vehicles used in connection with the removal of any obstruction, or in connection with authorised roadworks, are also permitted.
Drivers under the direction of a police constable are also permitted access.
The gate was installed in May 2016 to stop drivers using Bedford Road as a through road after the Diamond Bridge opened.
It led to the road being closed between Meston Walk and Hermitage Avenue.
An Aberdeen City Council spokesman said: “Following the review of the Bedford Road bus gate, elected members, on the communities, housing and infrastructure committee on November 6 2017, instructed officers to commence the necessary statutory procedure required to permit taxis through the bus gate.
“The statutory procedure has now been completed and the changes to signage complete, taxis are now permitted to use the bus gate.”