Bridge of Dee 'should have been replaced years ago', claims roads expert amid Aberdeen traffic chaos
Motorists have voiced fury in recent weeks after a closure to the infamous bridge was followed by works on the King George VI bridge that have caused long delays for commuters.
Motorists have voiced fury in recent weeks after a closure to the infamous bridge was followed by works on the King George VI bridge that have caused long delays for commuters. The current round of works is set to continue until late June at the earliest.
Meanwhile, closures related to a revamp of South College Street have caused yet more misery for city centre drivers.
Neil Greig, policy and research director at the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said the 'bottleneck' bridge has been a noose around the neck of Granite City drivers for decades.
He told Aberdeen Live: "The bypass has definitely helped things like Anderson Drive but if you look at that road it still comes down to the old Bridge of Dee which has been a bottleneck for decades and there's no prospect of that changing.
"The last time I was in Aberdeen we deliberately went round the bypass and in through Cults to avoid the Bridge of Dee.
"I've been promoting roads in Scotland for almost 30 years now and one of the first things I started talking about was the Bridge of Dee and I'll be retiring soon and it's still the same.
Mr Greig suggested city chiefs may have been caught off guard by the return of traffic in huge numbers to major roads following the lifting of coronavirus measures.
He added: "The broader trend is that traffic levels are returning to pre-Covid levels and that's what's causing a lot of the general congestion that we're seeing now.
"People are getting back in their cars and they're driving around but they're also driving around at different times because of working from home.
"What many cities are finding is that Saturday and Sundays are as busy as the old peak morning and evenings used to be and that's because even when people are working from home they still want to go out and about at the weekends.
"As well as the traffic getting back to busy levels, public transport hasn't. We still haven't got bus use, which is a big issue in Aberdeen, back to pre-Covid levels.
"These new patterns mean that traditional approaches to roadworks such as doing them on the weekends aren't working because you end up with huge delays."
The campaigner also slammed 'cheap and nasty' new road designs aimed at encouraging active travel.
He continued: "As with various other cities, during lockdown, as part of the move to get people to take up active travel, we've got new cycle lanes, we've got different road layouts that are quite confusing in some cases.
"We've actually lost some road capacity, so the roads that were busy back in 2020 before Covid have now got the same amount of traffic on them but in some cases they've lost a lane or they're narrower or the layout's been changed to try and get people to cycle.
"There were a lot of pretty cheap and nasty, simple approaches to cycle space by just coning off a lane and things like that.
"Unfortunately, people aren't choosing active travel in the numbers that they need to in order to help with the reduced traffic capacity."
Aberdeen City Council was approached for comment.