SEVERAL small-scale projects including which can potentially be delivered in the short term including signage improvements and speed limit reductions were yesterday approved to be delivered as part of a long-term strategy to encourage people to walk, cycle and use public transport more in the city centre.
The strategy, called a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) and is envisaged as a 20-year programme, was given the go-ahead by councillors at the City Council’s city growth and resources committee.
It also includes a prioritised delivery programme of transport interventions which will encompass larger-scale interventions which would potentially be delivered in the medium to long term following further investigation, appraisal, and design.
Another small-scale project could include possible exemptions for cyclists from one-way and access restrictions where these can be achieved safely.
A SUMP is implemented by the local authority and partners to enable and encourage residents and visitors to travel around the area on foot, bike, public transport and other low-emission forms of transport in preference to less clean alternatives.
The SUMP has not been developed in isolation, but in the context of a number of other projects concerning transport in the city centre including ongoing City Centre Masterplan (CCMP) delivery, the Roads Hierarchy review, Low Emission Zone (LEZ) option appraisal, development of a future car parking framework, aspirations for a bike hire scheme and regional investment in tourism and cycling-related events, all of which have raised expectations amongst residents and visitors of a walking and cycling-friendly environment in the city centre.
The SUMP is part of the European-wide Civitas Portis transportation project, which is worth £3.2million to the north-east led by Aberdeen City Council, and involves a consortium of the council, university and private partners aimed at improving travel in the area.
The partners for the project also include Aberdeenshire Council, Nestrans, The Robert Gordon University, the University of Aberdeen, and Aberdeen Harbour Board.
Civitas Portis aims to make a positive impact on five European port cities – Aberdeen, Trieste in Italy, Antwerp in Belgium, Constance in Romania, and Klaipeda in Lithuania.
Civitas Portis has received 100% funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, and it started on 11 September 2016 and finishes on 31 August 2020.