MOTORISTS in Ellon received a shock on Monday to discover a busy road in the town will be closed for six weeks for essential repairs.
The cable maintenance work on Hospital Road is being carried out by Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) and is scheduled to be completed at the end of May.
Commercial driver Ian Walls, who uses the route on a regular basis to make runs from Inverurie to Peterhead, told the Times: “It came as complete shock to be diverted back into the town centre,”
“I used to come into Ellon, but was advised to use what is loosely called a ring road. It’s no big deal, just a bit inconvenient.”
Other drivers attempting to use Hospital Road were clearly puzzled by the new arrangement, but followed the instructions placed at either end of the road which runs from Station Road to Golf Road.
One said: “It is an inconvenience. A lot of people use the road and this is going to last for six weeks.”
Aberdeenshire Council has written to residents and commercial outlets and in some cases were visited by staff from SSE who had originally intended to carry out the work later in the year.
Jim O’Brien, secretary of the McDonald Golf Club, said: “SSE officials have in fact been very helpful and visited us on a number of occasions to discuss the repair project.
“A new window of opportunity came up for an earlier start, which we were happy about.
“We would have been less happy about June or July, our really busy time of the season.”
He added: “We are very happy with the co -operation, and have been promised regular updates on progress. Hopefully our members and visitors will experience the minimum of inconvenience.”
The theme of business as usual continued at the County Garage where proprietor Derek Makandie said: “It’s not likely we will encounter any problems, in fact it is proving to be a godsend for us, as we will have no lorries flying up and down the road for the next six weeks at any rate.”
Residents of Hospital Road were generally happy about the way they had been consulted, though there were some who were unhappy that the road surface was in such a poor state.
One resident, who declined to be named, said: “The continual flow of heavy track has broken up the surface. I just hope the repair job sees the road return to its former status.”
As the work got under on Monday morning access was available to all residential homes, the golf club and a number of commercial outlets.
Ewan Fraser, on behalf of Aberdeenshire Council, said: “We have done as much as we can reasonably do to ensure the public, including the residents, have been given good notice of the closure.”
In the meantime some confused motorists were to be seen wending their way round Ellon as they came to terms with the new, but temporary road lay out.