Take Care on Bridge

By Jane Cruickshank / January 12, 2024

AN unfortunate catalogue of accidents on the reinstated White Bridge was discussed at this week’s meeting of Stonehaven and District Community Council.

Committee chair David Lawman introduced the topic saying he had seen further reports on social media of a pedestrian falling on the steps – and wanted to flag the bridge as having a safety issue.

Cllr Sarah Dickinson told the meeting she felt there was an issue with lighting at the bridge where an expected light column is not yet operational. She described the problem as being greatest at the north side, where some steps are poorly lit compared to brighter lighting on the bridge.

”You come from the bridge light and look down. There are three steps in the gloom,” she said.

”There is a risk there.”

Mrs Dickinson said she had asked officers to look into the matter. She also highlighted the contractor’s omission of a half-height hand rail, which should have been installed. And, noting people’s tendency to walk down the middle of the flight, Mrs Dickinson said a central rail could be needed.

Cllr Alan Turner who is chair of the Infrastructure Services Committee added a central rail was not part of the original planning consent for the project – but Aberdeenshire Council were already making moves to apply for listed building consent.

Please use handrail

Member Andy McArdle said he had himself fallen down the steps – and suggested the bridge should be closed until it was made safe.

But Ian Hunter said users of the bridge might consider that an over-reaction.

”Why not put up a sign?” he said.

Chair David Lawman brought the discussions to a conclusion.

”SDCC members are very concerned about the bridge, and are pushing for the council to find a solution as soon as possible.” he said.

Feature image courtesy of Cllr Sarah Dickinson

Robert Barclay - January 13, 2024

If this was an Offshore or an Industrial site with this catalog of accidents, the H&S executive would have closed the bridge until effective repairs were completed. The lighting is substandard as is the visibility of the step edges. There should also be an effective handrail in the centre of the steps on the Southside. All this work should have been completed before Aberdeenshire Council’s Grand Opening Ceremony. It would appear that Aberdeenshire Council failed miserably with the Risk Assessment prior to the Opening….

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