A very positive meeting has been held between Argyll and Bute Council and Transport Scotland over several key roads in the area including the A83, the A82 at Pulpit Rock and the A85 at Oban.
Transport Scotland have confirmed they will carry out a route study along the A83 looking at bottle necks and landslip sites. The results of the study will look at options which can reduce the risk and impact of future landslips will be available in the autumn and there’ll be several recommendations made. Also discussed was the suitability of the forest road diversion route and how to make sure road closures on The Rest and be Thankful can be avoided in the future even if there is a landslip like the one in December 2011. Transport Scotland has also agreed to look into realigning the road in a bid to avoid future problems.
Works are planned for the A82 at Pulpit Rock in October 2013 which will mean the road being shut for around 14 weeks. This means there needs to be a contingency plan put in place which can minimise potential disruption to road users in case the A83 is closed because of another landslip. Argyll and Bute Council will work closely with Transport Scotland to make sure the arrangements do not disadvantage local people and the economy throughout Argyll & Bute served by these vital Trunk Roads.
Transport Scotland have also confirmed that they are working on proposals to upgrade the A85 in Oban town centre which can complement the Council’s proposed CHORD programme investment of £1.84 million in traffic management improvements which will be considered by the Council’s Executive on 2nd February.
Spokesperson for transport and infrastructure, Councillor Duncan MacIntyre said “This has been a very productive meeting and I am determined to make sure the people of Argyll and Bute get the quality of roads they deserve. Local people and businesses rely on the A class Trunk Roads in the area being in top condition so they can get about their daily lives. I’m delighted Transport Scotland is looking into the A83 in such detail as we cannot afford for it to be shut for any length of time again. The improvements to the A85 will make a real difference to those living in Oban and its status as a key transport hub and tourist destination on the West Coast of Scotland. Argyll and Bute Council will work alongside the national transport agency for Scotland to get the best outcome for the area. I look forward to meeting with Transport Minister Keith Brown to discuss these matters further.”