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Freedom of Information Request – AFC proposing Road closures are preferable to a new bridge

A report, dated 18/10/17 detailing a meeting held  between Aberdeen Football Club and Aberdeen Council Planning/Roads department on the 10th October 2017,  obtained under Freedom of Information, has revealed that the club asked for the planning condition in respect of the bridge to be changed to a ‘safe means of pedestrian crossing’, which would not preclude other means of crossing.  They then go on to say that other means are preferred by the police, albeit Police Scotland have not said so in any consultation response.  The Club then state that many clubs in the UK require the closure of roads.   The council pointed out that the roads involved in these cases would be urban streets, as opposed to main dual carriageways providing arterial routes, and on that basis the impact of road closure would be very different. The Roads department said in their consultation response of 6 September that should a pedestrian bridge not be deliverable, then they would have been objecting to the proposal.  However, they would appear to have allowed the condition of planning to now be a ‘safe means of crossing’.  This is clearly as a result of this meeting and the clubs’ preference for an alternative to a bridge.  This is a real about turn by the Roads department, who were adamant in their consultation response that a bridge must be a condition of planning consent. This proposed road closure would not be to allow cars to exit the stadium as would be the case on other stadiums.  Indeed, Golf Road is closed after some matches at Pittodrie.   This is about allowing fans to cross the road safely, which presents a very different scenario.

  • Would it be only for after the match? If so, how long would it need to be closed?
  • Will fans be expected to march down military style and be held before crossing?
  • It is expected that 1,000s of fans will park in Arnhall. How long would they need to close the A944 to allow 1,000s to cross the road?
  • What about before the match? The 1,000s of fans will be arriving over a period of about an hour.  Can you imagine the impact on the roads if the ‘green man’ is activated every couple of minutes at the Tarland fork?  Or will the fans just cross the road anyway at whichever point they choose on the way across from Arnhall?  Surely not !
The October report also reiterates that the CPZ is an essential part of delivering the transport strategy.  This remains a condition of planning approval, and should the club wish this condition to be removed they have until 22nd July to appeal to the Scottish Government for its’ removal.  Given that the Roads department have been firm in the requirement for it and that Aberdeen City Council would have been unlikely to recommend approval had the Roads department objected, and that Aberdeenshire Council, who would have to implement the CPZ, have been firm in their stance that a CPZ (it’s implementation paid for by the club at a cost of around £600,00 and the ongoing administration of it fully funded the Club in perpetuity) is required, it is very hard to see how the Scottish Reporter could grant any appeal to remove this condition. Here is the report which also details discussion around the junctions etc. [embeddoc url="" download="all"]]]>

2 thoughts on “Freedom of Information Request – AFC proposing Road closures are preferable to a new bridge

  1. Is this the same Abdn city roads dept who want to narrow the A944 to accommodate AFC ?
    If any other member of the general public requested this – we would have the phone hung up on us !
    Why are they bending over backwards for AFC ?

  2. Several times during the consultation period I have tabled the subject of an emergency evacuation of a full stadium. How will AFC deal with the emergency evacuation not only of the stadium but the dispersion of 20,000 fans and another 600 staff from the overall site in an orderly manner. So far this does not seem to have been considered or even thought about. Such a plan is essential and requires the involvement of highly qualified people to draw up and consider the proposals. The risks that people may be exposed to may be greater than those for the Grenfell Tower tragedy where gross shortfalls in procedures are now coming to the surface. Such potential high risks require very careful consideration which may possibly stop the development in its tracks.

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