About this report

This document outlines the communication and engagement activities undertaken by Transport Scotland following the announcement of the preferred route option for the permanent, LTS. This is part of the Access to Argyll and Bute (A83) scheme.

It reports on the community engagement which took place between 2 June and 28 July 2023 and presents feedback received during the period.

Scheme context

The A83 trunk road is one of only two east-west strategic trunk road network connections between Argyll and Bute and the Central Belt of Scotland. The section through the A83 Rest and Be Thankful, known as Glen Croe, is increasingly affected by landslides.

The most significant recorded landslides at the A83 Rest and Be Thankful occurred in August and September 2020. Following these unprecedented events, the former Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson MSP, instructed Transport Scotland to investigate a resilient, sustainable LTS to the problem of landslides in Glen Croe.

The preferred route option

Following public engagement on the eleven potential route corridor options (September 2020), the five route options (March 2021), and a detailed assessment process following the Design Manual for Road and Bridges (DMRB) process, the preferred route option was announced in Spring 2023.

The preferred route option for the permanent, LTS at the A83 Rest and Be Thankful was previously known as the Brown Option and features circa 2.4km of single carriageway improvements generally located on the line of the existing A83. It also features a circa 1.4km debris flow shelter and catch pit along with an improved junction with the B828 Glen Mhor local road. Construction on the existing A83 Rest and Be Thankful will require temporary traffic management during construction, including potentially considerable periods where traffic will be diverted to the Old Military Road (OMR). The OMR will be upgraded as part of the MTS.

The key benefits of the preferred route option include improved resilience and operational safety of the trunk road network by reducing the impact of disruption for travel to, from and between Argyll and Bute and the Central Belt of Scotland. The preferred route option also has the greatest potential to be delivered quickly and provides the greatest opportunity to encourage sustainable travel. It also performed most favourably across a broad range of environmental criteria, including cultural heritage, visual population and human health, climate and materials and waste.

Scheme objectives

The design and assessment considers the performance of options against the scheme objectives and the Scottish Government’s five appraisal criteria: environment, safety, economy, integration and accessibility and social intrusion.

The scheme objectives for the Access to Argyll and Bute (A83) include resilience, safety, sustainable travel, economy and environment as noted below:


Reduce the impact of disruption for travel to, from and between key towns within Argyll and Bute, and for communities accessed via the strategic road network.


Positively contribute towards the Scottish Government’s Vision Zero road safety target by reducing accidents on the road network and their severity.


Reduce geographic and economic inequalities within Argyll and Bute through improved connectivity and resilience.

Sustainable travel

Encourage sustainable travel to, from and within Argyll and Bute through facilitating bus, active travel and sustainable travel choices.


Protect the environment, including the benefits local communities and visitors obtain from the natural environment by enhancing natural capital assets and ecosystem service provision through delivery of sustainable transport infrastructure.