ABERDEEN’S new city centre bus gates have improved the journeys of more than a million passengers in their first two months of operation, according to new figures from city bus companies.
New figures from First Aberdeen and Stagecoach Bluebird reveal that punctuality has improved with more services meeting passengers on time. First Bus is now reaching 95% of its services operate on time thanks to the bus priority measures.
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More Stagecoach services are also running more consistently, with punctuality on the 727 service from the city centre to P&J Live and Aberdeen International Airport improving by 3% to over 95%.
It’s hoped that with increased efficiency, operators will be able to run more services throughout the city, improving overall service frequency and reliability.
Following their successful introduction, Fiona Hyslop MSP, Scottish Transport Minister, visited the region to meet with the North East Bus Alliance.
She said said: “I’m really pleased to see first-hand how the bus gates in Aberdeen City Centre are already delivering for the millions of bus passengers that travel through the city every year.
“I also welcome the wider work underway with the North East Bus Alliance to encourage more bus use, including the ongoing work on ART, the national importance of which is recognised in our National Planning Framework and second Strategic Transport Projects Review.
“ART will provide an attractive and transformative public transport offer to people in the North-east, supporting the wider investment that the Scottish Government is making in the area.
“Investing in our public transport and infrastructure is crucial to achieving our world leading commitment to reduce car kilometres by 20% by 2030. I look forward to seeing similar transformational investment right across the country through our Bus Partnership Fund.”
Robert Andrew, chair of the North East Bus Alliance said: “Over a million bus passengers have experienced real benefits since the new bus priority route was implemented two months ago, endorsing this first stage of our ambitions to regenerate and transform public transport provision in the North-east.
“It is great to see that the city centre bus priority is already making an impact. Looking ahead, the delivery of these early measures is key to improving public transport provision and the future success of an Aberdeen Rapid Transit (ART) system, which will connect key destinations across the region.
“Our successful bids to the Bus Partnership Fund have been instrumental in enabling these works. I am delighted that we’ve been able to welcome the transport minister and demonstrate the success so far. As an alliance, we are working closely with Transport Scotland to discuss future opportunities to maximise further investment, and improvements, through the BPF.”
Enabling sustainable and active travel is one of the goals of the City Centre and Beach Front Masterplan.
Aberdeen City Council Co Leader Councillor Ian Yuill said: “The new road layout is designed to both help improve bus service reliability and reduce travel times for buses in the city centre. This will be a boost to bus passengers travelling within the city and from further afield.”
Aberdeen City Council Co Leader Councillor Christian Allard said: “The new road layouts will help to reduce travel times for buses in the city centre which will in turn encourage more people to use buses or walk, cycle or wheel to their destinations.
“As part of Aberdeen City Council’s Roads Hierarchy which is changing access to and around the city after the bypass (AWPR) was built, the new road layouts will have an important role in providing a key route to the city centre as well as facilitating the nearby bus priority measures.”