Argyll and Bute Council have pleaded to the Scottish Government for a ‘permanent solution’ to Rest and Be Thankful road

After an infrastructure planning meeting on Friday, council leaders announced they were once again “reaffirming” its “long-standing position” that the road needs to be improved.

The A83 Rest And Be Thankful road is one of the two main routes into Argyll, with the other being the A85 Oban to Crianlarich road.

Members of the council’s committee noted the timescales set out by the government in its latest report included plans to have both lanes of the Rest and Be Thankful reopened by June or July, reports the Press & Journal.

They also noted that Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth’s plans still involve government funding for both medium and long-term solutions.

The long wait for a solution to the roads problems has been widely critised by opposition parties.

In December, Ms Gilruth announced that improvements to the alternative Old Military Road would be completed as a medium-term solution. 

During periods of heavy rain when landslides are threatened, a convoy system is put in place via the Old Military Road diversion route. The road runs adjacent to the main route – but further down the hillside – and is only one way, which causes long delays for motorists.

However, the single-track Old Military Road itself is sometimes closed due to landslide fears – leaving motorists with 60-mile detours.

A total of 47 landslides have been recorded on the Rest and Be Thankful since 2007.

A “final decision” on long-term solution to the roads woes is due in the spring, said the Press & Journal report.

Councillor Andrew Kain, policy lead for roads and transport, said: “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.”

Long-term road infrastructure planning has been one of the talking points in the SNP leadership election.


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