Restriction is a bridge too far, claims councillor...

Campaigners have been fighting for a junction for 9 years now
Campaigners have been fighting for a junction for 9 years now

A controversial proposal to impose a weight restriction on a bridge on the outskirts of Laurencekirk has been delayed.

Aberdeenshire Council want to impose the 18-tonne weight restriction at Brigton Bridge on the grounds of public safety.

However, local farmers say that the ban will lead to an additional 300 lorries and tractors a year being forced to cross the A90 at the notorious Laurencekirk junction and travel through the town’s High Street.

At their meeting on Tuesday, members of the Kincardine and Mearns area committee were asked to approve the restriction on the 1930s structure which carries traffic on the single track Sauchieburn to Mill of Thornton road.

Roads engineers claim a weight restriction is needed because of the deteriorating structural condition of the bridge.

The weight ban will lead to tractors and HGVs over 18 tonnes having to make a seven mile diversion via Fettercairn.

Council officer Donald McPherson said that there was sympathy with farmers and business owners who would affected, but the move was a “necessity.”

Mearns Councillor Dave Stewart blocked the move, calling for details to be given on alternative options.

He said: “We are only being given the information that the officers want us to see.

‘‘ The report on this is only a page and a half long. This affects a lot of people, and it’s not good enough.”

Cllr Stewart said that a decision could not be made until a more detailed report was put before the committee.

He was backed by the majority of his colleagues, and an extnsive report is expected to be put before the committee at a later date.