A83 Taskforce meeting

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Transport Minister Fiona Hyslop today chaired her first meeting of the A83 Taskforce, held in Lochgilphead.

The members of the Taskforce, which includes local politicians, representatives of Argyll and Bute Council, community councils and business organisations, were updated on the plans for the medium-term solution along the existing Old Military Road.

They were also given an update on the recent public engagement for the permanent, long-term solution to the challenges at the Rest and Be Thankful, following the announcement of the preferred route option in June and the end of the consultation period at the end of July.

Ms Hyslop said:

“The Scottish Government remains committed to delivering a long-term solution to the landslip risks at the A83 Rest and Be Thankful. Earlier this week, the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Net Zero and Just Transition visited the A83 to see firsthand the challenges at the Rest and Be Thankful and the temporary diversion at the Old Military Road, and today I chaired the latest A83 Taskforce meeting in Lochgilphead.

“There is a clear need for pace and urgency on delivering improvements to the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful for the communities and businesses who often feel the brunt of closure and the associated impacts that creates. The announcement in June of the preferred route option for the long-term solution was a significant confirmation of our commitment to improve the route.

“During the four days of public exhibitions, 220 people came along to see and comment on our plans. Along with the face-to-face events, over 3,500 people had viewed the online exhibition by the time it closed on 28 July. This is testament to the wide public interest in the scheme.

“We are now considering all the comments received as we take forward at pace the detailed development and assessment of the preferred route option with a view to publishing draft Orders by the end of next year.

“At the same time, we are progressing our plans to increase the resilience of the temporary diversion route along the Old Military Road (OMR) until the long term solution to the challenges at the Rest and Be Thankful is in place. Work will begin later this year to realign the southern end of the route. In advance of the work starting, we recently carried out ground investigations to help determine the conditions of the terrain along this section of the OMR.

“The planned medium term improvements will increase resilience of the temporary diversion route by reducing the likelihood of landslides impacting the route. These improvements will mean more certainty for locals and road users if the A83 has to shut due to adverse weather conditions.

"All of this underlines the Scottish Government’s commitment to work with key stakeholders and local communities to ensure that Argyll & Bute remains open for business.”

Published 4 Oct 2023