Historic Cruden Bay bridge still awaiting repair work

Bishops Bridge has been struck on many occasions over the years causing significant damage to the parapets
Bishops Bridge has been struck on many occasions over the years causing significant damage to the parapets

A 17th century historic bridge near Cruden Bay is still awaiting vital repair work five years after it was seriously damaged in traffic accidents.

The narrow, curving Bishop’s Bridge was struck on two separate occasions back in late 2013 and again in early 2014 causing significant damage to the parapets.

At the time, council officers raised concerns that additional damage was being caused by large vehicles ignoring the width and weight restriction and using the route as a ‘rat-run’ by motorists going to Newburgh.

Measuring just 2.4 metres in width and with a weight limit of only three tonnes, the B-listed bridge near Cruden Parish Church was subsequently closed for some time under a Prohibition of Vehicular Traffic Order to enable Aberdeenshire Council to undertake emergency repairs.

But councillors on the authority’s Buchan Area Committee heard this week that a full programme of historic repairs has not yet been carried out.

During discussion of the council’s 2019 roads and bridges maintenance programmes, Peterhead South and Cruden councillor Stephen Calder asked why there was no mention of the Bishop’s Bridge in the report.

He was advised that modern temporary repairs had been undertaken with cement mortar, but that the historic lime mortar process had not yet taken place.

The stonework which fell into the burn below is being stored by the council for permanent repair.

Although a firm date has not been scheduled, it is hoped the works could be undertaken this year but it may stretch into next year.