Work set to begin on transforming ARI busport

Stuart Smith 2012, News

A major £84,000 project to transform the busport at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (ARI) will begin today (Monday 19 March).

This project, which is being part funded by Nestrans and NHS Grampian with support from Aberdeen City Council, will see the existing bus boarding area outside the main entrance to ARI substantially redesigned to address long-standing issues of overcrowding, both pedestrian and vehicle.

In the redesigned site there will be separate bus boarding and alighting points for buses heading towards the City Centre or out of the City, and passengers will be able to walk to or from both of these stops without having to cross the road as they currently have to.

The busport access road will also be widened to allow buses to pass each other while at the stops, which they are currently unable to do, leading to congestion problems at the busport and on Foresterhill Road.

Aberdeen City Council’s Enterprise, Planning and Infrastructure director Gordon McIntosh said: “This work will cause disruption but this will significantly ease day-to-day operations when complete.

This will cause some passengers to ARI inconvenience and we ask that they are patient while the work is ongoing.

The job is due to last eight weeks and I’m sure everything will be done as quickly as possible to minimise disruption to road users.”

Gary Mortimer, NHS Grampian Estates General Manager, said: “We regularly get requests for more frequent bus services to and from Foresterhill Health Campus and a greater choice of routes and we believe this work will facilitate that. We appreciate that there will be some disruption for staff, patients and visitors and we thank them for their co-operation. We would also remind anyone coming to the site that the busport entrance to ARI will be access only during the works.”

Derick Murray, Director of regional transport partnership Nestrans, said: “We are committed to improving bus access across Aberdeen City and Shire through delivery of our Bus Action Plan and have worked in partnership with the local authorities, both bus operator and NHS Grampian to bring this project forward.

Foresterhill is of strategic regional importance in terms of being a key destination for people from across the area. We would hope that improved access will remove the constraints around services to the site and encourage more people to use public transport when visiting Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.”

Duncan Cameron, Operations Director at First Aberdeen, said: “First Aberdeen welcomes the work being carried out to improve the bus terminus at the hospital. Not only should the finished project improve journey times but will also make it easier and safer for buses to pick up and drop off passengers.”

Alex Crane, Operations Manager for Stagecoach Bluebird in Aberdeen said: “During the period of planned roadworks taking place at ARI we will endeavour to keep any delays to a minimum and while we accept that the disruption will cause some temporary inconvenience for our customers we hope that the completion of this project will allow for an even more convenient and safe travel experience when visiting the hospital.”

The project is expected to take up to eight weeks and the busport will be closed for the duration of the works with temporary bus stops situated nearby on Forresterhill Road. Smokers should use the designated shelters at the Rotunda and the East End of the site.