Fears over crumbling footbridge

The crumbling Butcher's Bridge at Newburgh, which is causing concern to local people
The crumbling Butcher's Bridge at Newburgh, which is causing concern to local people

COUNCIL bosses have pledged to work with an Aberdeenshire community to resolve the future of a crumbling footbridge.

It follows a public meeting in Newburgh last week to discuss the Butcher’s Bridge, also known as the Keith Tailor Briggie.

Foveran Community Council orgainsed the meeting to allow local people to have the chance to give their views on the options for repair or replacement of the crossing, one of three pedestrian bridges across the Foveran Burn.

The council closed off the middle bridge, which is the busiest and in the heart of the community, at the end of last year.

Access to the Butcher’s Bridge was fenced off. Metal work has become badly corroded causing parts of the parapet and concrete walkway to come loose.

The bridge was built around 1890 and is thought to have been last repaired at the end of World War 11 by Army engineers, who welded frames to the steel structure to hold concrete slabswhich were laid to replace an original wooden boardwalk.

Community council officials say it has lasted well but is now in a poor state.

The closure has meant that people now have a significant detour to use the others, the Spalding Bridge and Fisher’s Bridge.

The council has put up warning signs at either end of the crossing, warning of its unsafe state. The cost of repairs is estimated at around £100,000.

Following last week’s meeting a council spokesperson said: “Representatives from Aberdeenshire Council were present at the public meeting regarding the Foveran footbridge last Tuesday.

“The area manager and other colleagues will continue to work with the local community on how best to take forward their concerns over the closure of the bridge, both in respect of short and long-term solutions.”