Calls for assurances that the ‘Rest and Be Thankful’ section of the A83 will be improved to resist future landslides were made during a session of Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity questions in the Scottish Parliament.
Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron questioned the Transport Secretary Michael Matheson, about what was discussed at the last meeting of the A83 Taskforce in November 2018, and asked what assurances the Cabinet Secretary could give to local residents and businesses who rely on the A83 being open at all times.
The ‘Rest and Be Thankful’ was closed off for nine days in October 2018 following the largest landslide in a decade, forcing road users to either take a major diversion, or to use the Old Military Road during certain hours of the day.
A number of petitions were created during the period of the incident, including one by Donald Cameron, calling for a permanent solution to the Rest and Be Thankful.
The Transport Secretary indicated that the meeting was “full and frank”, and that there would be a “review of the potential for additional landslide mitigation measures at the Rest and Be Thankful”, and that this would be discussed at the next A83 Taskforce meeting in March 2019.
There was also a commitment that Argyll and Bute would be “prioritised” in the next Strategic Transport Projects Review.
Scottish Conservative MSP Donald Cameron said:
“I welcome the assurances by the Transport Secretary that there will be a review of any additional measures for the Rest and Be Thankful, and that Argyll and Bute will receive priority at the next Strategic Transport Projects Review.
With that said, many local residents across Argyll and Bute have expressed their scepticism about current landscape mitigation measures and agree with me that we urgently need a permanent solution for the Rest and Be Thankful, so that Argyll and Bute will no longer be cut off from the rest of Scotland due to landslides.
I look forward to the outcome of this new review, and hope that a positive outcome that meets the wishes of all local stakeholders can be reached.”