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A preferred solution to decades of landslide problems at the Rest and Be Thankful should be identified ‘shortly’, according to transport bosses.
Transport Scotland officials responded to claims by Argyll and Bute Council leader Councillor Robin Currie that the ongoing situation at the stretch of the A83 road was comparable to ‘a far-off, distant country’.
The road at the Rest and Be Thankful has been hit by multiple closures due to landslides since October 2018 – though the problem dates back far longer than that.
Councillor Currie made the comments at a virtual meeting of Argyll and Bute Community Planning Partnership on Wednesday, March 10.
Claims were also made at the meeting that the Old Military Road, which opens in the event of the main A83 stretch being closed, is in a poor condition.
Councillor Currie said: ‘Being blunt, the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful is not just a road into Argyll; it is a road into most of Argyll and Bute, including the islands of the area, and also a big chunk of the Highland area.
‘So it is a major road, and if this happened anywhere in the central belt, there would have been a solution found, no doubt about it.
‘There has been millions of pounds spent to date, but today there will be an announcement saying there is rain in the forecast and the road will be shut.
‘This is the stage we are at, and it is absolutely ridiculous. You would think you were in a far off, distant country.
‘I think the community planning partnership should also be writing to the Scottish Government, backing up what we have been asking for – a solution as quickly as possible, and certainly in the length of the next parliament.’
A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: ‘Design work is well under way to identify an alternative to the current A83 route and find a long-term solution to the challenges created by the Rest and Be Thankful section of the road. This work is expected to identify a preferred corridor shortly.
‘Following this, designs will be progressed in the preferred corridor, and as with other projects to improve the trunk road network, there will be a need to complete the necessary environmental assessments and statutory process to allow land to be acquired and the project constructed.’