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MSP Calls For Rethink On Postponement Of Naver Bridge Replacement

20th April 2023

Photograph of MSP Calls For Rethink On Postponement Of Naver Bridge Replacement

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, has called on Highland Council to rethink the recent decision to defer the replacement of the 140 year old Naver Bridge in north Sutherland.

Mrs Grant has been contacted about the concerns locally surrounding the safety of the current bridge with additional fears that if it is allowed to deteriorate further, any potential closure would adversely affect communities who would face using an alternative route which would be both time consuming and costly for local residents.

Highland Council has advised that this is a temporary postponement of up to a year, but no precise timeframe has been given as to when the works will be re-scheduled, sparking fears locally that it could be permanently shelved.

Rhoda Grant said "I know from recent press reports that communities are extremely disappointed with the decision and have very real fears about the safety of the existing bridge which remains in a perilous condition.

"Communities in the area have made their fears known to Highland Council about the dangerous condition of the existing bridge and there are concerns about the timing of the decision to defer the replacement when thousands of pounds have already been spent on the preparatory work for the new bridge.

"With building costs increasing almost daily due to Brexit and the cost of living crisis, it is not prudent, in my opinion, to shelve the planned replacement bridge at this point.

She continued “I support the communities who want to see the work on the new bridge begin as planned and I have contacted Highland Council to add my voice to the call for the decision to defer the work to be reversed."

Naver Bridge in 2006
Photographer - Bill Fernie