Councillors push for bridge progress

Peterhead South & Cruden councillors Stephen Smith and Stuart Pratt have welcomed progress on a replacement bridge at Hatton but are continuing to press Aberdeenshire Council to up the pace.

The resultant road closure has cut off a large part of the village to road traffic although pedestrian access was restored by means of a temporary bridge within two working days.

Gas and water mains and electricity cables running under and alongside the collapsed bridge have delayed progress on the site.

Commenting following further discussions with Aberdeenshire Council’s Director of Infrastructure Stephen Archer and Head of Roads Philip McKay, Cllr Stephen Smith said: “I’m disappointed that things have not moved forward more quickly in order to minimise the disruption to residents but I understand that some aspects of this are outwith the council’s hands and I think the utility companies could have moved a lot quicker than they have done to date.

“In addition, Scottish Water don’t seem to have an adequate record of the exact locations of the sewers in the vicinity of the bridge, which has delayed things while a survey had to be carried out. People in Hatton are suffering a lot of inconvenience due to the diversions in place and the sooner the work can start on getting a temporary vehicle access in place, the better.”

Cllr Stuart Pratt added:

“I don’t under-estimate the amount of behind-the-scenes work which has been required but I would have hoped that the council could have had something in place by this stage. I’m aware that discussions are at an advanced stage with the landowner to gain the necessary permissions for diverting the gas main and for the temporary vehicle access and I’ll continue to push for these works to be carried out as quickly as possible.”