Historic Mearns bridge to be rebuilt

An historic Mearns bridge over the East Coast railway line will be rebuilt following agreement by Aberdeenshire councillors on Thursday.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 2:43 pm
Andrew Bowie with George Carr and Jeff Hutchison at the bridge.

The council’s Infrastructure Services Committee approved its prioritisation list for bridge works, where high priority was given for a replacement Abbeyton Bridge.

The 170-year-old span, which carried the B966 Fettercairn to Fordoun, was demolished in 2018 due to its critical condition.

Speaking at the meeting, Mearns Councillor George Carr said: “This is great news for south Aberdeenshire, especially since significant damage has taken place to surrounding roads since 2018.

“Residents, businesses and the agricultural community will welcome this important step to rebuild this vital bridge.

“I thank Mearns Community Council and the residents who helped make the business case for this work to move forwards.”

Fellow Mearns Councillor Jeff Hutchison said: “In 2019, the Conservative-led council administration created an infrastructure fund to enable us to tackle the backlog of bridges and bridge repairs.

“I am truly thrilled to see Abbeyton Bridge feature prominently in the prioritisation list.

“I am only too aware of the impact its loss has had on the Fordoun area and the wider Mearns community.”

Now funding has been agreed by the local authority, Network Rail will be responsible for carrying out the work.

West Aberdeenshire MP Andrew Bowie has been working with the transport body and local councillors to see Abbeyton bridge replaced.

He said: “I’ve been in close contact with Network Rail to establish their capacity to do the work and will approach them again to pin down timescales.

“This work must commence at the start of the 10-year funding period.

“There are many communities who have been left divided by the massive repair and replacement backlog faced by the council, and I will pursue every avenue on how to take other projects forward.”

*Are you pleased to hear the news that Abbeyton Bridge is being rebuilt? Tell us what you think by dropping us a line at [email protected] or visit our Facebook page.