NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Plea for snow gates on B976 Crathie to Gairnshiel road

Image caption Closed signs are placed at either end of the road

A call has been made for snow gates to be installed on an Aberdeenshire road which is frequently blocked during winter weather.

The B976 Crathie to Gairnshiel road - which is popular with skiers heading to and from the Lecht - has signs placed at either end warning drivers not to use it during heavy snow.

But the warnings are often ignored.

Ballater and Crathie Community Council chairman Jim Anderson has towed cars out and believes action is needed.

Aberdeenshire Council said there were currently no plans for snow gates at the area in question.

'Safety issue'

Mr Anderson, who lives nearby and had to help stuck motorists at the weekend, told BBC Scotland: "There has been a problem for many years now.

"I believe if we had snow gates it would stop people ignoring the signs.

"The trouble is when the road closed signs are there the road at each end of the junction is generally in good condition.

"So folk see the road's clear and go up anyway, thinking they will get through."

He added: "Once they get up onto the hill there are issues and very limited places to turn, if at all.

"A lot of folk have to reverse back out and once they are up there they are caught.

"It's certainly a safety issue."

'Others in danger'

He said the community council would be contacting Aberdeenshire Council and Police Scotland.

An Aberdeenshire Council spokesman said: "We're happy to discuss the community council's concerns and explain our approach to managing the route, albeit there are currently no plans to erect additional snow gates.

"Following discussions with Police Scotland last year, improved signage was erected on the A939 and the B976 roads indicating when these roads are closed due to snow.

"It is extremely important that road users adhere to any 'road closed' signs and take appropriate alternative routes. Those who ignore such signing put themselves and others in danger, particularly during severe weather."

There are currently three sets of snow gates in Aberdeenshire, on the A93 at Glenshee, the A939 Lecht and the B974 Cairn O'Mount.

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