Following the recent mid-summer closure of the Rest and Be Thankful and a meeting with local business interests, Argyll and Bute Council’s Lead Councillor for Environment, Energy, Development, Infrastructure and Tourism, John Semple has written to Transport Minister Keith Brown asking for an early meeting.
The aim is to address the strategic development of the roads and transportation network in Argyll and Bute to support the local economy. In particular the meeting will focus on growth of the renewable energy, tourism, and the marine science and aquaculture sectors associated with the Lorn Arc (A85), connectivity issues including the A82 and the Kintyre Renewable Hub (A83).
Councillor Semple said, “The Council is committed to working with Transport Scotland officials to develop a clearly defined and integrated strategy which sets out how the roads infrastructure within Argyll and Bute- both trunk roads and local authority roads - can be maintained and improved in forthcoming years to better support the local economy, in the short, medium and longer term.”
Some of the specific issues Councillor Semple would like to discuss with the Minister include progress on the temporary diversion route for the Rest and be Thankful; permanent solutions for the landslide issues between the Rest and be Thankful and Cairndow; proposals for improvements and upgrading of the A83; proposals for improvements and upgrading of the A85; return to service proposals during next years proposed closure of the A82 at Pulpit Rock should the A83 not be available; and communication of closures and alternative route arrangements.
“The Council has recognised the strategic importance of the A819 as the “link road” between the A82/A85 and the A83,” Councillor Semple continued. “ In terms of strategic planning, the Council has recognised the requirement to not only upgrade the running surfaces on these routes, but also to make targeted road improvements in terms of road width and improvements to sight lines. For example, the £600K allocated to improve the swept path on the A83 at Muasdale which will better allow the transport of wind turbines, and the road widening and sight line improvements on the A819 as a diversionary route for trunk road traffic during the future A82 upgrade works at Pulpit Rock.
“I am committed to ensuring that Argyll and Bute plays its full part in growing the Scottish Economy, in order to do that we must be better connected.”