WAS the decision to withdraw the re-opening of the Bervie Braes road from the agenda of last month’s Kincardine and Mearns Area committee made because the Jacobs report said that the road was safer for cars than pedestrians?
This was just one of the questions brought before Councillors during the public question time at Tuesday’s Area committee meeting.
The withdrawal of the report before February’s meeting caused some members of the community to question the reasons behind the decision. Aberdeenshire Council claims that the decision was made to gather more information, however many are not satisfied with this answer and claim that the decision was in fact made because the report contained information which Aberdeenshire Council did not want in the public domain- that the road is in fact safer for cars than, the traffic which is currently allowed on it, cyclists and pedestrians.
In reply to the public’s first question at the meeting, Chair of Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee, Councillor Carl Nelson, said: “The report was withdrawn because it required further investigation before a decision was made over the re-opening of the Bervie Braes road. This area committee needs all the information before it makes a decision.”
This prompted the member of the public to then ask if Councillors had seen the report before it was withdrawn, and to ask if the report contained the information that the road was safer for vehicles.
Councillor Carl Nelson in reply to this said he personally had seen the report however that “at this stage it is for further investigation. Whether we have read it or haven’t read it makes no difference until we have all the information in front of us.”
Public question time was then finished with one more question regarding the issue as Aberdeenshire Council’s concerns over being sued in relation to the Bervie Braes was brought up, and what sort of event would result in Aberdeenshire Council being sued.
Senior solicitor for Aberdeenshire Council, Mr Robertson explained that there are a number of incidents where the local authority could face legal action and said that any event which results in personal loss or damage could result in a claim.
He said: “We live in fairly litigious times where persons are encouraged to press litigation if they feel they have a case. That doesn’t mean they are going to be successful.”
The re-opening of the Bervie Braes road is due to be discussed at a future Kincardine and Mearns area committee meeting.