Councillor in plea for HGV drivers to stop damaging historic bridge

Geva Blackett

A North-east councillor is publicly pleading with drivers of vehicles over 18 tonnes to stop damaging a listed bridge in her ward.

There is a weight limit imposed on the A-listed Gairnshiel Bridge on the A939 in Royal Deeside but SNP councillor Geva Blackett said this is frequently being ignored by drivers.

Cllr Blackett, who has long been an advocate for a new bridge in the area, added: “My worry is that one day the cumulative damage will be so great the council will have no alternative but to close the road to allow for urgent structural repairs.

“As the bridge is on the Snow Road and the North-east 250 routes, closure would have a huge economic impact on businesses throughout the region and cause major inconvenience to drivers who will be forced to take a 40-mile detour from the A93 back on to the A939 going north and vice versa.

“I would ask those drivers to please stop using this bridge because their actions are extremely destructive.”

Cllr Blackett has also written to Jane Ryder, chairwoman of Historic Environment Scotland to highlight the issue.

The bridge over the River Gairn at Gairnshiel Lodge was constructed as part of the Military Road from Braemar to Fort George, Inverness, and was built by Major Caulfeild in the 1740s.

It officially became a category A structure in June 1994.