A83 hazard warning back in place

Transport Scotland has put the landslide hazard warning back on the A83 at Rest and be Thankful, with a general warning that roads in the Strathclyde area are likely to be affected by surface water today.

Drivers on the A83 are advised to ‘exercise extreme caution’ at the Rest and Be Thankful section.

We note that, in terms of the primacy of public safety, we are given no detailed performance statistics on the protection offered by the ‘flow debris netting’ upon which the entire security of this section of the A83 and those who travel it depends.

How would such netting have coped with the worst of the landslips experienced in this section? Would it have been overcome? If not, how much more would it take to overcome it?

Were it to be overcome by a landslip, would the netting and its support structures make the impact on, say, a passing truck more powerful than if it had not been there at all? It cannot be impact free.

Last night the national news carried the story of a couple found dead in their car days after being buried in a landslide in the south west of England.

We have been lucky, to date, in Argyll,. But how would the government face down criticism of inaction were we to lose a vehicle or more to Glen Croe?

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12 Responses to A83 hazard warning back in place

  1. A83 warnings again because of exceptional weather.
    Gourock trains cancelled, no doubt the bathtub ferries will go off as well. Third world contry indeed.

    Why since billions are being spent on the Firth Road bridge, borders trains and Edinburgh trams is not a tiny amount being spent in the West of Scotland to keep ferries, roads and trains to a usable standard?

    How is our MSP Michael Russell getting on with his daydreams about tunnels under the Firth of Clyde and the Irish sea. Has he considered airships? When is he going to do something practical?

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    • Ferryman: you are not being fair. Transport Scotland ARE investing in the West of Scotland. The infamous Pulpit Rock “squeeze” is finally being tackled after 30 years and will be accompanied with a bypass at Crianlarich to deal with the problems posed by the rail bridge. The AB3 is being studied for improvement, with plans in place for urgent emergency work followed by longer term solutions for this route in the Rest and Be Thankful area. (Even the Dunoon ferries are being looked at).

      I fully support the need to continue to pressure our MSPs and the SG to ensure that our transport problems are not allowed to slip below the radar but a bit of credit where credit is due might be in order. Rome wasn’t built in a day but at least the current SG is actually addressing the problems rather than simply ignoring them.

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      • The saga of the A82 is no strong argument that Transport Scotland / Scottish Government is investing in the west.
        The tale it tells is one of long inaction followed by an attempt to do as little as possible – which proved impossible and was belatedly recognised as such.
        We all hope the outcome may be a decent road but how long has this comic turn lasted – and how much public money has been wasted in futility at what economic cost in a major road of limited use?

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    • Ferryman complaining about a politician talking of a tunnel under the Clyde sounds more than a bit Luddite – or is ferryman so enamoured of ferries that discussion of alternatives is verboten?

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  2. The A83 situation appears shambolic with detailed plans not even in place. The Dunoon ferry situation is rank incompetence, why was a reliable passenger service not put in place that cannot cope with the weather instead of having the Coastguard serving notices on it.

    The investment has not been forthcoming. The roads should have been fixed by now. The ferry situation only exists because the promised investment in bigger, reliable vehicle ferries was not made.

    As to tunnels under the Irish sea I prefer my politicians to get the job done rather than having fantasies.

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    • Our MSP is a man of vision. Trains will pass under the Firth of Clyde make their way to the Mull of Kintyre then travel under the Irish sea. I suppose there might be a tunnel between Portavadie and Tarbert, that was not mentioned, but our MSP knows the area, knows what he is talking about – surely you don’t doubt that?

      The problems with the ferries and the roads will all be superceeded when the vision comes to pass, that is why he is paying little attention to them.

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      • Ferryman – I know you like to relate as much discussion as possible to your pet gripe about the Dunoon – Gourock ferry service, but have you ever seriously considered what’s wrong with the idea of a tunnel there? If built, would you refuse to use it on the grounds that it wasn’t a ferry?

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        • I would read the construction contract very carefully before using it. The ferries don’t have to be able to sail in normal weather so I would want to be sure the tunnel had to keep the water out when the tide was high.

          The public should not need to study these things but our politicians and civil servants don’t seem up to the job.

          Of course if I had a matter transported I would not need a ferry or a tunnel. Why does our MSP not dream up one of those, there is as much chance of one being delivered as a tunnel.

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  3. The amount of landslip material that would be caught by the netting is dependent on the size of the mesh – I don’t know exactly what this is, but it wouldn’t stop liquified soil so is presumably intended to stop the larger stuff, which might be more likely to hit vehicles or land on the road and cause a collision. The tragedy in Dorset seems to have been caused by material that a mesh net wouldn’t have stopped, but unlike the situation on the Rest the material fell from directly above the tunnel entrance, bursting the parapet and flattening the car below. Thankfully there’s not that sort of risk here, but it seems to show just how powerful a large soil flow can be, and how it can behave much like an avalanche.

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  4. “You put the warning on,
    You put the warning off
    The landslide knocks you off.

    You tumble down the hillside
    At 90 miles per hour
    And then you will all go splat!”

    A83 Hokey Cokey

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