Hatton Bridge Must be Top Priority Say Councillors

>> 7 January 2013

Peterhead South & Cruden councillors Stephen Smith and Stuart Pratt will today [Monday] meet with Aberdeenshire Council Director of Infrastructure, Stephen Archer, to seek assurances that replacement of the bridge which was damaged during recent flooding in Hatton will be a top priority for the council.

The resultant road closure has cut off a large part of the village to road traffic although pedestrian access was restored by means of a temporary bridge within two working days.

Commenting ahead of today’s (Monday’s) meeting, Cllr Stephen Smith said:

“While I’m grateful to council staff for the speed with which pedestrian access was restored, there are a number of issues which need clarification from Aberdeenshire Council.

“First and foremost, the local community must get an assurance from the top that a replacement bridge is a top priority for the council.  I appreciate that detailed design work will be needed to ensure the new bridge can withstand similar flooding to what we saw two weeks ago, but the Hatton community has been physically divided leaving residents with a long detour by minor roads, cutting them off from their local shop.  Speed is of the essence.

“Secondly, the council needs to investigate providing a temporary Bailey bridge or similar structure.  This would at least provide some respite for local residents.”

Cllr Stuart Pratt added:

“It’s clearly a difficult time for those Hatton residents affected.  The detours available are all minor roads, some of which are private unadopted roads and are therefore in a poor condition.  However, those roads which are the responsibility of the council need to be adequately gritted when necessary and maintained regularly given the increased volume of traffic on them.

“We’ll be seeking assurances on these and other issues when we meet with the Director of Infrastructure today [Monday].”

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