MP seeks Army as­sis­tance with cross­ing at Mearns bridge site

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - NEWS -

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.

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