Ellon councillor’s dismay over further delays

Councillor Gillian Owen says the council needs to be encouraging more people to use public transport, but Ellon residents are having to wait for improvements to the park-and-ride facility.
Councillor Gillian Owen says the council needs to be encouraging more people to use public transport, but Ellon residents are having to wait for improvements to the park-and-ride facility.

An Ellon councillor has expressed her disappointment over further delays to phase two of the Ellon park-and-ride scheme.

Councillor Gillian Owen says she has asked for a further update on the project and has been told that the earliest the tender will go out is next month.

She told the Times: “I asked for a further update on phase 2 of the improvements and was really disappointed to see yet more delays.

“I am now told ‘with regard to the phase 2 programme, the specification is still being developed with a few technical issues still to be resolved by our consultants, mostly relating to electrical/CCTV’.

“So the earliest the tender will go out is mid-September.”

She continued: “Usage appears to be falling which isn’t surprising, one reason for this, in my view, is the length of time we have waited for phase 2 and now we have a nice new dual carriageway some may decide that the car is the better option.

“Years have passed and very little action has been seen.

“Also, the state of the parking area is scruffy and looks unkempt.

“This, I understand, is being addressed but looking so poor will only put people off leaving their car.”

She added: “We need to be encouraging more people to use public transport and once the improvements, which include new stanchions and real-time signage, become operational, we should have a first class resource for bus travel to the city centre, but in the meantime we continue to wait.”

Formartine area committee agreed back in March 2012 to expand the Ellon park-and-ride provision linked to the development of the AWPR and explore the potential for mini-hubs that can be served by existing provision.

Phase one of the work included and extension to the existing car park, re-siting of the recycle centre and new directional signs.

Phase two will include additional external waiting facilities and upgrade to the turning circle to accommodate 15m vehicles.