1 Introduction 1.1 Introduction 1.2 Background to the Scheme 1.3 The Scheme Proposals 1.4 Need for the Environmental Impact Assessment 1.5 Purpose of the Environmental Statement 1.6 Report Structure

1 Introduction

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1.1 Introduction

This Environmental Statement (ES) has been prepared on behalf of Transport Scotland, an agency of the Scottish Government, to assess the potential impacts of the A82 Pulpit Rock Improvement. The findings of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for this study are summarised in this ES. This assessment has been undertaken by Scott Wilson with the exception of the cultural heritage assessment which was carried out by CFA Archaeology.

Representations on this document should be addressed to:

Director of MTRIPS
Transport Scotland
Buchanan House
58 Port Dundas Road
G4 0HF

Written responses are invited within 6 weeks of the date of publication of the notice for the Environmental Statement. A non-technical summary has been published to accompany this document. The ES can also be viewed on the Transport Scotland Website: www.transportscotland.gov.uk.

The ES is available for public viewing at the above address and at locations listed in the non-technical summary.

1.2 Background to the Scheme

The A82 is the main road link from Glasgow and the Central Belt to Fort William, the Highlands and the Western Isles. Consequently, the A82 route is an important part of the Scottish Trunk Road network and efficient operation of the road is essential for access to the Highlands and Islands.

The A82 is generally rural in nature between Tarbet and Crianlarich and consists of a single 2-lane carriageway of varying standards. The principal communities along this section of the route are Tarbet, Inveruglas, Ardlui and Crianlarich, as shown in Figure 1.1 - Location Plan.

The stretch of the A82 between Tarbet and Crianlarich is less than 7.3m wide and many sections do not have hardstrips or verges. Its tortuous geometry is well recognised and results in considerable delays to road users, particularly when a high number of tourists are attracted to the route during the summer months and when heavy goods vehicles are required to negotiate the tight horizontal bends and narrow carriageway width.

Following a Route Action Plan Study of the A82 between Tarbet and Fort William, in 2006, the Scottish Ministers announced the commencement of design work for improvements to the A82 at Pulpit Rock. This improvement will remove the notorious bottleneck at Loch Lomond and the traffic lights which have been there for 20 years. Currently traffic is signal controlled over a length of approximately 100m which results in significant delays during peak summer months.

1.3 The Scheme Proposals

The A82 Pulpit Rock Improvement, hereby referred to as the scheme, provides improvements over a length of approximately 400m. This is a partly offline structural solution, provided by a new viaduct, which runs in parallel to the loch shoreline for approximately 180m. North of the new viaduct the existing carriageway is widened by cutting into the existing rock headland. The improvements to the existing road will extend approximately 180m to the north of the new viaduct. Tie-in works will be required in advance of the start and end of the scheme covering approximately 20m at each location.

1.4 Need for the Environmental Impact Assessment

The formal requirement for EIA of Trunk Road projects is set out in the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 (c.54, Sections 20A and 55A) as amended by Part III of the Environmental Impact Assessment (Scotland) Regulations 1999 and The Environmental Impact Assessment (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2006.

The A82 Pulpit Rock Improvement scheme falls within Annex 2 of the EIA Directive given that works are likely to exceed 1 hectare taking into account both the permanent and temporary works and are situated within a ‘sensitive area’ defined in the Regulations as including Scheduled Monuments (Pulpit Rock) and also National Scenic Areas (Loch Lomond NSA).

To determine whether a formal Environmental Impact Assessment is required under the Environmental Impact Assessment (Scotland) Regulations, 1999 (as amended), the project has been subject to screening using the Schedule 3 criteria. This screening identified a need for an Environmental Impact Assessment to be reported in an Environmental Statement by virtue of the location of the scheme, characteristics of the scheme and the of potential impacts of the scheme. Therefore it was determined that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) should be undertaken and reported in an Environmental Statement (ES). The Determination that a formal EIA and ES is required was published in the Record of Determination (December 2009).

1.5 Purpose of the Environmental Statement

The purpose of the Environmental Statement is to ensure that the environmental effects of a proposed development are fully considered, together with the economic or social benefits of the development. The ES will provide supporting information for the publication of statutory orders and to comply with the Scottish Ministers’ determination that the scheme should be the subject of an EIA. From this point forward, the A82 Pulpit Rock Improvements will be referred to as ‘the scheme’. It should be noted that the improvement layout shown in this ES is a preliminary design and would be subject to further detailed design prior to construction on site. The main aims of the EIA process are:

  • To ensure that there will be a full consideration of the likely environmental effects of the scheme in a way that enables both the importance of the environmental effects and the scope for mitigating these to be properly evaluated;
  • To allow environmental considerations to have an influence on the scheme design; and
  • To allow the public, statutory agencies and other bodies to comment on the proposals, taking account of their environmental concerns.

