By Bill Heaney

In the past 15 years, almost £100 million has been spent on short-term repairs to the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful, the main route from West Dunbartonshire  to Oban,Inverary and Argyll, it was revealed at the weekend. 

However, Donald Cameron, the Tory MSP for Highlands and Islands, told the Holyrood parliament on Thursday that communities across Argyll remain “exasperated” by the lack of action since Transport Scotland announced its preferred permanent route last year.

He asked: “Will the First Minister now instruct Transport Scotland to select that route and make it a top priority for delivery, thereby ending once and for all the misery that closures of that road cause?

He received short shrift from Nicola Sturgeon though: “I assume that the member is not suggesting that the investments in temporary repairs should not have been made—that is my first point.

“Secondly, as I am sure that the member knows, in relation to the Rest and Be Thankful, a preferred route corridor for a permanent solution was announced in 2021.

“Route option designs within the preferred corridor are being progressed and we are working towards announcing a preferred route for the long-term decision by next spring.”

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