NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Ministry of Defence asked to help with Lossiemouth beach bridge

The RNLI and Coastguard bringing members of the public back from East Beach Image copyright JASPERIMAGE
Image caption Beachgoers had to be helped on Thursday evening

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is being asked if it can help reinstate temporary safe access to a Moray beach after a footbridge had to be closed.

The footbridge to Lossiemouth's East Beach was closed on Wednesday when structural engineers ruled it unsafe.

Some people wanting to reach the beach waded across a river to avoid a detour. but later had to be helped by Coastguards.

Moray MSP Richard Lochhead said he had contacted the MoD.

Moray Council had said an inspection of the crossing was carried out on Wednesday afternoon following concerns raised by members of the public.

The bridge was seen to be leaning to one side.

Image caption Signage now tells members of the public not to use the bridge

The local authority said East Beach was still accessible via Lossiemouth forest car park - known as Arthur's Bridge - three miles away, and Kingston, seven miles away.

The advice was for people not to wade across if there is a risk of them becoming stranded when the tide changes, but if they made that decision then they did so at their own risk.

Temporary bridge

Thursday's high temperatures meant dozens flocked to Lossie Beach, and Burghead Coastguard team and Buckie's lifeboat crew assisted them back across their water for their own safety.

Mr Lochhead said he has asked the MoD if they can step in to source a temporary bridge for the crossing.

He said: "The closure of Lossie's iconic footbridge at the height of the tourist season is a huge blow.

"We know that a permanent solution will take time and a considerable sum of money, however, we do urgently need to find a temporary solution that allows access to the beach to be reinstated as soon as possible."

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