A new UK-wide fund could solve the north-east’s “bridge crisis”, according to a local parliamentary candidate.
Crossings in Aberdeenshire have been hit by severe problems in recent years, with the bridge at Milton of Fisherie on the road to King Edward closed at the weekend after residents spotted damage.
Aberdeenshire Council is responsible for more than 1,300 bridges on its road network – but there is currently not enough money to maintain them.
Some bridges which were washed away during severe funding in 2019 have not yet been replaced.
Last week the UK Government announced it would extend its Levelling Up fund north of the border, leading to around £800 million of extra investment.
Mark Findlater, the Scottish Conservatives’ candidate for the Banffshire and Buchan Coast seat and a councillor for the Troup ward, said the fund could be used to repair or replace damaged bridges.
“The Milton of Fisherie bridge was closed at the weekend because a local resident noticed damage underneath the arch and reported it,” he said.
“Aberdeenshire Council can now take action to get this looked at and repaired.
“However, this is one of 1,381 bridges in Aberdeenshire and they all have to be maintained, repaired and replaced where necessary.
“Based on the current condition of the bridge network, not including this one, the investment required over the next 20 years is £102million.
“Aberdeenshire is also one of the lowest funded councils in the country – we do not get a fair share of resources.
“There may be some light at the end of the tunnel, however, with the new UK Levelling Up fund.
“I would argue that there is a strong case to be made for accessing some of that funding to help overcome our bridges crisis here in Aberdeenshire, and in places like King Edward.”