ONE of Scotland' most iconic roads is to be out of action until mid-November as workers try to make it safe after two landslips at the weekend, it has been revealed.

Maintenance firm BEAR Scotland confirmed the landslip-plagued A83 at the Rest and be Thankful will remain closed as they work to try ensure that the important Highlands artery is protected.

It has been open for barely three weeks since August 4 when a landslip brought about by rain blocked the road.

Over the past weekend Storm Aiden brought around 90mm of heavy rain since early Saturday morning which caused two significant landslides at the important Highlands route, both of which were held back from reaching the A83 by the landslide debris fences on the hillside.

READ MORE: £80m 'wasted' over multiple failed fixes to iconic A83 Rest and Be Thankful

BEAR Scotland said the fences prevented the two significant landslips from reaching the A83.

But they say they now require a series of repairs to reinstate the impacted debris fences, clear them of material and restore them to their "full capacity to ensure the A83 remains protected". The maintenance firm said that until this work is complete the A83 needs to remain closed "as a safety precaution while these mitigation measures are restored".


The A83 will be expected to reopen during daytime only under traffic light control from mid-November once fence repairs complete.

The single-track Old Military Road (OMR), which runs parallel to the A83 will remain in use until repairs to debris fences impacted by landslips during Storm Aiden are completed.

This morning there was further disruption when that road was blocked when an HGV broken down.

BEAR Scotland said the OMR will remain under close review with teams paying "close attention" to the weather forecast and continually monitoring the hillside above the road.

It said the next stage of mitigation work will see the continuation of work to install a new debris fence at the steep channel formed above the route following major landslips in August and September. Teams say they are on track to complete this stage of "mitigation work" by the end of November, which will provide additional protection for the A83 and allow it to resume operation.

Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s north west representative said: “The debris fences performed as designed at the weekend and successfully prevented two landslips from reaching the carriageway following over 90mm of heavy rain within 24 hours. Teams are how undertaking work to repair the nets, remove the debris and reinstate them as before.

READ MORE: New bridges or tunnels could end A83 Rest and be Thankful chaos

“This work is complex due to damage caused by boulders brought down in the debris, with teams expecting to complete the repairs by mid-November. We’re continuing to put road user safety first and until the debris fences are back to full capacity we’ll be diverting all road users via the OMR as a precaution.

“We’ll continue to carry out daily assessments of the hillside and closely monitor the weather forecast, and we’ll keep the operation of the OMR under close review.

“Engineers are also continuing work on the in-channel barrier above the steep channel formed in August and September, which once complete will provide extra mitigation and protection for the A83, allowing us to keep the road open overnight under traffic light control as before and stand down the night-time use of the OMR. This stage of work is on track to be completed at the end of November.

“We understand this is a very frustrating situation and as ever we thank all road users and the local community for their patience while we do everything we can to complete the ongoing work at the A83.”

Ministers have previously been accused of wasting nearly £80 million on more than a decade of failed solutions to landslides on the road after the latest multiple slips in heavy rainfall.

Some locals have called for a public inquiry into the problems, with many saying a permanent solution must be found.

Transport Scotland published details of the 11 "corridor options" for a new route to replace the landslip-prone section of the A83 include building up to three bridges or tunnels.

But the choice of solution is not expected till next year.