Liberal Democrats response

Local elections 2022:  questions sent by Aberdeen Cycle Forum to candidates / party representatives and answers below received from Liberal Democrats’ (provided by Ian Yuill)

1. Do you agree that there is a Climate Emergency?

Yes.

2. Despite all the plans, policies and strategies in place at both a local and national level, active travel infrastructure in Aberdeen is very poor, and the rate of change in delivering improvements seems to be incredibly slow. What would you do to speed up the rate of change?

We believe that there needs to be a step change in Aberdeen City Council’s approach to improving active travel infrastructure in our city. We would work with Aberdeen Cycle Forum and others to identify projects which would deliver real benefits for cyclists and pedestrians. In relation to cyclists, we believe improvements should include:

– a programme of action to improve safety for cyclists at road junctions in Aberdeen

– providing secure enclosed cycle storage lockers at appropriate locations across the city.

– ensuring that any new council road building our upgrades includes physically separated cycle lanes.

– taking forward the proposal to create a short-term cycle hire scheme in the city.

3. Aberdeen City Council is still intending to implement new road-building schemes such as on South College St and the Berryden Corridor which will increase traffic capacity coming into the city centre. Do you support those proposals?

Our view is that any new road building schemes should be designed to take traffic around the city centre – not through it.

As mentioned in our answer to question two, we also believe road schemes should include physically segregated cycle lanes.

4. We have previously asked for the City Council to designate a Councillor and a Senior Officer to be Active Travel champions and a direct point of contact for campaign groups such as our own. Would you support such an idea?

Yes. 

Incidentally, when, between 2003 and 2007, I (Ian Yuill) was Depute Leader of the City Council and Convener of the Environment and Infrastructure Committee (responsible for transport and roads issues) I met regularly with Aberdeen Cycle Forum representatives.

5. Many other cities are now implementing car exclusion zones around schools at key times of day as a means of reducing pollution, increasing safety and thus encouraging active travel for children. We are not aware of any such plans in Aberdeen. Would you promote such an idea to be adopted in Aberdeen?

We would certainly consider this as part of an initiative to improve road safety around schools.

6. Do you support plans to pedestrianise Union Street between Market Street and Bridge Street, and would you support a segregated cycle path for the full length of Union Street?

The Aberdeen Liberal Democrats would support the full pedestrianisation of Union Street between Bridge Street and Market Street provided that could be done in such a way that accessibility to that area was maintained for those with limited mobility and other disabilities. The temporary measures introduced as part of the “Spaces for People“ response to the pandemic did not maintain that accessibility which is why, earlier this year, we supported the interim reintroduction of buses and taxis to central Union Street.

If it is feasible to do so, yes, we would support the creation of a dedicated cycle lane for the whole length of Union Street.