A report recommending several possible improvements for the A83 has been agreed by Argyll and Bute Council at its latest meeting. (Thursday 24 January) The report summarises a study commissioned by Transport Scotland and takes into account the Rest and be Thankful as well as the road between Tarbet, Lochgilphead and Kennacraig.
The council will now ask Transport Scotland to progress work to install a range of landslide mitigation measures on the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful including; 440 metres of debris flow barriers where the risk of landslide is highest, improved hillside drainage to the road and underneath it and also introducing planting on the slope. This will cost around £10 million. The council is also asking that Transport Scotland consider work at further locations which have been identified as being high risk.
The council will also ask Transport Scotland to look more closely at the option to create a new 4km single carriageway on the opposite side of the valley to the existing A83. More research is needed on cost, risk, the potential environmental impact and whether this is deliverable. Transport Scotland will also be asked to look into the flashing warning signs at either side of the Rest and Be Thankful with a view to removing them.
Lead Councillor for Roads and Amenity Services, John Semple said, “We are making good progress in taking steps to improve the A83 which is a vital link for the people of Argyll and Bute. The landslide mitigation measures can be put in place quickest and will address the current risk quickest. We are confident these will protect the road better from landslides and temporary closure once they are in place. Our priority is to make sure Argyll and Bute remains open for business at all times.
Also, I have been in contact with the Transport Minister Keith Brown are we are discussing the possibility of trunking the A83 between Kennacraig and Campbeltown. A business case is being drawn up by the council and Transport Scotland and the council will be brought up to date on progress as it happens.”
The council meeting also heard about potential measures which could improve the A83 between Tarbet, Lochgilphead and Kennacraig. These include pedestrian measures, minor improvement schemes, better information, safety improvement and speed control. Transport Scotland considered 30 potential schemes which had been identified by various stakeholders, including community councils and local transport operators. These schemes were compared relative to each other and a short list of 13 has been created.
Transport Scotland will now take a final report back to the A83 Taskforce for their comments before any action is taken.