Concern over bridge closure

Left to right - Jeff Hutchison, George Carr and Andrew Bowie
Left to right - Jeff Hutchison, George Carr and Andrew Bowie

A North-east MP has written to Aberdeenshire Council bosses to clarify possible plans to replace historic Abbeyton Bridge in the Mearns.

Local authority engineers have deemed the 169-year-old structure, near Fordoun, unsafe after conducing detailed surveys over the past two months.

A one-way system was put in place to ease pressure on the bridge, but a decision has been made to demolish it to reduce the safety risk to a rail line running below.

West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie has been joined by local Conservative councillors George Carr and Jeff Hutchison in raising concerns about the impact of the closure of the key route on local residents and businesses.

Mr Bowie has now written to the council.

He said: “There has been considerable disruption for local residents and businesses since traffic on the Abbeyton Bridge was originally reduced to one lane in June.

“The diversions in place are a drag on business at a time when local companies already face significant challenges.

“However, safety must come first, and I fully understand the council’s decision to close the route altogether.”

Mr Bowie added: “I am writing to Aberdeenshire Council chief executive Jim Savege on behalf of my constituents to ask what happens now.

“If a replacement bridge is to be built, then that will come at a cost. Given ongoing cuts to the council’s budget from the SNP government in Edinburgh, that won’t be easy.”