A83 Taskforce updated on planned improvements

Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth chaired the latest meeting of the A83 Taskforce in Arrochar to provide an update on medium term solutions for the Rest and be Thankful.

The Minister confirmed that realignment work to the south end of the existing Old Military Road through the Glen Croe corridor will get underway later this year. 

This work is part of the medium term solution to the challenges at the Rest And Be Thankful, aiming to make it a more resilient diversion route, until the long term solution to the problems at the Rest and Be Thankful is constructed.

Commenting, Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth, said:

“The Scottish Government remains committed to a long-term solution to the landslip risks at the A83 Rest and Be Thankful.

“There is a clear need for pace and urgency on delivering these improvements for the local community and local business who often feel the brunt of closure and the associated impacts that creates. A final decision on the long term solution will be announced by the spring of this year.

“Following the decision last month to progress the identified improvements to the existing Old Military Road, work will begin this year to realign the southern end of the route.

“The planned improvements to the Old Military Road 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.”

Notes to editors

The improvements to the Old Military Road (OMR) will improve the resilience of the diversion route, reduce journey times, are the quickest to implement, of relatively lower cost and would have the least impacts overall across the range of criteria assessed for all options considered.

A detailed programme for the proposed improvements is being developed. These include debris catch fences, temporary bunds, drainage improvements and widening and discrete realignment to improve bends and avoid flooding. It is expected that these works will be carried out on a phased basis starting later this year beginning with realignment to the south of the OMR.

The improvements to the OMR will increase the resilience of the temporary diversion route by reducing the likelihood of landslides impacting the OMR, or flooding events closing it.

The improvements include proposals to extend the length of two way road, subject to obtaining necessary statutory approvals. However, a length of the single lane OMR will remain unchanged at the western end, including the hairpin bends. This option is significantly less costly than creating a two lane road on the south-western slope which would still be susceptible to closure due to landslip risks. It will also be the quickest to implement, making this the most attractive and cost effective of the medium term options under consideration. Notwithstanding, this is not the long term solution for the Rest - that will be announced by the Spring of this year and will mark out the way ahead. 

Read more about the Access to Argyll and Bute (A83) project

Published 25 Jan 2023