Councillor calls on public to report large vehicles using historic North-east bridge

The Gairnshiel bridge

A councillor is urging people to report any large vehicles using a historic North-east bridge.

The Gairnshiel bridge, a Grade A-listed structure, has a weight restriction preventing larger vehicles from using it, however, councillors are concerned it is being ignored.

Councillor Geva Blackett, who represents the Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside ward, is encouraging the surrounding community to take an active role in capturing vehicles using the bridge when they shouldn’t be.

After a meeting with Aberdeenshire Council bridge manager and councillor Paul Gibb, the councillors are now asking members of the public to take pictures of any vehicles they believe to be more than 18 tonnes using the bridge or road.

This is because as once they are on the bridge, it is difficult to turn around.

Cllr Blackett said: “This beautiful Grade A-listed bridge has a weight limit imposed, which is sadly being ignored by drivers and consequently is constantly being badly damaged.

“Please take a photo on your phone, including the number plate, and send it to one of us.

“In turn we will send it to the bridge manager who will contact the company responsible.

“The police are also being contacted, so the message is ‘if your vehicle is plated over 18T please be aware you risk prosecution by using that bridge’.”

Longer-term plans for the bridge are expected to be discussed at a meeting of the Marr Area Committee next month.

The council’s bridges and structures manager Donald Macpherson said: “We are regularly monitoring the structural condition of the bridge and are presently determining remedial options and appropriate timescales.

“In the meantime, there is an 18-tonne vehicle weight restriction in place on this bridge and we would urge all affected drivers to observe this, use the clearly signed diversion route if necessary and respect this historic bridge.”