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’.
It comes following a meeting from the local authority’s economic development and infrastructure meeting.
Members at the meeting 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.
They 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 provided an update on the current mitigation works at a meeting of the Rest and 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, policy lead for roads and transport, 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.”