The Scottish Government is coming under renewed pressure to find a solution to the long-term problems facing the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful.
The road is frequently closed to traffic because of landslip fears leading to disruptive diversions, with the local council pleading for a “permanent solution“.
Now Scottish Labour Deputy Leader Jackie Baillie has called for clarity over the long-term plan for the A83 as proposals for the preferred option were due to be announced in Spring 2023.
The matter was discussed at the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee last week as the original petition, brought forward by Argyll and Bute Councillors Douglas Philand and Donald Kelly, to request a public inquiry into the Rest and Be Thankful project, was considered again.
Speaking during the meeting, the Dumbarton constituency MSP told how residents in the local area who use the route want clarity on when it is likely a long-term solution will be in place.
Ms Baillie said: “Spring 2023 has now passed and we aren’t any clearer on a long-term solution. I appreciate that there is a new minister in place but there needs to be consideration given to the communities who have put up with this for so long.
“The local community want the preferred route to be built by 2026 but the Scottish Government are now saying 2033.
“The people affected by the problems on the A83 at the Rest & Be Thankful deserve to understand what is going on. While investment in the Old Military road is welcome in the medium term, they are rightly concerned that this will be a sticking plaster solution and will delay a long-term outcome.
“Meanwhile costs on existing contingencies have increased substantially.
“They are asking for a public inquiry because they do not believe that value for public money is being achieved.
“Irrespective of whether there is an inquiry, this has gone on for too long to the detriment of the people who live and work in the area and the businesses which operate there. We need a new road and we need it in the shortest possible space of time.”
(Picture – Jackie Baillie’s website)