A ROAD bridge in Douglas Ross’s Westminster constituency has been given £1.5million in the budget after the Scottish Tory leader directly lobbied the Chancellor.

Jeremy Hunt slipped in the announcement of money for the Cloddach Bridge near Elgin as he presented his spring statement to MPs earlier.

The 1905 bridge, which carries a minor road over the River Lossie in Moray, was closed to vehicles a year ago due its poor condition.

Moray Council recently said it would cost £3m to replace and it was not a priority given fewer than 800 a vehicles day used it.

Last month, the council agreed to delay a decision on repairs and restrict the bridge to pedestrians and cyclists for another two years.

Mr Ross said at the time it was “hugely frustrating” and he would look into “UK Government funding sources”.

He said yesterday he was "absolutely delighted" with the Treasury cash, which now needs match funding and a business case to effect the repairs.

He confirmed he had directly lobbied the chancellor ahead of the budget.



He said: "While the bridge obviously will only be re-opened when it is safe to do so, the UK government's funding will help to accelerate that process.

"Now that the chancellor has stepped up, the onus is on the SNP-Green government to work closely with Moray Council and play their part in delivering the further funding required to support the re-opening."

Other projects in Moray to benefit from Spring Budget funding include the Aberfeldy Sports Club in Moray, one of five community projects in Scotland sharing £1m, as well as £300,000 towards the Forres Town Hall regeneration project.

Kathleen Robertson, Tory leader of Moray Council, welcomed the bridge funding and said she awaited more details from the UK government.

She said: "We'll continue to work with the community to support efforts to identify further funding for the wider project to assure reinstatement of future vehicular access."