The A83 we know today, suspended on a now unstable precipitous hillside as it approaches the Rest and Be Thankful summit, was built between 1937 and 1941 for very different conditions ("A83 shut again as landslide causes chaos", The Herald, August 2 & Letters, August 3).

It is not fit for purpose any more and never will be so it is entirely sensible that the Scottish Government, which has spent a huge sum of money over the past five years merely keeping it open, is deciding on substantial changes on the section leading up to the summit.

A much more radical look at the problem suggests several other longer-term solutions.

Sixty years ago that road was carrying less than one-tenth of the volume of traffic it carries today and in those days a substantial proportion of human cargo and freight was delivered into Argyll by boats and freighters. Virtually everything, including the daily mail, came by sea as it did to dozens of piers all about the Clyde estuary and the long fingers of sea lochs connected to it.

In a sensible country (such as Norway, for instance) we would be looking at a multitude of well equipped ferries criss-crossing the west Highlands and Islands, taking vast amounts of traffic off the roads.

Were the geography of the whole of the UK in anyway similar to the geography of most of Scotland we wouldn't be having this debate. I'm sure if that was the case massive funding provision would be automatically provided for ferries which are actually an alternative and a more efficient part of a sensible transport network. Ferries should be treated like roads and funded accordingly and if vehicle carrying ferries ran into Argyll from the mainland to places like Campbeltown, Dunoon and Tighnabruaich (for onward journeys to Islay and the southern isles) you would take half the traffic off the A83.

Dave McEwan Hill,

1 Tom Nan Ragh,

Dalinlongart, Sandbank, Argyll.