COUNCILLORS are to consider proposals to allow double deckers to pass safely under the railway bridge on the Slug Road by lowering the road.
At their meeting on Tuesday, the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee will discuss roadworks costing in the region of £100,000 – though the total cost of the project will depend on the utilities under the road surface, which could add another £200,00 – £400,000 to the bill.
A review of bridge heights was prompted by a Stagecoach bus getting stuck at a bridge near Inverness back in 2016. The Slug Road bridge was flagged as having less clearance than indicated and not safe for double deckers.
Since then, Stagecoach have used connecting buses for services west of the bridge, while asking the local authority to investigate civil engineering options to give the extra 20cm clearance needed for safe passage.
If approved the section of Slug Road between Academy Road and Westfield Road would be closed, except for access to East Glebe and West Glebe, for a period of no less than three weeks.
There are many aspects of these proposals that could make for an interesting discussion.
Stagecoach Bluebird has confirmed if the works were to go ahead, they would review their Stonehaven network, including the operation of school services, local bus services to/from both Portlethen and Aberdeen, and the local Stonehaven Town service, in consultation with the Council. They say they would be able to increase the number of through journeys to/from Aberdeen.
And while the bill could reach £500,000, the local authority would benefit from recurring annual savings of between £10,000 and £50,000 – due in part at least to reduced route subsidy.
But in the report, councillors are warned that works such as those proposed carry particular risks, due to the interaction with bridge foundations, buried utility apparatus, and road drainage. Should these manifest themselves, which the report states is quite likely, there would be a significant uplift in the cost of, and timescale for the works.
While Viewmount is undergoing refurbishment, the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee is meeting at Woodhill House, Aberdeen. The meeting on Tuesday starts at 10am. Members of the public are welcome to attend.
The full report is contained in the agenda paperwork, which is available online.