Motorists will be forced to take a huge diversion as a north-east road closes for two weeks for an improvement scheme.
A stretch of the A975 Newburgh to Cruden Bay route, measuring little more than a mile, will close on Monday for 14 days as Aberdeenshire Council carries out resurfacing work.
The closure will mean that some motorists will be forced to travel for as many as 26.5 miles between the Kiplaw Croft and Chapel Hill communities – with a maximum journey time of about 40 minutes.
The council last night accepted that the alternative route was “quite lengthy”, but explained that it was necessary to direct traffic along a section of the A90 Ellon to Peterhead road.
Rules state that traffic has to be diverted onto the same class of road, to ensure that it can cope with a similar level of traffic.
Peterhead South and Cruden councillor, Alan Fakley, described the situation as a “necessary evil”.
He said: “This stretch of road is a major artery for us heading towards Peterhead and, while the diversion is quite long, the road simply needs to be repaired.
“All reasonable precautions have been taken by the council and the closure is necessary for the public’s safety.”
An Aberdeenshire Council spokesman said: “This work is essential to ensure the road remains fit for purpose and the full closure is necessary to protect the safety of road users and the workforce on site.
“We appreciate that the signed diversion route will be quite 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.”
Access will be provided for the emergency services and vehicles requiring access to properties but this may be subject to delay until the road is cleared of construction material to allow motorists to pass safely.
The road is popular with visitors to the area, and used to access Newburgh beach and the Ythan Estuary along with Slains Castle on the outskirts of Cruden Bay.