By Harry Bell
Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton Constituency, raised the issue of funding and adequate mitigation measures for the Rest and Be Thankful at the A83.
During a session of Net Zero, Energy and Transport Portfolio Questions in the Scottish Parliament, Jackie Baillie asked Graeme Dey, the Minister for Transport, whether the current levels of funding being provided to the A83 was sufficient to deal with the potential landslips and other issues that the stretch of road could experience.
She also raised the fact that, despite a series of mitigation measures, the road has continuously been forced to close, which has a negative knock-on effect for the local economy, residents and visitors.
In response supplementary questions, the Minister explained that there is a parallel process ongoing which includes the current mitigation work, the medium-term development work and the long-term work. He informed the chamber that Transport Scotland is currently in the phase of gathering data in order to inform the best choice of specific route. This phase should be concluded by the end of this year.
Following this phase, the government will be able to move to the development of a final proposal for a medium-term solution. The Minister said that he believed it was feasible that, towards the end of next year, there will be a firm proposal to take forward.
Jackie Baillie, left, said: “The extensive issues along the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful are hugely disruptive for the local economy, residents and visitors alike. I fear that the current funding and mitigation measures are not sufficient since, despite these being in place, the road is repeatedly closed.
“Transport Scotland must work as quickly as possible to ensure that a preferred route for finally solving these issues is found and implemented. In the meantime there is a need to consider alternative routes should the Rest & Be Thankful continue to be closed.
“As we move into Autumn and Winter, the conditions along the road will naturally get worse. Transport Scotland must ensure that adequate funding and mitigation measures are in place now to avoid further closures and disruption.”