Concern amid repair delay to subsiding Skipness road

There is no date yet for a permanent repair to the Skipness road.

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The poor condition of a lifeline road serving Skipness and Claonaig could threaten residents’ access to emergency services, according to a councillor for the area.

Councillor Anne Horn has expressed her concerns after she raised the issue at a meeting of the Mid Argyll, Kintyre and the Islands Area Committee.

She said: ‘I have been raising the issue of the poor condition of the Skipness road with officers for some considerable time.

‘There is serious subsidence on the road and this is causing concern to residents of the village, with viability of the road being questioned.

‘I have been assured that an agreement has been reached with owners of the estate to use the old road should the road deteriorate to the point that access is not possible, unfortunately this would only allow four-wheel-drive vehicle access.

‘Not all emergency vehicles are four-wheel drive, adding to the concern.’

The B8001 underwent emergency temporary repairs in March this year after a large crack appeared on the road surface.

The crack was filled and plans drawn up for a long-term solution tying the road together with specialist steelwork that would be implemented by the end of the summer.

But work has yet to start and the committee was given no assurances that it would begin this autumn either.

Councillor Horn added: ‘I was informed by the head of service that the repairs would be initiated in August or September this year and disappointingly it now appears that it is only hoped that the works will be completed this financial year.’

At the committee’s meeting on September 1, head of road and amenity services Jim Smith confirmed that repairs to the B8001 road were included in the roads capital programme for the current financial year and geotechnical work had been undertaken to identify the causes of the issue.

He noted that he was happy that the road was currently stable on the basis of the investigations which had been carried out.

Mr Smith also asked the committee members to be patient while the design work was completed and the procurement process initiated.

He added that he was confident that the responsible team had the project in hand and that the work would be completed within the current financial year.

He agreed to circulate information to members, and via social media, in relation to an approximate timescale for works following a request from Councillor Robin Currie.

Committee chair Councillor Rory Colville requested that details around the geotechnical issues encountered be provided in layman’s terms alongside this information, to provide Skipness residents and committee members with a better understanding of the challenges being faced.