A83 Rest and Be Thankful update - December 7

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Published Date: 

7 Dec 2011 - 11:54

The closure of the A83 at Rest and Be Thankful during the hours of darkness will be reassessed tomorrow (Thursday December 8).


Scotland TranServ said the decision to keep the current restrictions in place in the meantime was based on public safety issues.


A landslip last Thursday morning saw some 120 tonnes of mud and boulders slide onto the road. On Friday evening, work to clear the carriageway and clean the road surface and drainage systems was completed.


Since Saturday, the A83 at Rest and be Thankful has been open to emergency vehicles around the clock, and open to general traffic during daylight hours (8.30am-4pm) only. Diversions remain in place during the hours of darkness.


The decision to maintain this arrangement for the time being was taken following surveys on the slopes above the road by geotechnical experts. However, the recent heavy and prolonged snow fall  since has severely hindered detailed monitoring of the soils on the slope.


Following a review by Transport Scotland, Scotland TranServ and Transport Research Laboratories (TRL), it was decided that the only option was to continue with the current arrangements until a further assessment can be made.


Geotechnical expert Dr Mike Winter from TRL said: “Visual monitoring of the hillside is continuing during the day, but given the current snow cover it is simply not possible to closely monitor the hillside soils during the hours of darkness.


 "Further weather reports from the Met Office show it likely that further detailed observations may be possible on Thursday when it is hoped the soils will be visible. This will allow a detailed assessment of any movement on the hillside to be evaluated and to determine stability and safety."


 Minister for Housing and Transport, Keith Brown added: "It is evident that in light of events last week and the additional poor weather since, we have been left with no option but to continue with the present arrangement.


“It is designed first and foremost to protect the safety of drivers using the road and road workers, whilst accommodating the needs for people to go about their business. I would stress we are doing everything we can to minimise the impact on the local community and get the road fully open as soon as is practically possible."


The situation will be reviewed again tomorrow (Thursday 8th) and a decision on whether to fully re-open the road will be made then. 


Argyll and Bute’s spokesperson for transport and infrastructure, Councillor Duncan MacIntyre, said: “This is a very difficult situation which is having a significant impact on the residents of and visitors to Argyll and Bute, and we are obviously working very closely with the other parties involved in a bid to get the road reopened as quickly as possible.


“However, the over-riding priority for all concerned is public safety. Drivers have been extremely patient and understanding over the last six days, and I would ask that they continue their co-operation while the situation is properly evaluated.”


For real time roads information visit www.trafficscotland.org.