Local councillors have hailed the start of works to replace the Ladies Bridge at Cruden Bay beach as a boost to the local economy.
Peterhead South and Cruden SNP councillors Stuart Pratt and Stephen Smith have campaigned for seven years to get Aberdeenshire Council to provide funding to upgrade the vital coastal bridge.
Work commences on Monday to replace the aging structure which is beyond economic repair.
The design of the bridge is similar to the existing and will be installed on the existing concrete piers.
Commenting, councillor Stephen Smith said: “Cruden Bay beach is a tremendous tourist attraction and a great asset to the village.
“We’ve had several occasions in the past few years where the bridge has had to be closed for safety reasons due to its condition and it stopped being financially viable to carry out major repairs.
The new bridge will secure the access to the beach and should be open to the public in advance of the summer holidays and hopefully before that if some of the works which are weather-dependent don’t get delayed.Councillor Stuart Pratt
“It’s taken many years of campaigning and persuasion to get Aberdeenshire Council to commit the funding for a replacement bridge and I am delighted that work is about to start.”
Councillor Stuart Pratt added: “Every time the bridge had to be closed, as well as the inconvenience to locals and tourists alike, local businesses suffered a downturn in trade as visitors just moved on elsewhere.
“The new bridge will secure the access to the beach and should be open to the public in advance of the summer holidays and hopefully before that if some of the works which are weather-dependent don’t get delayed.”
Work is scheduled to start on removing the existing bridge on Monday, March 9.
Alternative access will be provided to the beach over an approved route across the golf course.
This will enable people to access the beach during construction works, however it must be noted that the dune system is dynamic and the route may not be suitable for all users.