IT winds its way along the banks of some our most famous lochs and is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque roads in Scotland.

But the A82 ‘low road’ along the banks of Loch Lomond from Glasgow to Inverness via Fort William is also one of the most frustrating for drivers.

At the height of tourist season it is even more so as motorhomes enter the fray alongside the usual timber lorries, supermarket deliveries and all the other vehicles that need to use the route.

Local communities all along the route really do deserve better.

The A82 seems to be one of Scotland’s forgotten roads upgrades of routes such as the A9 getting a much higher profile.

But that really shouldn’t be the case given the sheer numbers of people who live along it and need to use it just to get around.

Thousands of people in Argyll and Lochaber use it for routine hospital appointments for a start and is an unnecessary added stress for them.

The problems with the road were highlighted this week with a video showing a driver almost causing a head-on crash on the road with a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre.

Thankfully a lorry driver heading the other way had the presence of mind to stop in time and prevent another deadly statistic from taking place.

There are plans currently in place to upgrade the section from Tarbet to Inverarnan, which is currently the narrowest and most dangerous section of the route south of Crianlarich.

But at a cost of £150million there are obviously questions about whether the public purse can afford it given the competing priorities for money, which is currently in short supply.

There is also questions being raised about the route the new road will take.

Helensburgh and District Access Trust (HADAT) believes Transport Scotland’s decision to build it on the same line as the old road is a “disaster” for the ten mile stretch of Loch Lomond’s Bonnie Banks.

The group says that Transport Scotland is not proceeding in a “legal fashion” by going ahead with the project without completing an analysis that compares that route with an alternative high route.

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They say that Transport Scotland has failed to plan for the road using the Scottish Transport Analysis Guidance (STAG), which says impact studies should be carried out on places affected. They say it is a “stipulated legal requirement”.

As a consequence, they say Transport Scotland are currently spending public money on detailed design work by consultants for a route which is not “the best for the public”.

The plans for the A82 and indeed the other roads in Scotland such as the A9, A96, A77 and A75 that badly need upgraded strike at the very heart of current thinking surrounding transport policy.

Everything is based on getting to Net Zero as soon as possible which means dramatically reducing emissions from cars, trains, planes and boats.

This is a very laudable and necessary aim but it fails to take into account one key thing. Road safety.

Within the next decade or so, the vast majority of us will be driving electric cars which is clearly a good thing as it will dramatically reduce harmful emissions.

But without upgrades to our major trunk roads then people will still die needlessly on the roads as frustration builds up behind the wheel regardless of what kind of car you drive.

Being stuck behind a slow moving vehicle on the A82 is just as bad in an electric car as it is in a diesel one and the risk from a dangerous overtaking manouevre is just the same too.

It is the crucial, but fatal flaw in the green lobby’s obsession with axing all planned new roads.

People living in remote, rural areas will always need to use their cars to get to hospital appointments, supermarkets or just to get about generally.

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The chances of a decent public transport service to the farthest flung parts of Sutherland or Caithness are for the birds so the need for road upgrades will always be there.

The question for politicians to answer is whether they are comfortable with fatalities on Scotland’s roads in pursuit of their green targets.

Green targets can easily be achieved through an increase in electric cars so it is fictitious to claim that the building of new roads must be scrapped to meet the targets.

They can quite easily be met by doing both and indeed must be done.

Otherwise, as emissions fall, road deaths will rise. The needs of residents in rural areas have been forgotten for too long and that must change, regardless who is in charge at Holyrood.

Lives could literally depend on it.