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Rest and Be Thankful road closure spurs calls for action

FRESH calls have been made for action on a major road after its eighth closure in five years due to a landslide.

Nearly £5 million has already been invested in improving the A83, including a local diversion route at the Rest and Be Thankful.

But the latest landslip at Butterbridge was beyond that point, so the diversion could not help. Once again motorists were left with the options of a 50 mile plus detour using the A82 to Crianlarich and Tyndrum, or travelling by way of the Gourock to Dunooon ferry from Sunday midday till yesterday morning.

It was the same with the last closure in October, when again the landslip was beyond the diversion route.

Jamie McGrigor, Tory Highlands and Islands MSP, said that as one of the key routes in and out of Argyll & Bute, any closure was serious. He said: "It is of real concern that this landslide and October's occurred at locations outside the area where the emergency relief road can be used. The Transport Minister previously assured me that studies are under way at the Glen Kinglas, Cairndow and Loch Shira sections of the road with the aim of providing these locations with a similar level of risk reduction."

He said he would be writing to the Transport Minister Keith Brown to push for these studies to be completed as soon as possible and for practical landslip prevention measures on these sections of the roads to be implemented without delay.

John Semple, SNP councillor for Kintyre also thought it time for the wider area to be looked at again. He said: "I think we have got to now extend the scope of our thinking beyond the Rest and Be Thankful. I would welcome the reconvening of the A83 Taskforce. "

A spokeswoman for Transport Scotland said: "We have always been aware that there are other landslide risks along the A83 and that is why we are having the surveys at Glen Kinglas, Cairndow and Loch Shira carried out. We will be in a better position to decide what the most appropriate action will be when they are completed."

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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