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Scottish Water u-turn on 166-mile diversion Braemar roadworks after public outrage

Roadworks in Braemar will now partially close a pathway - rather than send people on a 166-mile diversion. Picture supplied by Googlemaps/DCT Media.
Roadworks in Braemar will now partially close a pathway - rather than send people on a 166-mile diversion. Picture supplied by Googlemaps/DCT Media.

Scottish Water has found a way of completing essential maintenance in Braemar – without sending motorists on a 166-mile diversion.

The utility company has said that it will now close off one junction and part of the pavement to complete work to underground valves.

Earlier in May it had said it was essential to close the road to get the work done – forcing motorists to take a detour via Stonehaven, Montrose and rural Perthshire.

In a major u-turn, after the Press and Journal and Evening Express highlighted the ludicrous 166-mile diversion for a 10-yard stretch of road – the company cancelled the works and went back to the drawing board.

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

Today, the company announced work to the water network serving Braemar the work on the A93 Glenshee Road, between Perth and Braemar, at the junction of Kindrochit Drive. The road will remain open at all times.

Scottish Water apologised for the concerns caused by its initial proposed diversion.

What’s the plan now?

A Scottish Water spokesman explained how the work will go ahead without closing the A93.

“The central location of the valves beneath the A93 means that it is challenging to carry out the work safely while enabling traffic to pass the site,” he said.

“Following concerns raised about earlier proposals for a road closure, Scottish Water has worked with Aberdeenshire Council to identify a solution using traffic lights and a convoy system.

“A section of the footpath on the A93 will need to be closed to enable traffic to pass, with safe pedestrian access maintained via the opposite footpath.

“The junction of Kindrochit Drive with the A93 will also need to be closed, with a local diversion signposted via Hillside Road.

A generic image of a road closed by roadworks

The work has been planned to start from Monday, June 6, following the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend.

It is expected to take around one week to complete – including initial work to prepare the temporary route for vehicles and final work to return the road and footpath to normal operation.

Gavin Steel, Scottish Water’s regional corporate affairs manager, said: “The work that our local team needs to carry out in Braemar is essential to enable us to maintain the water network that serves customers in the village – and to minimise the potential need for water supplies to be supplemented via road tanker over the busy summer period.

“We would like to apologise to local residents and businesses for the concern caused by our original proposals for a road closure at this difficult location on the transport network.

“We appreciate the support of Aberdeenshire Council and the patience of the wider community while we have been reviewing alternative options to allow the work to go ahead safely.”

He continued: “While we hope that keeping the road open will significantly reduce the short term disruption caused by our work, we would ask residents and other users of the A93 to plan their journeys and to allow extra time where possible.”

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