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Aberdeen told: Leave "nice car" at home, take bus or cycle instead

Council says sustainable transport vital if Granite City to grow as business destination

Scotland’s third largest city, Aberdeen, is putting public transport and cycling at the heart of a transport policy aimed at supporting anticipated economic growth in the years ahead – with council leader Barney Crockett telling motorists they may have to leave their “nice cars” at home.

The Granite City, already a major business destination thanks to its links to the oil industry, is set to benefit from some £300 million of investment in the coming years to help build its economy further.

“There will be a shift in the relationship with the car, because this is going to be one of the most intense business cities in the world,” Mr Ronay, leader of the Labour group that controls the council, told the Press & Journal.

“If you look at cities of that kind, then obviously public transport takes on a bigger and bigger role.

“We have an unusual aspect in our city, in how prosperous many people are, so obviously they have nice cars and want to use them, so we will have that balance to make.

“But the key to the future is the ability to attract the most mobile, highly educated specialists and, disproportionately, people will be interested in public transport and in alternative transport and alternative energies.”

The city’s enterprise, planning and infrastructure director, Gordon McIntosh, said that one lesson he had drawn from speaking to the mayor of Copenhagen that the reason levels of cycling use are so high there was not because it was considered ‘green’ but because “it is the quickest way to get from A to B.”

He said: “Because of the congestion there was in Copenhagen, and the fact they protected the architecture and the street design, people used bicycles to get around the central parts.

“We need that type of modal shift, and anything we do would be looking at European cities, which have cycle lanes and walking lanes alongside any of the interventions they have in terms of light rail or anything else.”

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Bhachgen | 10 years ago

In my experience of trying to drive in, around and through Aberdeen it's hard to see a necessity to make any car commutes purposefully longer. Christopher Brookmyre described it very well in the opening section of his novel A Big Boy Did It and Ran Away.

You can read it on his website:

It's not exactly complimentary but then Brookmyre rarely is...

Strathlubnaig | 10 years ago

Aberdeen Cooncil make a decision and actually see it through ? I doubt it.

jarredscycling | 10 years ago

I bet most people would consider riding a bike if you could help them actually save time on their commutes. Sadly that takes a lot of political thought and will to go against the grain. People won't like having their car commutes purposefully made longer

MikeF | 10 years ago

Whereas I leave my "grotty car" at home and take my nice bike instead.

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