A Victorian bridge, which has been repeatedly smashed by reckless motorists, has been damaged once again.
There are now calls for Gairnshiel Bridge, on the A939 Ballater to Tomintoul road, to monitored by camera 24-hours-a-day to catch the culprits.
The 18th Century crossing has been beset with problems for years as heavy goods vehicles continue to ignore the 18-tonne weight limit.
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Its northern end also lies at the end of a winding hill, meaning motorists sometimes misjudge on entering and collide with the structure.
When the route is closed it means motorists travelling from either direction have to take a 24-mile detour.
The bridge has had to be shut a number of times in the past 12 months after crashes made it unsafe.
In May it was closed for two weeks to allow for repairs but just days after these were completed another accident took place .
Earlier this year Aberdeenshire Council announced the bridge would be replaced with a new crossing over the River Gairn – to the east of the existing one.
It will not, however, be open for another two years.
This followed years of campaigning from Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside councillor Geva Blackett.
Yesterday she condemned the person responsible for ignoring the warning and causing the latest damage to the structure.
She said: “Once again some idiot has smashed into this beautiful Grade 1 listed bridge.
“Whether it’s a car out of control or a vehicle weighing over the weight limit doesn’t really matter.
“The fact is that someone has just driven off, jeopardising safety, the social and economic importance of the Snow Road route and hitting the council’s already stretched budget.
“I hope they are proud of themselves.
“I have written to the council’s director of infrastructure services asking that a camera can be deployed full time so that anyone else damaging the bridge can be chased for the repair bill as we need to keep this bridge in good repair until the new one is opened in 2021.”
Ms Blackett was backed in her campaign by Moray MSP Richard Lochhead as the bridge also cuts off people travelling to Tomintoul.
The council has been plagued by problems with its ageing bridge network over the past 12 months.
The authority maintains 1,307 structures, many of them dating from the 1700s.
An Aberdeenshire Council spokesman said: “We assessed the damage yesterday and the area has been made safe.
“The route will remain open for the meantime but we will need to close it in the new year for a time to repair the damage.”