In line with Scottish Planning Policy, Aberdeen Football Club (AFC) have provided spaces for 1,350 cars at the proposed Kingsford stadium site.
We have looked at some of the statements regarding the allocation of these spaces, and similar to the shuttle bus strategy, we question whether or not these proposals are realistic.
- The strategy shows 3,915 people parking in the 1,350 spaces. This is a 2.9 person average per car. There is no information in the strategy to detail how this will be monitored. Will people with less than 3 people in their car be turned away? In a survey carried out on behalf of the club 42% of people said they travelled to Pittodrie with 1-2 people in their car. Interestingly that same survey failed to ask the question “How do you intend to travel to Kingsford ?” Wonder why not ?
- 1,100 car spaces will be available to home supporters with parking permits purchased in advance. No cars will be allowed in the stadium without a permit.
- 250 of the 1,350 spaces have been allocated for 1,000 hospitality guests.
- No spaces have been allocated for the manager, players, players families, directors, board members or stadium staff. There were 680 parking spaces allowed for these groups in the Loirston application – how could this have been accepted by ACC? Perhaps the players and the manager will be on the early shuttle buses?
One of the exits requires 800 cars to vacate the car park immediately after the match. The plan states:
- Traffic signals will operate at 120 second intervals with around 35 seconds for departures in each interval (so 35 cars leave every two minutes).
- This will require 23 intervals of lights from the exit onto the A944
- 35 cars will be able to exit at each interval – one per second.
- It will be 46 minutes before the last car will be able to leave.
This of course means that traffic will be being stopped 23 times on the A944, in addition to the lights at the Six-Mile fork, which will have traffic already building up due to the fans who have parked off site making their way to the city or the AWPR.
- There are 2,700 Old Firm fans arriving by 60 official supporters bus who will be able to park at the stadium. As detailed in the supporting statements, 3,000 tickets are to be allocated to Old-Firm away fans, meaning 300 will arrive by other means from off-site.
- The plan states that Police Scotland have said they are able to release 60 supporters coaches in 2 minutes from Pittodrie. We know they do this by closing the road. Assuming the same timing is used for release of buses from Kingsford, then that’s a rate of one bus every 2 seconds exiting the stadium. Jings.
OFF-SITE PARKING AND THE CPZ
- Using the 2.9 per vehicle ratio, the plan states that depending on the type of match, 600-800 cars will be parking off site. AFC have presented no evidence where the 600-800 spaces for parking in Arnhall are. But we know from Freedom of Information requests obtained from Aberdeenshire Council that these parking spaces have not been secured and that the club is considering other options not presented in the planning application.
THESE CAR NUMBERS FOR PARKING OFF-SITE ARE DEPENDANT ON THE NUMBER OF FANS PARKING AT THE STADIUM, TRAVELLING BY BUS OR WALKING, AS PRESENTED BY AFC, BEING CORRECT. ANY REDUCTION IN THESE NUMBERS WILL MEAN MORE CARS.
- A controlled parking zone (CPZ) is proposed for a small area of Westhill. This does not represent a 30 minute walking distance from the stadium. In fact, a 30 minute walking distance is almost twice the distance shown in these plans. However the Aberdeen Planners have imposed a planning condition that the CPZ must cover a 30 minute walking distance to the stadium.
For an Old Firm game :
- 2,320 home supporters in 800 cars will be required to park out with the CPZ which covers a 30 minute walking radius to the stadium.
- 433 people in addition to the 2,320 above are expected to walk from Westhill.
- 300 away supporters not travelling by official coach will also be arriving at the stadium.
These are the facts from AFCs parking proposals within the transport plan.
A plan…which sees all players, staff, directors and their families unable to park on the stadium site.
A plan…which states around 35% of people will take their car, even though between 61% and 72% currently travel by car to Pittodrie (depending on which survey you believe). And that is with Pittodrie being within walking distances of many parts of the city, well served by various bus routes, and within walking distance of the train and bus stations. Indeed, the transport plan states “It is noteworthy, that despite its inner city location, which is reasonably accessible from the bus and railway stations, the majority of fans still travel by car to matches played at Pittodrie”. Yet they expect 1,000s of fans to change their habits and take a bus to Kingsford?
A plan…which has a CPZ which is only around 15 minutes rather than the required 30 minutes walking distance.
A plan…which has 600 to 800 ‘ghost’ parking spaces in Arnhall (which we know do not exist).
A plan…that has every car travelling to the stadium with 3 people in it.
A plan…with buses exiting the stadium in record-breaking times.
A plan…. that reckons that the streets of Westhill will accommodate at least 800 additional cars, parking where they want (outside of the CPZ of course…)
And a plan that, to make the transport figures work, the club has to provide Old Firm teams with more tickets than they get at present because the figures just don’t work otherwise.
So, like the shuttle bus strategy, is this just a case of slicing and dicing to make the numbers work ? What do you think ?