Call for rethink on Braes road

locaL MSP Nigel Don has called on Aberdeenshire Council to rethink it’s decision on the opening of a Stonehaven road and has said that the “important tourist route” must be saved.

The Angus North and Mearns MSP has called on the local authority to reconsider plans to stop cars using the Bervie Braes road when it reopens after stabilisation.

In a letter to Chief Executive Colin Mackenzie, Mr Don writes, “I understand that work is now in hand to strengthen the foundations of the roadway leading down into Stonehaven.

“I am also given to understand that whilst this will substantially protect properties under the Braes from future damage it is not expected that the road will be reopened to vehicles. It seems to me that this will be a very disappointing result.

“There is surely no need for the road to be useable by heavy vehicles of any variety but it would be extremely valuable if family cars could proceed from Dunnottar Castle straight into Stonehaven.

“I appreciate that it may not be possible to assess the effect of the remedial work until it has been completed but could I suggest that the council takes some independent advice on this?”

Commenting, Mr Don said: “This is an important tourist route and I believe that Stonehaven businesses would benefit if cars were allowed to use the road. Clearly the stabilisation of the Bervie Braes is the priority, but if in fact light traffic could use this route safely, we should not be overly restrictive.”

The call comes as work begins to stabilise the Bervie Braes following a landslip during wet weather in 2009 which saw almost 100 homes underneath the Braes being evacuated.

Preparatory works to secure the slopes are now underway with contractors getting equipment ready to start anchoring parts of the braes. West Midlandsfirm Forkers Limited will carry out the work – which is expected to be completed by September - at a cost of £2.4m.

It was revealed last week that the road would not be reopened for vehicles but would support cycle and pedestrian traffic.