Concerns have been raised about the state of safety railings at a popular North-east beach.
The railings alongside the pavement at Aberdeen Beach are designed prevent people from falling from the path level down on to the beach itself.
However, the railings and lifebelt stanchions that adjoin the pavement are now disintegrating and, in some places, are missing altogether.
Temporary plastic barriers have been erected close to the Queens Links Retail Park, where there is one such gap.
The stretch of railings that runs from opposite the Beach Leisure Centre to the Donmouth, are particularly corroded, and divide the footpath from the slope to beach level.
David Reid, a regular beachgoer, uses the area to exercise at least three times a week, and has noticed the increasing decay of the metal barrier over the past few years.
Mr Reid, of Kincorth, said he now goes less frequently because of the problems there, and has no confidence in the railings protecting anyone’s safety.
He said he is concerned it might take a serious accident before the council will finally consider carrying out repairs.
The 61-year-old said: “The Aberdeen Beach safety rails and the infrastructure of the lifebuoy holders are in such a bad state that I fear a serious accident or incident is not far away.”
Due to the corrosion, holes have developed in some of the beach’s railings, exposing sharp edges.
Mr Reid said: “I grazed my fingers on one of these rails but thankfully I had put no weight on it. If I had I’m in no doubt that I would have nearly sliced my fingers off.
“The problem is not isolated – it’s rampant from stairwell 23 to stairwell 30.”
Mr Reid often takes his three-year-old grandson Cameron to the beach, and one of his concerns is that a child might end up getting injured; either by cutting themselves on the railings, or falling at a spot where the temporary barriers are in place.
He said: “I would hate to think of the consequences if a child uses these stairwells or, God forbid, the emergency services need immediate access in these areas.
“These safety railings and lifebuoy housings have been like this for nearly two years now and are getting worse every day.
“This, coupled with the temporary fencing, quite frankly makes the beach area a death trap,” Mr Reid said.
“I did contact the council and they asked me to take pictures, but they had no plans to repair any of these rusted and rotten railings.
“The public need to be warned of this dangerous situation.”
Cllr Dell Henrickson, who represents the George Street, Harbour ward, said: “It’s shocking that the safety rails at the beach have been able to fall into such disrepair.
“I will be asking what plans we have to repair these and will also make a point of raising it at the next Water Safety meeting.
“I realise that it’s a constant battle to maintain miles of rails and fences along the beachfront but the council shouldn’t be letting them get to the stage where they are rusting to nothing.”
An Aberdeen City Council spokeswoman said: “The lifebelt stanchions are suffering from some corrosion and they are due to be painted in the spring.
“We are aware of the deteriorating condition of the handrails and have assessed the work required, and the estimate of cost is being worked up.
“If the cost is manageable and we have budget, we’ll move as quickly as possible to replace the handrails.
“Some of the stairs are closed due to the condition of the handrails,” the spokeswoman added. “However we cannot close them all as it would mean there would be no exit for beach-users from the rising tide.”