That’s one act of riverside madness completed, now on to the next one

by Colin Campbell

WITH the barriers down and the machinery gone, I took a walk along the new “socially distanced” riverside path last night.

Work on the Gathering Place is due to begin next month.

The grass is gone, replaced by tarmac, and it’s a couple of feet wider than it was.

And now it’s been made safer to use.

Or so the theory goes, at council HQ, if absolutely nowhere else.

The one in a million chance of catching the virus while walking along the wide open banks of the Ness may now stand at one in a trillion, according to their thinking. And last night with a strong wind sweeping the riverside even that would have been blown away out to the North Sea.

With so much else going on, I doubt if we’ll ever get any kind of coherent explanation as to why this work was considered necessary, other than the usual council jargon already emitted by city manager David Haas.

It’ll just have to be recorded in the annals of municipal misjudgement as one of the stupidest and most pointless projects ever undertaken.

It would grate less if that was the end of the riverside folly. But it’s not.

Next month work is due to start on another incredibly stupid and pointless project just along from the path, at the site of the Gathering Place.

And the process of fencing off that unspoilt setting to build a concrete wall and pathways “to enhance its natural beauty” is due to take 12 long weeks.

Maybe best avoided for the duration, it could be painful to watch.

When the riverside footpath work was done all that happened was the fencing came down and access was restored.

When the Gathering Place is finished Provost Helen Carmichael is going to have to perform an excruciatingly embarrassing “opening ceremony”.

So that’s one act of riverside madness completed. Now it’s on to the next one.


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