Reclaim Aberdeen’s Castlegate

The Castlegate was once the hub of Aberdeen.  Buses turned around the island with its glistening gleaming tiled subterranean toilets.  The Castlegate reverberated with people, shops, restaurants and traffic to the extent there were demands – presumably  – for pedestrianisation. Now its a place many people avoid like the plague.

The bureaucrat speak promised improved safety, comfort and enjoyment of the space for everyone. GREATER FREEDOM.  Hallelujah.

We got  dead space,  scary space at times.  In place of traffic fumes and life is an air of depressing squalor.

We lost the old flee market of the sixties packed with exciting finds of all description.  It got the council treatment with proper stalls which the good people of Aberdeen had the sense to turn their backs on.

Markets more recently came back to the Castlegate.  But people didn’t exactly flock to them in large numbers.  Why?  Well, people don’t like the Castlegate any more.  There’s no reason to go that far down Union Street and it’s bloody freezing.  The east wind howls off the North Sea straight up the Boulevard and through the Castlegate.  At least you used to get some shelter from the double deckers turning around.

Get some life back into this historic area of the city.  Dig up the flags.  Get buses back in.  Encourage little shops to open up.  Tempt people back to the Castlegate – pedestrianised for their good – but who prefer to shop and eat in traffic-filled areas.  Places buzzing with life.

Planners: you created a donkey with the Castlegate – should we expect anything more from a bunch of asses?

Still think it’s a good idea for Union Street?   . . . and talking about Union Street – how about serving some compulsory purchase orders for those hideous stores on the south side of Union Bridge which was (is?) the largest single-span granite bridge in the world and revive Union Street’s former grandeur and views across the southern part of town?

Isn’t it time Aberdeen employed quality personnel who have a grasp of  the unique nature of the Granite City and not the pencil sharpeners who continue to chip away at any at quality buildings which once made Aberdeen a city of distinction?

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