Old Military Road will be used during works

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Transport officials have bowed to pressure from Argyll business leaders and politicians to open a local A83 diversion rather than forcing drivers around a 50-mile-plus detour in the dark.

Trunk road management company BEAR Scotland plans to carry out carriageway maintenance work at the traffic lights section through the A83 Rest and be Thankful over three nights from Sunday March 10.

Work will take place between the hours of 8pm to 5am.

BEAR Scotland originally announced that the use of the Old Military Road, right next to the trunk road, was solely reserved for ‘emergencies’ on the landslide-prone A83.

The company instead advised that drivers would have to endure an overnight diversion of at least 50 miles on the tortuous A82 via Crianlarich and on to Inveraray.

Mid Argyll councillor Dougie Philand called the situation ‘unacceptable’ as constituency MSP Michael Russell wrote to Transport Scotland and the cabinet secretary for transport over the matter.

Councillor Philand called the U-turn a ‘coup for local democracy’, adding: ‘I am delighted that the residents of Argyll and Bute have made their feelings known regarding the forthcoming proposed closure of the Rest and Be Thankful. The Scottish Government has to be thanked for its pragmatic decision.

‘Thanks are also due to our MSP Michael Russell who from the start of this issue lobbied his fellow ministers to allow this sensible decision to be taken.’

A BEAR Scotland spokesperson said on Friday March 1: ‘Following responses from the scheme consultation for these essential resurfacing works, it has been agreed to use the Old Military Road as the diversion for this planned A83 closure.

‘To minimise disruption and to avoid conflict with the catch pit works at the Rest and Be Thankful, the resurfacing will be undertaken for three nights from Sunday March 10.’