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MSP calls for action following closure of A83

Michael Russell, MSP for Argyll and Bute, has asked Transport Minister Keith Brown to reconvene the A83 Task Force following another landslip resulting in the road's closure.

Michael Russell, MSP for Argyll and Bute, has asked Transport Minister Keith Brown to reconvene the A83 Task Force following another landslip resulting in the road's closure.

 

Michael Russell, MSP for Argyll and Bute, has asked Transport Minister Keith Brown to reconvene the A83 Task Force following the third closure of the road in less than a fortnight.

Traffic was diverted on the Old Military Road following another landslip in the early hours of Thursday, March 6, following on from two previous closures on February 23 and 28, the latter of which was due to an accident.

Mr Russell said: “The rainfall in recent days has been exceptional, even by Argyll standards, and that is clearly the main cause of the new landslip on a very unstable slope.

“It was good that most of the debris appears to have been caught by the recently installed safety netting and the diversion route will make a difference. I am pleased that this week it has been agreed to increase the planting of trees on the slope as one measure that might add some stability.

“However three closures in less than a fortnight is clearly hugely disruptive and last Friday’s accident near Inveraray meant that many people - including me - had to use the very long diversion via Crianlarich and through the roadworks on Loch Lomondside at one of the busiest times of the week.

“The A83 Task Force which brings together Argyll and Bute Council, Transport Scotland, local business interests and others along with the Scottish Government has been very useful in providing information, looking at alternatives and developing ideas. I think another urgent meeting needs to take place to allow the community to be updated on work being done - which is considerable - and to consider what other possibilities exist for normalising what is the essential main route to Mid-Argyll, Kintyre and the Argyll islands.

“I have asked Keith Brown if he would consider arranging such a meeting as soon as possible and meanwhile I will work with all involved to ensure that road users and communities are kept closely informed with progress on re-opening the road which will happen, I am assure, just as soon as it is safe to do so.

“I am told that present weather conditions mean that the source of the slip is hidden in low cloud and there will have to be at least a visual inspection of that source before the road can operate safely again.”

 

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