Council leader seeks Rest and Be Thankful assurance

Councillor Robin Currie has written to Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth seeking assurances about the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful.
Councillor Robin Currie has written to Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth seeking assurances about the situation on the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful.

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The leader of Argyll and Bute Council has sought assurances from the Scottish Government that the A83 Rest and Be Thankful solution will remain unaffected by capital budget pressures and funding cuts.

Councillor Robin Currie has written to Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth following the publication of both the National Transport Strategy Delivery Plan and a Scottish Government spending review which highlighted a drop in spend on roads of more than £30 million in the next few years.

The Rest and Be Thankful has been subject to numerous closures through bad weather in recent years. A preferred route corridor, running through Glen Croe, was identified in March 2021.

A Transport Scotland spokesperson has said the transport agency remains committed to finding a long-term solution.

Councillor Currie said: ‘Argyll and Bute depends on the A83 for virtually everything – it’s as simple as that. We have welcomed the Scottish Government’s commitment to finding a permanent solution.

‘We have shared with them the very real concerns of our communities and the very urgent need for action.

‘And, in light of the capital spending review, I am now asking for their assurance that the plans for the Rest won’t be affected, won’t be delayed, and will remain a priority.

‘I am keen to meet with the transport minister to discuss not only the Rest, but the many other transport connectivity issues that matter so very much to Argyll and Bute in every possible aspect of life – personal, social, medical and, of course, economy and business.

‘Despite a number of requests, we were not able to meet prior to the elections in May, but I am hopeful that the minister will agree to a discussion with us soon.’

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: ‘We are committed to a long-term solution to landslip risks at the A83 Rest and Be Thankful.

‘Potential route designs are being progressed and these range from traditional roads and localised structural protection to full tunnel options.

‘We are also progressing work to develop a medium-term resilient route through Glen Croe while the long-term solution is developed. We will bring forward proposals for this by the end of this year.

‘This work includes considering using the existing forestry road, improvements to the Old Military Road and other options.

‘We expect to announce a preferred route option for a long-term solution by spring 2023.’