Council reaffirms its position on Rest And Be Thankful

ByAileen MacLennan

Argyll and Bute Council has reaffirmed its long-standing position that the Scottish Government must put a permanent solution in place on the A83 Rest And Be Thankful road as soon as possible.

At a meeting of today’s Economic Development and Infrastructure meeting, members noted the timescales set out by Scottish Government in its latest report, including plans to have both lanes of the A83 reopened by June or July of this year. Members also noted the Transport Minister’s confirmation that funding will remain available for both the medium and long-term solutions for the route.

Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth, left,  provided an update on the current mitigation works at a meeting of the Rest nd Be Thankful Taskforce in January and on plans for a programme of improvements to the Old Military Road as a temporary solution to the ongoing issues.

The Minister had announced in December that the Scottish Government would make improvements to the Old Military Road as a medium term solution to improve the resilience of the temporary diversion route to the A83, and said it will make an announcement on the long-term solution in the spring.

A date for the beginning of the first phase of this work has still to be confirmed.

Councillor Andrew Kain, said: “The Rest and Be Thankful is a key element of Argyll and Bute’s infrastructure and plays a vital role in the local economy.

“The ongoing issues around the route undoubtedly have a severe impact on local people, businesses and the area’s profile as a popular destination for visitors.

“The planned improvements to the Old Military Road will help to provide a solution in the medium term to alleviate some of the problems but I’m sure I speak for the local community when I say that we are greatly looking forward to the announcement of the permanent solution by the Scottish Government in the spring.”


Meanwhile, Argyll and Bute Council remains on course to achieve a national good practice standard for its ports and harbours – something that very few others in the UK have secured.

The Port Marine Safety Code (PMSC) sets out a national safety standard covering different aspects of running ports and harbours, and represents ‘good practice’ as recognised by a wide range of industry stakeholders.

The Department for Transport publishes a list of compliant ports every three years, and Argyll and Bute is on schedule for inclusion in the next edition that will be compiled next year for publication in 2025.

The current list of more than 230 ports, published by The Department for Transport as complying with the Code, represents around 14% of UK ports and 30% of Statutory Harbour Authorities.

Achieving the standard involves an independent assessor, or Designated Person, carrying out assurance audits of ports and harbours.

During their assurance audit in Argyll and Bute, the Designated Person highlighted three examples of ‘Best Practice’ including operations at Oban Harbour.

Chair of the Harbour Board, Councillor Andrew Kain, said: “Our ports and harbours play a key part in marine connections to and from our island and mainland communities.

“Although the Port Marine Safety Code is not an official requirement, it is something we want to achieve in Argyll and Bute and I am delighted to see the progress that we are making.”

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