The A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful is to remain open overnight for the first time in over eight months in a 24-hour trial operation over the next two days.

The infamous lifeline road has been in and out of action since August last year, following a landslide.

The trial will help officials consider if the route can remain open safely overnight on a long-term basis.

Starting today, all traffic will remain on the A83 overnight with teams carefully monitoring the hillside and weather conditions in the area.

However, the Old Military Road will remain on standby as a local diversion route throughout the two-day trial - with teams ready to implement use of the route should weather conditions deteriorate in the area.

READ MORE: Race against time to stop 100,000 tonnes of debris falling on the A83 at the Rest and be Thankful

Teams have been working 24/7 on a programme of mitigation measures above and below the A83 to enhance landslip resilience in the area.

This work includes installing a new debris fence across the steep channel formed by landslips last year, strengthening of existing debris fences on the route and enhancing the drainage in the area to control and manage any excess water flows.

The A83 has been open during the daytime when weather conditions have allowed since January 8, with motorists using the OMR as a local diversion route overnight as a safety precaution.

It comes after hundreds of business owners warned that seven months of disruption have created new safety risks and have set a 2024 deadline for a permanent solution.

The Rest and Be Thankful Campaign, launched by Inverneill resident John Gurr and backed by business leaders from across Argyll, Kintyre, Mid Argyll and Cowal, warned transport secretary Michael Matheson of the consequences of 220 days of disruption.

They called on Mr Matheson to scrap the 10-year recovery plan and implement a timescale of two to five years.

Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Representative, said: “The two-day trial of running the A83 24-hours a day will allow us to identify any issues associated with operating the route at all hours for road users, and will enable us to optimise the convoy operation, shift patterns and overnight monitoring practices for the coming period.


“The Old Military Road local diversion route through the centre of the glen will remain on standby and we’ll have teams ready to implement the route quickly should conditions in the area or on the hillside begin to change.

“While we’re hopeful we can safely move to 24-hour operation of the A83, we must underline that if there is wet weather forecast or a weather warning – particularly overnight – which we think could impact the hillside then we will look to use the OMR as before.

"Road user safety remains of paramount importance and we will only operate the A83 if we are content that it is safe to do so.

READ MORE: Michael Matheson set deadline of five years for replacement of notorious landslip-prone road

“Teams have been working 24/7 on the mitigation measures in the area, including strengthening the debris fences and creating a new debris catch-pit, with such features strengthening landslip resilience and providing greater protection to road users.

“As ever we thank road users and the local community for their patience while we do everything we can to address the ongoing issues at the Rest.”

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