Rest and Be Thankful: Government should stop shilly shallying around
Road engineers from BEAR Scotland have been putting in place measures to protect Argyll’s A83 Rest and Be Thankful from being further affected by landslips.
This is the main route for motorists between West Dunbartonshire, Inverary and Oban.
The road and the Old Military Road (OMR) were closed after rain washed down thousands of tonnes of rock and soil from the hill above on Tuesday.
More heavy rain has been forecast for the area on Friday, although it held off until late in the afternoon.
An embankment was being built and a channel dug to offer protection to the roads.
Roads maintenance company Bear Scotland said once all additional protective measures were completed its teams would work towards a potential reopening of the OMR.
It would be used as a local diversion route from Saturday mid-morning, following a “full rigorous” safety assessment by Police Scotland and geotechnical specialists.
The area has been the scene of frequent landslips and the latest incident involved 6,000 tonnes of debris.
Meanwhile, the Leader of Argyll and Bute Council has called on the First Minister to take immediate and permanent action.
In her letter to the First Minister, Councillor Aileen Morton has asked the Scottish Government to make a commitment today to deliver a permanent solution after a decade of disruption.
Cllr Morton, who was excoriating in her criticism of the SNP government, said: “This is now the second landslide of the year that has closed the Rest and Be Thankful and resulted in disruption to a major trunk road causing havoc for our communities, businesses and visitors.
“It is abundantly clear that mitigation measures taken by Scottish Government have yet again failed the people of Argyll and Bute.
“Taking such a shilly shally approach is simply no longer acceptable and we, as a council are asking again for a permanent solution to be identified, funded and delivered as a matter of urgency.
“The issues on the Rest and Be Thankful have been debated, investigated, patched up and largely ignored for the last decade and we still find ourselves in this same position again.
“There is no time to waste now, this is one of the most iconic routes in Scotland bringing millions of people to the area, a major route for commerce and a vital link for our communities. Above all, we are talking public safety and the people of Argyll and Bute deserve better. ”