1.6 Report Structure

The proposed scheme has been subjected to EIA, which has established detailed information about the likely main environmental effects. This ES reports on the findings of the EIA process.

Schedule 4 of the EIA Regulations confirms the information to be included in an ES. Accordingly, this ES provides the following:

  • a description of the proposed scheme, including details of the site and the road design and land-use requirements during construction and operation;
  • an outline of the main alternatives and the main reasons for the choice of the preferred scheme, taking into account environmental effects;
  • a description of the aspects of the environment likely to be significantly affected by the proposed scheme;
  • a description of the likely significant effects of the proposed scheme on the environment, including direct and any indirect, secondary, cumulative, short, medium and long term, permanent and temporary, positive and negative effects, and a description of the methods used to assess the effects on the environment;
  • a description of the measures envisaged to prevent, reduce and where possible offset any significant adverse effects on the environment;
  • an indication of any difficulties encountered in compiling the required information; and
  • a non-technical summary of the above information.

This ES is presented as shown in Table 1.1 below:

Table 1.1 – Structure and Content of the Environmental Statement.

ES Component


Non Technical Summary

Provided at the front of the ES

Summary of the ES in non-technical language. Also available as a separate document.

Volume 1: Main Report

Chapter 1 - Introduction

This Chapter provides the project background and the structure of the ES.

Chapter 2 – Scheme Description and Alternatives Considered

Chapter 2 sets out the need for the scheme, explains the alternatives considered and provides a description of the scheme proposals.

Chapter 3 - Consultation

This summarises the consultation process and responses received from the statutory and non-statutory consultees.

Accompanied by Appendices 1 A-C – Consultation Responses (a, b, c) - which provides copies of all the consultation responses from the scoping consultation.

Chapter 4 – Assessment Methodology

This summarises the scoping exercise and provides a methodology for the assessment.

Chapter 5 – Policies and Plans

This provides the policy context for the scheme and provides an assessment of the scheme against individual policies

Chapter 6 – Landscape and Visual Effects

This provides and landscape and visual assessment of the scheme proposals along with landscape mitigation proposals.

Accompanied by Appendix 2 - Viaduct Structure Design Statement which details the design progress undertaken to reach the preferred design for the viaduct structure.

Chapter 7 – Land Use

This provides an assessment of the existing land uses within the study area and an assessment of any land take requirements for the scheme improvements

Chapter 8 – Cultural Heritage

This provides an assessment of the cultural heritage features that may be affected by the scheme proposals and details mitigation measures required to protected cultural heritage features.

Accompanied by Appendix 3 – Sites and Monuments Gazetteer which provides detailed information on the character and baseline condition of the cultural heritage features.

Chapter 9 – Ecology and Nature Conservation

This provides an assessment of the scheme proposals on ecological receptors and details mitigation measures to minimise negative impacts.

Accompanied by Appendices 4 A – F (a, b, c, d, e, f) which provides detailed information on ecological surveys carried out.

Chapter 10 – Pedestrians, Cyclists, Equestrians and Community Effects

This provides an assessment of the pedestrians, cyclists, equestrians and community effects directly associated with the scheme improvements. It assesses the potential temporary and permanent access effects on pedestrians, cyclists, equestrians, community facilities and services, businesses and amenities.

Accompanied by Appendix 5 – A82 Full Closure – Assessment Report which assesses the impacts of the full road closures at the A82 Pulpit Rock during the construction period.

Chapter 11 - Road Drainage and the Water Environment

This provides and assessment of the potential effects on the water environment as a result of the scheme improvements and recommends mitigation measures required to offset any significant effects.

Accompanied by Appendix 6 – Water Assessment - Copies of Methods A, C & D which provides detailed calculations to support the assessment.

Chapter 12 – Disruption due to Construction

This provides and assessment of the impacts associated with the construction of the scheme improvements.

Chapter 13

This provides the assessment made of the overall (cumulative) impact of the proposed scheme. Consideration is also given to the cumulative impact of other developments in the area.

Chapters 14 - 15

These provide tabulated summaries of the main potential impacts identified, the mitigation proposed, and the key residual impacts remaining after implementation of mitigation.

Figures (accompanying all chapters)

Graphics supporting the ES chapters, illustrating the proposed scheme and environmental information. Figure reference corresponds to the relevant ES chapter (e.g. Chapter 7 refers to Figure 7.1 et seq.).

A glossary of terms and a list of abbreviations are also provided at the front of the main report.

This ES presents the assessment of the proposed scheme as described in Chapter 2 – Scheme Description. The design of the proposed scheme may be refined but will still be deemed to comply with this ES provided that such refinements to this design will be subject to environmental review to ensure that the residual impacts will be no worse than those reported in this ES.

Some aspects of the proposed scheme design and details of aspects such as construction methods and traffic management will depend on the Contractor’s construction proposals which are not yet available. Assumptions have therefore been made based on the professional judgement of the EIA practitioners, and are stated in the ES, to allow predictions of likely impacts.