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Concerns over Aboyne bridge closure raised at community event

By Kyle Ritchie

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A community drop-in event provided the opportunity for people to put forward their concerns about the closure of Aboyne bridge.

It was organised by Mid Deeside Community Council and was held at Aboyne Scout Hut.

It gave residents the chance to tell Aberdeenshire Council what impact the closure of the bridge is having on them personally while also giving officers the opportunity to highlight the significant issues they are facing with the structure and the challenges around repairs.

Aboyne bridge is under an 18-month closure.
Aboyne bridge is under an 18-month closure.

The impact on the community of Birse in particular was made very clear – with residents concerned by the added travel time to get to surgery appointments, shops and other facilities and activities in Aboyne.

An Aberdeenshire Council spokesman said: "We are working with our area teams and stakeholders to identify ways in which we can support residents – in particular vulnerable people and those with mobility issues and lack of transport – to lessen the impact they will face for a significant period of time.

"Some businesses too reflected on loss of trade, with affected households across the bridge potentially favouring trips to Banchory or Ballater instead of going to Aboyne.

"As part of our wider local engagement we also ran a short online survey for residents and businesses to complete.

"We know the cost of any reconstruction or replacement will be significant and a budget will first have to be identified and having the views and comments from the community will be invaluable in the support of any funding bids.

"As those who joined us at the drop-in were informed, we hope to have the specialist structural consultancy on-site in March to undertake a full assessment of the bridge.

"This vital element of investigatory work into the concrete disintegration in the structure’s top deck will help us to consider all options.

"However, this critical survey work and development of options will take several months and we will only be in a position to report back our findings in August.

"Thereafter – and very much dependent on the outcomes and decisions around the options – we would anticipate works commencing in the spring of 2025 with completion by the end of next year or early 2026.

Aboyne Bridge – which carries the B968 Bridgeview Road over the River Dee – remains under an 18-month closure.

It is still in use for pedestrians, cyclists and other non-motorised forms of transport only, and it is hoped that this can continue during the period of the closure. The diversion for vehicles is via Dinnet Bridge (B9158 road).

The spokesman added: "We would once again take this opportunity to thank the communities of Birse, Aboyne and surrounding areas for their patience and understanding during the current closure."

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