Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant is encouraged at the announcement that the “preferred corridor” for the replacement of the Rest and Be Thankful will be announced later this month and says the public deserve a “5-star permanent solution”.
This comes after the Cabinet Secretary for Transport on Friday answered the MSP’s Parliamentary Questions surrounding the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful. In these responses, he outlined that the design and assessment work is well underway and that the Scottish Government anticipates that the preferred corridor will be announced later this month.
However, notably, the Government did not reveal when they would publish a full timetable for the replacement of this notorious stretch of road.
The MSP has been supporting calls for a replacement road to be agreed, planned, constructed and opened within the term of the next Scottish Parliament.
Rhoda Grant said: “I’m heartened and encouraged by this announcement. Its vital that this project moves forward without delay. The people of Argyll have been inconvenienced enough.
“Looking at the eyewatering amount of money that has been put into papering over the cracks of the Rest and Be Thankful, I would plead with the Government to invest the necessary funds to ensure that Argyll has a five-star permanent solution and that an alternative interim solution is also put in place.”
Mrs Grant continued: “I will continue to pressure the Government to move this project along so that the solution, whichever one they pick, is opened as soon as possible.”
As part of the £87M invested in maintaining the A83 since 2007, the Scottish Government have spent over £15M in landslide measures at the Rest and Be Thankful. This has kept the A83 open for an estimated 48 days, when it otherwise would have been closed.
Additionally, the recent measures including debris netting, improved drainage and a 175m long, 6m high debris bund above the Old Military Road have kept the road in operation for all but eight occasions over the past 2 months (5 partial or whole nights and 3 partial or whole days) with further mitigation measures to be announced in the coming weeks