Traffic Management in Glen Muick

I am pleased to provide NEMT members with an update on UDAT's proposals to begin implementing traffic management measures in Glen Muick, following a lengthy process of involvement and detailed study. As many of you will recall, last winter we undertook a wide ranging consultation exercise culminating in an open workshop held in Ballater in February, to review the findings and debate various options we had been developing on how this might be translated into a workable and reasonable solution. (See Donald Thomas' useful review in Mountain Views, issue No 45).

We followed this up by circulating a summary of the workshop findings to everyone who attended, including NEMT, and set about acting on the balance of all the research and advice received - not an easy task! On the main issues; car parking, access for coaches, charging and facilities at the Spittal, there was a fairly clear consensus on the general principles of what should be done, although a lot of detail still needed working on. On other issues, particularly landscaping, there was a much wider range of views on what should be done, and this is dealt with later.

So what has happened since then? Firstly, we looked very carefully at the practical and administrative implications of how the agreed measures might be introduced, and the success of similar management solutions adopted elsewhere in mountain areas in the UK. We then reviewed our original design ideas for the Spittal car park with the landscape architect, partner organisations and others to integrate the revised proposals into a sensitive and effective plan. This process led us through many design changes, and in June we put forward a package of detailed recommendations to our UDAT Board, and announced at our AGM and in the press our intention to go ahead with an integrated plan of improvements to be put in place over the coming winter (see illustrated plan). The scheme includes the following elements:

The plans as shown were formally submitted for planning approval to Aberdeenshire Council in August and advertised in the press, and will be considered by the Marr Area Committee at the end of October. If approved, the reconstruction work will start in November and continue through December. Alternative parking will be provided whilst the work is in progress, however there may be some temporary inconvenience to users during this time.

I hope this provides some insight into the overall process and final outcome. It obviously isn't possible to explain all of the reasoning and practical constraints we had to work with in this article, however if any NEMT member would like further information please feel free to contact me at the UDAT office on 013398 81133. Finally, may I thank NEMT members for all their valuable input and ideas in helping us develop these proposals, which I hope will provide a more balanced, effective and sustainable solution for the future of the Glen.

Andrew Coleman, UDAT Project Manager, 2nd October 2000

Update (April 2001)

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