North-east villagers have welcomed the news that a bridge destroyed in flooding more than a year ago will be replaced by the end of summer.
The Bridge of Fortrie was one of six crossings severely damaged by flash floods in September 2019, causing lengthy detours for residents and local businesses forced to use alternative routes while it has been out of action.
Locals are still campaigning for the reinstatement of the other bridges which were washed away.
Aberdeenshire Council has now confirmed it is working on a £100,000 replacement.
A spokesman said: “Having taken into account the views of the community, Bridge of Fortrie was selected as the first to be replaced as it provides the best fit to maximise connectivity from a local traffic perspective.”
King Edward resident Caroline Close said the move was a “major step forward” for those living in the area.
Mrs Close said: “It’s a very welcome step forward and we’re glad the council has finally recognised our safety and economic concerns.
“We will continue to push for the replacement of the remaining five bridges, which provide vital links.”
Councillor Mark Findlater said he was “chuffed to bits for the folk of King Edward.”
MP for Banff and Buchan David Duguid said: “I know everyone living locally will still want to see all the bridges replaced, but a replacement for Bridge of Fortrie will re-connect two halves of the area that have been completely split.”