SCOTLAND'S most notorious road is to shut down today as a "safety precaution" due to a forecast of heavy rain.

It has been confirmed that the landslip-prone A83 at the Rest and be Thankful will shut from 7pm due to a forecast of heavy rain - and maintenance bosses have indicated there could be more closures to come.

Campaigners have been calling for a full public inquiry to determine why road is still not fixed.

The move comes amidst continuing criticism over money "wasted" over failed temporary fixes involving catch pits to the A83.

Catch pits are designed to ‘capture’ debris material from a landslip and prevent it from reaching the road.

The Herald revealed last month that transport chiefs had spent some £8.5m on "wasted" temporary sticking plaster fixes to try to prevent landslips on the key road over five years.

And Argyll councillors Donald Kelly and Douglas Philand are leading the call for an inquiry, claiming the only winners of repeated mitigation measures have been costly consultants and contractors.

READ MORE: Rest and be Thankful: £8.5m of public money 'wasted' on 'sticking plaster' A83 fixes in five years

Transport minister Graeme Dey has said that improving the resilience of the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful "is one of our top priorities" and that they were continuing to work on a permanent long term solution to the issue.

Motorists are being now being told that official single track diversion route, the Old Military Road which runs through the centre of Glen Croe will act as a diversion using a convoy system from 7pm.

Bear Scotland, the road maintenance firm contracted by the Scottish Government's Transport Scotland agency said that rainfall is forecasted to continue through the night into Wednesday.

A convoy operation of the A83 was implemented at 9pm on Monday night in anticipation of the persistent heavy rainfall being experienced.

And Bear Scotland said that with hillside saturation levels "increasing" the decision has been taken to divert traffic to the Old Military Road as a safety precaution.

A safety inspection will take place on Wednesday morning to assess if safe to reopen the A83 to all road users during the daytime.

But Bear warned that further wet weather is expected over the course of the week and "teams will be closely monitoring conditions on site".

Eddie Ross, Bear Scotland’s north west representative said: “We’ve taken the decision along with Transport Scotland to direct all traffic to use the Old Military Road from Tuesday evening as a safety precaution given the persistent rainfall being experienced, and a safety inspection on Wednesday morning will determine if safe for us to reopen the A83 for road users.

“Looking ahead, we’re expecting further heavy rain to move through the area over the remainder of the week, and our teams will remain on high alert.

READ MORE: Chaos on A83 at Rest and be Thankful will shut businesses and is a 'disaster' for economy and jobs, say campaigners

“As ever, we thank the local community and all road users for their patience while we continue to manage the situation at the Rest.”


A helicopter was used in August to make a 100 tonne boulder safe by using water bags to manoeuvre it into a safe location

Construction of the last catch-pit on the road was completed in August having taken over twice as long to install as promised.

The latest catch pit next to the trunk road, will be located at the foot of the steep sided channel formed by the major landslides in August and September last year.

Moves over the latest measures to prevent road closures came after a major landslip around 650 feet above the carriageway shut the road in August, last year.

Engineers said thousands of tonnes of debris including car-sized boulders slid onto the road after 100mm of rain hit the Argyll hills.

One of the landslip mitigation catch-pits, built to prevent landslip material reaching the road, caught around 2,000 tonnes - but it did not stop thousands more tonnes hitting the road.

The slip ushered in a series of road closures for the important Highlands route which by January had meant it was open for barely three weeks in the space of five months.

In February the A83 and the official single track diversion route, the Old Military Road which runs through the centre of Glen Croe was shut after hundreds of tons of debris fell in another landslip.

That is despite £1m being spent on 175-metre long, 6.6 metre high barrier having been built next to the OMR to stop debris from a potential landslip.


A campaign - backed by 1500 businesses fought for a permanent solution by 2024 after an over 15-year failure to prevent disruption.

A new A83 route which could include a tunnel close to the A83 has been identified as the Scottish Government's favoured permanent solution - but it is a long-term solution which could take seven to ten years to complete after being approved.

But that choice has now led to five new options on the table for the new Glen Croe route, some of which include tunnels up to 1.8 miles long.