Scottish Water ‘keen to begin’ Tarbert project

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A much-delayed £3.4 million project to upgrade Tarbert’s sewer system remains in the sights of Scottish Water – though no new date has been set for it to begin.

The scheme was originally due to start in 2019 but was delayed until January 2020 – later extended to March.

Just before the coronavirus lockdown in March, Scottish Water revealed it was looking for a new contractor for the project to install new larger diameter pipes along Barmore Road, Harbour Street and School Road in the village.

The intention had been to avoid working during the busy summer period of festivals in Tarbert, but the pandemic forced the cancellation of these events.

Concern has since been raised among some businesses that work might now begin just as visitors and trade returns after four months.

A Scottish Water spokesperson said: ‘Now that lockdown restrictions have eased, we are keen to begin our essential improvement work to tackle sewer flooding in Tarbert.

‘We cannot say for sure when work will begin on site, however, we are doing all we can to progress this important project.

‘We are currently discussing our plans with local businesses and will continue to engage with them and stakeholders to ensure we minimise any impact this work might have on the Tarbert community.’

The largest diameter pipe to be installed will be 1.2m, or four feet, in diameter, to be installed on Harbour Street – something which concerns Tarbert retailer Ian MacIntyre.

Mr MacIntyre said: ‘This is a large diameter pipe and I am worried excavations for this will damage the foundations of the buildings along the harbour.’

The Scottish Water spokesperson responded: ‘All work will be carried out in a safe and respectful manner and will not be detrimental to existing structures.’