Minister Gives Pulpit Blessing

The Minister said the new viaduct which now carries traffic over the shore of Loch Lomond was a remarkable engineering achievement.

Mr Mackay said:

“The A82 is not only a vital lifeline for businesses and local communities but a very popular route for visitors to Scotland, and it’s why we have pumped £57 million into the road’s upgrade and maintenance since 2007.

“Our multi-million schemes are improving journeys and the new viaduct at Pulpit Rock now takes traffic over Loch Lomond’s shoreline is both breathtaking and a significant engineering achievement. The viaduct enables the road to be widened to two way traffic and for traffic signals which have been there for over thirty years, to be removed and will be welcomed by local communities and road users.

“Elsewhere the new £5 million bypass at Crianlarich which opened a few months ago, is also proving effective in diverting traffic away from the town, particularly strategic traffic needing to avoid the low rail bridge.

“We are also taking forward work to improve the A82 between Tarbet and Inverarnan. This ten mile stretch of road which hugs Loch Lomond’s shoreline will be a challenge as we must strike a fine balance in seeking to meet the varying needs of road users and being sensitive to the world-renowned scenic beauty of the area. Design plans are expected to be published for the scheme this year.

“The £1.2 million Glen Gloy improvement works to realign the road are expected to finish this month, and other schemes on the A82 worth £1.7 million are underway from Stoneymollan in the south to Fort Augustus in the north – all underlining our commitment to this iconic route.”

Notes to editors

High Definition timelapse footage of the £9.2m Pulpit Rock viaduct construction on Loch Lomondside shows the main girder placement – these span between the main piers and support the concert deck which in turn carries the road. This can be downloaded at:

The Pulpit Road scheme opened to two way traffic for the first time last Friday evening (1830).

The preaching site known as Pulpit Rock is a Scheduled Monument and became a preaching site after locals, mainly shepherds, in the northern part of Arrochar parish complained to their Minister, Rev Peter Proudfoot, about the eight-mile walk to and from their Sabbath devotions. The preaching site at Pulpit Rock was formed by quarrying in 1825, post-dating Caulfield’s Military Road, which dates from the mid-18th century. The monument was sited here because of the natural rock topography with the most direct access to it along a farm track that runs south-eastwards from the A82 and across a pasture field to which that track leads. In the past it is likely that access to the site was gained along the old military road and from the shores of Loch Lomond.

In addition to our investment on the A82 to improve journeys (Crianlarich bypass, Pulpit Rock, Tarbet-Inverarnan) and make more reliable and safer, we also encourage freight to be transferred from road to rail or water through the operation of our freight grant schemes which have enabled the removal of over 200 million lorry miles from Scotland’s roads. A recent example is the award of Waterborne Freight Grant to Boyd Brothers which has enabled it to launch a new shipping service taking sawn timber from BSW’s new saw mill at Corpach to Tilbury docks in London by sea. Over 6,300 HGV journeys will be removed from the A82 during the first three years of operation.

BEAR Scotland our Trunk Road Operating Company also continues to identify locations for varying scales of on-going maintenance works, and deliver these in a way which causes as little disruption to road users as possible.

Tarbet to Inverarnan upgrade can be found at:

Published 11 May 2015