MP seeks Army assistance with crossing at Mearns bridge site
The British Army could be tasked with erecting a temporary crossing for cars and light vehicles affected by the closure of the Abbeyton Bridge in Aberdeenshire, a north-east MP has suggested.
West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie has now written to Armed Forces Minister Mark Lancaster asking about the “feasibility” of a short-term fix.
It comes after Aberdeenshire Council agreed the 169-yearold crossing, on the B966 just south of Fordoun, should be demolished after inspectors found major failings in the structure.
Local businesses have voiced concern about the impact of the closure and there are concerns that any replacement could take several years to build.
Mr Bowie said a temporary crossing would maintain a “vital link” for local business, keep local residents connected and help reduce the risk of accidents.
The Army carried out a similar role in the west of Aberdeenshire in the flooding that followed Storm Frank in 2015.
In his letter, Mr Bowie said: “It is clear to me that in the interests of public safety that a replacement bridge must be erected as soon as possible.
“I was wondering if it would be possible for the Army to examine the feasibility of establishing a temporary crossing for cars and light vehicles, as it did for the villages that saw similar bridges and access points disrupted in the floods of 2015.”
Nearby residents have also expressed concern that increased traffic at Fordoun as a result of the bridge closure is putting schoolchildren crossing the road at risk.