North-east motorists face a lengthy journey from next week due to a lifeline route being closed for resurfacing works.
The A920 Dufftown to Huntly road will be shut for two weeks to allow the route to be repaired between the River Deveron crossing and the Aberdeenshire town.
About 900 tonnes of asphalt will be laid on the route as part of the £125,000 project.
The disruption will cause journey lengths between the communities to nearly double to 23 miles while buses and lorries face a longer detour of 28 miles.
Aberdeenshire Council, which is financing the work, has warned motorists not to seek out alternative diversions using back roads as “shortcuts” due to them having limited passing places.
Yesterday, Speyside Glenlivet councillor for Moray Council, Louise Laing, explained it was important the neighbouring authority maintained its section of the route.
She said: “It’s good that Aberdeenshire Council is doing the work. For them the road may not seem that important but for the folk in Dufftown it’s their main way of getting to Aberdeen and everything that involves.
“It’s going to mean longer journeys for people in the short-term but the work is necessary. Hopefully it will be worth the wait and the road will be back to its best condition.”
The road closure will mean motorists are unable to drive directly between Dufftown and Huntly on the A920 from Monday until Friday, March 29. Engineering work will continue at weekends but access for pedestrians, properties and emergency services will be maintained.
Diversion routes will be set up on the B9014 Dufftown to Keith road. However, drivers of lorries and buses have been advised to use the A95 Craigellachie to Keith road due to a low bridge on the other route.
Aberdeenshire Council’s roads manager for the Marr and Banff and Buchan areas, Derek Murray, said: “This work is essential to ensure the road remains fit for purpose and safe for all road users.
“We appreciate that the signed diversion route will be lengthy and we apologise for any inconvenience caused, but we will do everything possible to ensure that the work is carried out in the shortest possible timescale.”