Residents left “cut off” when bridges around their community were destroyed by floods have been dealt another blow, as councillors have been urged not to progress repair plans.
People living in the King Edward area, near Banff, have been calling for action since torrential rain washed away seven crossings at the end of September.
Last month, members of the Banff and Buchan area committee opted not to vote on the matter – suggesting that “other funding avenues” be explored before any decision is made.
Aberdeenshire Council’s infrastructure services committee will meet on Thursday to discuss the issue.
A report going before councillors has recommended that six of the damaged crossings not be repaired at this time.
However, officers have said that the affected Gorrachie and Bruntyards bridges be confirmed as “top priorities” for replacement if and when the money becomes available.
Banff and Buchan MP, David Duguid, last night said the proposals would “fall a long way short of what residents and businesses in the King Edward area want to see”.
He added: “However, the report makes clear that the council has a £100 million repair backlog already, so the resources to carry out this work are simply not there.
“It will be for councillors to decide the next steps, but I believe that every possible avenue must be explored to try and find a solution.
“I have already written to the council chief executive and to the First Minister on this issue, and I await responses.”
The report said that reopening the two suggested bridges would make up for the loss of another which was damaged beyond repair.
Officers added that what remains of the damaged bridges will need to be “stabilised or fully demolished” at some point. But the report added that there is no “identified” funding for this work.
South Mains on the B9105 was rebuilt as a matter of urgency following the storms.
Residents previously raised concerns over emergency service access to the area and said they felt like they had been “forgotten about”, with their daily lives badly affected by the loss of the crossings.
Banff and Buchan Coast MSP, Stewart Stevenson, added: “I hope that the views of residents will be taken full account of in reaching a positive decision.”