Councillors have urged council officers not to forget about the ‘vital’ Banff Bridge and pushing for what people want – a new road bridge.
Also known as Deveron Bridge, members of the Banff and Buchan Area Committee last night were fighting for the bridge to be kept as a council focus.
Council officers stated, in a report presented to the councillors, that 18 bridges have been repaired after damage caused by collisions, but to revamp all of the bridges in the region would take around 800 years.
However, councillors from the Banff and Macduff areas were keen to highlight that the document failed to mention Banff Bridge.
The structure has been a focal point for years, with many locals believing the council has no plans to upgrade or renew it.
So members have demanded more information on its condition.
Councillor John Cox, who spoke out earlier this year about the serious case of erosion along the coast from Banff Bridge, said more could and should be done.
He added: “I think it needs more than a briefing note and I would ask that the A947 Action Group has a paper to address this, because it’s part of the ongoing work and we need to bring all of the relevant officers together to get the information we need.”
Backing up this argument, councillor Glen Reynolds took time to address concerns by residents that progress on the pedestrian and cycle bridge meant the long-term plan for a new road bridge has been dropped.
He said: “No, the eye should not be taken off the aspiration for a new road bridge.
“Anecdotal evidence of ‘near miss’ personal injuries are extensive and ongoing.
“I would call for CCTV and another safety review of the bridge so that a replacement isn’t kicked into the long grass.”
Officers assured him that assessments were carried out biannually with an extensive assessment every six years or if issues are flagged up – such as the erosion which they believe was caused by a collapsed drain pipe.
But Mark Findlater, councillor and member of the Banff safety group felt that evidence showed the bridge could stand the test of more time.
He said: “There were reports done about Deveron Bridge and they found the bridge was so well built it will last another 150 years at least.
“But I would ask for a formal update as it’s very important and the impact on the towns if something was to happen to it would be large as it’s vital for people and businesses.”
Councillors unanimously agreed the programme of works with the addition of arranging an informal meeting to discuss the road bridge.