Roads bosses are being urged to take action to help safeguard a popular tourist route.
Earlier this month, a lorry crashed at the historic Spittal Bridge on the Cairn O’Mount road forcing it to be closed for four weeks to allow repairs to be carried out.
There are regular crashes at the structure, which connects Banchory and Fettercairn, and means drivers are now faced with a diversion of almost 50 miles.
The latest collision sparked calls for restrictions on heavy goods traffic, which can struggle to negotiate the narrow bridge.
However talks were held this week between Aberdeenshire Council’s roads department and local councillors and it is understood that there are concerns a ban on lorries could impact negatively on local businesses.
But Simon Richards, chairman of the Feughdee West Community Council, said the frequent closures were already affecting traders and residents on either side of the route.
He said: “Our thoughts are with the imminent opening of the AWPR the alternative is a far better one than it was previously.
“We would like to see more restrictions as it’s a popular tourist route and it’s also well-used by the communities on either side.
“One of the charms of the Cairn O’Mount is also the bridge itself, it would be a shame to have to get rid of that to build a wider one.”
Councillor Ann Ross, Banchory and Mid Deeside ward, attended the meeting alongside the other area representatives.
She said: “The concerns of constituents and businesses on either side of the Cairn were discussed regarding the effect of the road closure, and the impact on the regular road users and the rural economy.
“During discussion it was apparent that there was a need not to discriminate against particular classes of vehicles, which could result in having a negative effect on local businesses.”
A spokesman for Aberdeenshire Council said: “We are looking at a variety of options for the future of this route in discussion with the local community.
“It’s our intention to gather firm evidence on the current mix of vehicles using this route, which will include full classified counts at locations along the route. This will give us information on the number and type of vehicles using the road.
“At that point we will be better equipped to make a decision, bearing in mind the potential impacts any such decision could have on the local economy, including the agricultural and tourism sectors.”