An Aberdeenshire bridge between two communities that was shut to all motorised traffic should be reopened to light vehicles, councillors have argued.
Members of the Kincardine and Mearns area committee recently discussed a report on the future of Park Bridge, which crosses the River Dee between Durris and Drumoak.
The category A-listed structure, built in 1854, has been shut to all but cyclists and pedestrians since early 2019 when a routine inspection discovered major structural issues.
Officers outlined a number of options for the future of the crossing, including a more than £12.4 million replacement project, shutting it to all travellers entirely, making it available for light vehicles for a total of £2.3m , or keeping it as-is, with only pushbikes and those on foot being permitted, at a cost of £615,000.
Councillors were urged by officers to move forward with the option to maintain the status quo, but after more than two hours of debate, the area committee decided to tell Aberdeenshire Council’s infrastructure services committee it preferred the £2.35m option of letting lighter motorised traffic use Park Bridge once again.
Any form of reopening the structure to vehicles will be taken as part of the council’s overall bridges strategy, and then approved by infrastructure committee.
During the discussion, Anne Shearer of the Park Bridge Action Group told councillors: “Even with further deterioration, which we think is fairly minor, that bridge today could take traffic.
““We are very much of the opinion that this bridge is in very good condition for its age, and that actually the closure has never been justified.”