Parking on road leading to Balmoral Cairns could be banned

If the clearway is implemented, it would mean parking would be banned for any purpose at all times.

Parking on road leading to Balmoral Cairns could be banned Skipbroon

Deeside daytrippers could soon be banned from parking on a popular Easter Balmoral route over road safety fears.

A clearway order could soon be placed on the 0.3 mile single track road which branches off from the B976 and ends near the Royal Lochnagar Distillery.

The road, better known as Distillery Brae, is just 5.5 metres wide making it difficult for vehicles to pass should any cars be parked there.

Pedestrians and cyclists also frequently use the route, meaning any rogue parking can make it dangerous.

If the clearway is implemented, it would mean parking would be banned for any purpose at all times.

Ballater & Crathie community council secretary Richard Frimston said Crathie residents had repeatedly raised the problem.

They believe visitors opt to leave their vehicles on the road in a bid to avoid paying nearby parking charges which can cost up to £5 for cars and £10 for coaches and campervans.

But as a result, tourists are causing issues by blocking the route with cars and even coaches can be found parked up.

Mr Frimston thinks the majority of those who park in the area are visiting to follow the popular Balmoral Cairns walk.

He explained: “I think it’s because the car parks are full and they are trying to find somewhere else or they are looking to do the Cairns walk and trying to find somewhere to park nearby.

But Mr Frimston said that the community sees the benefit of the proposed clearway as it would “keep Distillery Brae working properly”.

Parking problems are an ongoing issue as tourists stop by the area throughout the year.

“The walk is popular all year round, people like doing it in the winter as well as the summer,” Mr Frimston revealed.

“Balmoral Estate has been open during the winter so again the car parks do fill up out of season as well.”

He added: “There are lots of anecdotal stories about coaches and all sorts parking on Distillery Brae in a way that blocks traffic and makes it difficult.”

The community council decided to take action in a bid to curb the traffic concerns.

It has held a number of meetings over the past year with Aberdeenshire Council officers, landowners and Police Scotland.

Members of the Cairngorms National Park Authority also joined to find a suitable solution to the parking woes.

It was eventually agreed that implementing a 24-hour rural clearway order would prohibit parking on the road.

The Marr area committee recently met to consider the traffic order.

Councillor Sarah Brown said she “wholeheartedly” backed the plan and members unanimously gave the proposal their full support.

A consultation process will now be carried out over the next eight weeks.

If no objections are raised, the order will come into force by the start of August.

But should any opposition be received, a report will be issued and discussed by the committee at a later date.

New signs, estimated to cost around £1,500, would be put in place at either side of the road informing motorists that parking will not be permitted.

The community council hope the move will help to “ease some of the problems” on the route.

Mr Frimston said there are a number of other issues and problems that the group will try and find some solutions to.

But for now, they hope this is one they can cross off their to-do list.

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