Study underway to consider improving active travel and public transport from Park and Ride at Ellon to the Garthdee Road corridor

A study is being carried out to consider proposed options for improving transport connections from the Park and Ride in Ellon to the Garthdee Road corridor in Aberdeen.

The stakeholder study will have a particular focus on active travel and public transport connections, will take a holistic approach by examining both northbound and southbound movements on the corridor, and will also aim to identify interventions with demonstrable benefits.

The study will recognise development aspirations and pressures in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire and will capitalise on several pieces of work undertaken by the City Council and partners in this area in recent years. This will provide the City Council with the ability to apply the outcomes of the study to outline business case development for deliverable options, for potential progression to design and implementation in the future.

A briefing paper has been prepared to set out the scope of the study and the approach that will be taken by the study team. It details the way in which the public and stakeholders will be invited to engage with the work as it moves forward. A full public engagement exercise is programmed for next year.

Aberdeen City Council transport spokesperson Councillor Sandra Macdonald said: “This study is an important piece of work not only for Aberdeen but the wider region as transportation around the area is important for business and leisure.

“The information gathered will be used alongside the public consultation results next year to shape the next stage.”

A number of key tasks will be undertaken to progress the study including identification of problems, issues, constraints and opportunities on the Ellon P&R to Garthdee corridor particularly in a post-Covid-19 context, desktop review of relevant policy documents, previous studies and relevant transport data sets, including transport trends since the Covid-19 lockdown.

Cllr Peter Argyle, chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, added: “I very much welcome this study, particular given the importance it places on active travel and our public transport network. I would encourage stakeholders to use this tremendous opportunity to have their say on improving transport connections and help shape the future of this particular route in the years to come.”

The tasks also include development of Transport Planning Objectives to reflect the change required and to guide the development and appraisal of options, option generation, sifting and development including but not limited to options for active travel, bus infrastructure, technology, junction reviews, and local access enhancements for buses, and proportionate option appraisal in accordance with Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG) while also recognising the priorities of current and emerging local, regional and national transport, economic, land-use, environmental and sustainability plans and programmes.

Throughout the study, cognisance will also be taken of the new Roads Hierarchy for Aberdeen, which was agreed by Aberdeen City Council in 2019. Consideration will be given to options for better aligning the study corridor with its role in the revised hierarchy. In taking forward the above tasks, the project team, with support from the City Council, and key study partners Aberdeenshire Council and Nestrans, will work closely with the North East Bus Alliance to determine public transport opportunities on the study corridor – the Alliance identifies the Ellon P&R to Garthdee corridor as a priority corridor for improvement.

Aberdeen City Council has commissioned consultants AECOM to develop the STAG-based appraisal of options for the study.
The stakeholder consultation is running alongside three other major transport public consultations including the Low Emission Zone available at https://consultation.aberdeencity.gov.uk/planning/lez, the draft Active Travel Action Plan at https://consultation.aberdeencity.gov.uk/place/draft-active-travel-action-plan-consultation/, and Electric Vehicle Framework at https://consultation.aberdeencity.gov.uk/planning/developing-an-ev-framework-for-aberd/. These all started on Monday 14 September and are due to end on Sunday 11 October.