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Call for snow gates as cars continue to ignore warning signs and fall foul of treacherous Aberdeenshire road

One stricken vehicle on the B976 at the weekend.
One stricken vehicle on the B976 at the weekend.

A call has been made for snow gates to be installed on an Aberdeenshire road which is regularly blocked during winter weather.

The snow which hit the north-east during the weekend cold snap caused treacherous conditions on the B976 Crathie to Gairnshiel road.

The road is popular with skiers heading to and from the Lecht, but while there are signs at either end warning drivers not to use it during heavy snow, those warnings are often ignored.

Ballater and Crathie Community Council chairman Jim Anderson spent the weekend towing cars out of the snow and believes action is needed.

Aberdeenshire Council has said there are currently no plans for snow gates at the area in question.

But Mr Anderson, who lives nearby, said: “We’ve been trying to get a snow gate for a couple of years now, to make the area safer for everybody.

“Apparently it’s not council policy. Well, council policy’s not working.

“Folk ignore the signs constantly and even people you meet on the road and tell not to drive through say things like ‘I’ve got a four by four, it’ll be fine’.

“A snow gate would stop cars ignoring the signs and attempting to drive through and getting stuck, which would be better for everybody.

“I was out at the weekend pulling cars out and I suspect I will be until there’s a snow gate there.”

Mr Anderson said the community council would be contacting Aberdeenshire Council and Police Scotland.

There are currently three sets of snow gates in Aberdeenshire, on the A93 at Glenshee, the A939 Lecht and the B974 Cairn O’Mount.

Only the lesser-used B976 Crathie to Gairnshiel road is without. It is often used by those travelling between the Glenshee and Lecht resorts.


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An Aberdeenshire Council spokesman said: “We’re happy to discuss the community council’s concerns and explain our approach to managing the route, albeit there are currently no plans to erect additional snow gates.

“Following discussions with Police Scotland last year, improved signage was erected on the A939 and the B976 roads indicating when these roads are closed due to snow.

“It is extremely important that road users adhere to any ‘road closed’ signs and take appropriate alternative routes.

“Those who ignore such signing put themselves and others in danger, particularly during severe weather.”

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