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A Highlands and Islands MSP has called for a parliamentary debate on the next steps for the A83 Rest and Be Thankful, and the plans to deliver a permanent, long-term solution to the ongoing debacle.
Conservative MSP Donald Cameron lodged a parliamentary motion which is marked for a members’ business debate, and it must secure the signatures of MSPs from at least three political parties represented in the Scottish Parliament.
It comes following calls from the Rest and Be Thankful Campaign group, which represents more than 1,500 businesses across Argyll and Bute, for Transport Scotland to speed up its plans to deliver the new road which is earmarked to replace the existing pass.
‘I welcome the progress that has been made in terms of identifying a new route into Argyll and Bute to replace the existing A83 Rest and Be Thankful pass, but it is clear that the timescales to deliver the new route do not meet the urgency that is expected by local residents and businesses, who are at their wits’ end,’ said Mr Cameron.
‘There is clear consensus for Transport Scotland to act with greater urgency, and I feel it is right that MSPs from all parties have the opportunity to discuss this issue given its immense importance to the people of Argyll and Bute.
‘I would encourage residents who want to see change, to email their MSP, and ask them to sign Motion S6M-00989.’
Donald Cameron MSP’s motion, below, which has been earmarked for a members’ business debate. At the time of writing, MSPs from the Scottish Conservatives and Scottish Labour had signed it.
Motion – A83 Rest and Be Thankful
That the parliament recognises what it sees as the ongoing frustration felt by communities and businesses across Argyll and Bute as a result of the reported continued problems on the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful pass; acknowledges the establishment of the Rest and Be Thankful Campaign group, representing 1,500 businesses across Argyll and Bute; notes the group’s calls for a more robust, long-term solution to the existing road, and for faster action to be taken to deliver it; understands that, following public consultation, Transport Scotland has identified a new route to replace the existing A83 Rest and Be Thankful pass; considers that the timescale set out to achieve this does not meet the urgent needs of communities and businesses across Argyll and Bute; notes the view that Transport Scotland should explore the potential use of the nearby forestry road as a temporary mitigation route, and further notes the calls on the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland to work with MSPs from all parties, the Rest and Be Thankful Campaign and other local stakeholders to achieve a suitable outcome.