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Drivers face 166-mile diversion due to water works on A93 at Braemar

The previous diversion on the A93 Glenshee Road would have taken motorists 166 miles around Aberdeenshire.
The previous diversion on the A93 Glenshee Road would have taken motorists 166 miles around Aberdeenshire.

Motorists are being facing a huge diversion next week due to water works – being carried out on a 200 yard stretch of road in Braemar.

The A93 Aberdeen to Glenshee road will be shut at Kindrochit Drive, opposite the Braemar Lodge Hotel, for three days from Tuesday.

Aberdeenshire Council has published the diversion, which takes drivers on a 166-mile loop.

Scottish Water has acknowledged the “substantial impact” the diversion will have, but stressed the work is essential.

During the works, which the agency has pledged to complete as quickly as possible, valves will be replaced to maintain the local water network for homes and businesses in Braemar.

A section of the A93 at Braemar will be closed for up to three days from Tuesday next week (May 17) to allow Scottish…

Posted by Aberdeenshire Council on Wednesday, 11 May 2022

While local car drivers may be able to use their knowledge for alternative routes, the official detour – that is suitable for lorries and motorhomes – will add an extra three-and-a-half hours to the trip, and some extra pounds to the fuel bill.

‘No local diversion safe for all A93 traffic’

The official diversion is in place via the A93 at Aboyne, A957 Slug Road, A90 at Stonehaven, A926 towards Blairgowrie and back onto the A93 towards Braemar.

Pedestrians will still be able to pass through the area and businesses will remain open.

Scottish Water’s regional corporate affairs manager Gavin Steel explained why this diversion wasn’t closer to the original route: “We recognise the substantial impact of a closure at this location on the village and the road network.

“Unfortunately, there is no safe way to complete the excavation while allowing traffic on the A93 Glenshee Road to pass.

“There is also no local diversion route available that is suitable for all A93 traffic.”

A spokeswoman for Aberdeenshire Council said: “Work is needed to replace valves which are crucial to the operation of the local water network maintain that serves homes and businesses. The location of the closure will be near the junction of the A93 with Kindrochit Drive.

“Due to the central location of the valves in the road, it is not possible to safely excavate them while keeping the road open.”

Councillor Anouk Kloppert, who represents Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside, said: ““I recognise the frustrations of residents and local businesses but unfortunately there is no safe and practicable alternatives to carry out the repairs required.

“I hope that disruption will be kept to a minimum but safety must be the first priority.”

‘We need a time machine’

While many took to social media to vent their frustration on the road closure, Alison Greg raised a concern about increased fuel costs.

She wrote: “[I] understand why the closure is needed but for the extra costs in fuel this is extreme.”

Resident Karen McColl posted: “It is only for a short time, so we will need to put up with it. But it is bound to cause huge disruption to the village.

“But I think I will walk to work, as I live south of the works and it would be ridiculous to take the detour.”

She joked: “It is a fair trek all the way round. You would have to set back before you’d even left if you’ve kids in school. What we will need is a time machine.”

One business owner who did not want to be named told us: “Let’s hope the work all goes smoothly and the road is only closed for two or three days.

“Lots of variables, and I hope they don’t find anything archaeological to delay the works or we are going to really struggle.”

Asked if she would be using the proposed reroute, she said: “I cycle to work, so this would be a very long and painful detour.”

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