A83 closed due to another landslide – now reopened

A83 to reopen

Update 18.05 3rd August: Site activity has been completed and following final inspection the A83 has now been reopened to traffic – ahead of schedule.

Later note at 20.00 -  the Traffic Scotland website is still showing the A83 closed.

Update 17.10 3rd August: Carriageway clearance and clean-up has now been completed and latest stage is placing of concrete barrier to protect road users.

Next stage will be to be to erect Temporary Traffic Signals ahead of the final inspections before reopening at 19:00.

Update 16.25 3rd August: A83 TO RE-OPEN AT REST AND BE THANKFUL AT 19:00.

Following continued efforts through the day to remove over 1000 tonnes of debris the final elements of the clear up stage are currently ongoing and Scotland TranServ can advise that the A83 is scheduled to reopen to traffic at 19:00 this evening.

Update: 14-45 3rd August: Works to clear the carriageway are progressing well. All things being equal, it is anticipated that later this evening  position will be reached where a decision can be made as to whether the road can reopen.

The situation is being continually monitored. More new around 16:00.

A83 pic

Update 12.45 3rd August – direct from Transport Scotland on site: Yesterday, during the time that safe access to the landslip site was possible, Transport Scotland worked fro the west – downhill, side of the spoil heap, focusing on clearing the westbound lane, giving access to Argyll.

Dirty water is one of the major signs of continuing instability on the hill. Yesterday the water was pulsing between cleaner and dirty, meaning that the situation was still unstable. Clearance, as we know, eventually had to stop for safety reasons but while the work was ongoing, the team cleared around 100 tonnes of debris.

A83 patest 5

Today the team is working from the eastern, uphill, end of the spoil heap, again focusing on clearing the westbound lane. The water is clearer today than yesterday but still sending signals of a degree of untrustworthiness of the stability of the hillside.

However, already this morning the team have cleared another 300 tonnes of debris. Together with yesterday’s effort, this means that around one third of what is  now estimated as 1,200 of tonnes of debris has  now been cleared.

The next move, if conditions remain safe, is to move a digger in from the west side to the central part of the spoil heap, to work on clearing the rest of the westbound lane.

A83 patest 6

We understand that, should conditions continue to permit, the westbound lane will be clear of debris in about the next two hours.

The job then is to get a concrete barrier in between that and the eastbound lane. Given the volume of debris. it is unlikely that all of the debris will be cleared from that lane at this stage.

A83 patest 7

When the barrier is installed, if the signs are that the hillside is stable, the engineers will inform Transport Scotland that the road could be opened, under traffic light controls, on the westbound lane.

The decision on whether or  not to do that is up to Transport Scotland.

The elephant in the room is the weather.,

If more rain comes down, the situation would need to be reviewed again.

The engineers and the team on the road are working flat out with the single objective of doing all they can to make it possible to get the road opened to traffic again. But this is working on the  borderline of safety and they have to be sensible.

So, at the moment the reopening of the road in the fairly near future is looking hopeful but it all depends on the hillside and then on Transport Scotland’s decision – and, as the responsible authority, they cannot be impetuous.

The next update will bet around 16:00.

A83Update 10.10 3rd August: Following an early inspection this morning operations are ongoing to clear the site with a view to opening the road at the earliest opportunity.

Updates will follow during the day.

We understand that in the landslide, some debris fell on the old military road below the A83.

Update 19.00 2nd August: Following the creation of a safety zone on the west side of the landslip, debris was removed until a point was reached when it was no longer safe to continue.

Conditions will be reassessed in the morning and if safe to do so, a safety zone will be created on the east side of the landslip and the removal work will then be restarted.

There will be more information on the situation at 09:30, tomorrow morning, 3rd August 2012.

There has been a lot of traffic today on the Western Ferries service between Gourock and Dunoon. The company has been shuttling constantly and has been able to keep the traffic moving. While full ferries have left traffic on the quayside, shuttling has meant short waiting time, with queues largely contained within the terminals at each destination.

A83 2 August 2012Update 13.20 2nd August: The hillside remains unstable. Geotechnical assessments have continued through the morning and further material has continued to fall onto the carriageway.

The hillside remains in an unstable condition and monitoring is being carried out constantly.

Considerable Plant and resources remain mobilised on site to commence operations when safety concerns have been addressed.

Further rain is forecast during the afternoon period.

Geotechnical experts will continue to carry out assessments throughout the day and an update will follow at 16:00.

It is being said – unofficially – that the road will be closed for around two weeks.

Update 09.20 2nd August: The situation has worsened. There was more movement on the hillside overnight  – around 4.00am – resulting in between 800 – 1000 tonnes of debris, mud and rock now blocking the carriageway.

The hillside remains in a dangerous condition and monitoring is being carried out constantly with debris still coming of the slope.

Plant and resources have been mobilised but remain on standby as it is currently considered too dangerous to commence operations.

Geotechnical experts will continue to carry out assessments throughout the day and an update will follow at 12:00.

Update 19.00 1st August: Initial assessment has been undertaken and approximately 350 tonnes of boulders and slurry is lying on the carriageway.

The failure appears to be high up on the hillside. There are also boulders in a precarious position. Dirty water continues to run of the hill side  – which is indicative of continuing slope instability.

The road will therefore remain closed overnight.

Geotechnical experts will carry out assessments at first light and an update will follow at 09:00.

Latest A83 landslideThe A83 was closed earlier this afternoon  (1st August) with another landslide leaving debris across the road. We understand that this is of the order of 50 -100 tonnes.

There is no information yet on the expected duration of the road closure, but Geotechnical experts are evaluating the conditions.

Diversions and alternatives

The usual hour long diversion is in place: the A82 north from Tarbet to Crianlarich and Tyndrum; the A85 from Tyndrum to the A819 for Inveraray, just west of Dalmally – and vice versa. The planned nighttime closure of the A82 at Pulpit Rock has been suspended for the time being to allow this diversion.

The A83 between Inveraray and A815 road to Dunoon remains open.

Western Ferries is runnong additinal sailings  between Gourock (Inverclyde) and Hunter’s Quay on the northern fringes of Dunoon – so the A815 to Cairndow provides an alternative route for Northbound and Southbound Traffic. Western Ferries’ timetable information can be found here on the company’s website. You might as well just turn up – ths service is a virtua; shguttle,

The CalMac ferry service from Tarbert in Kintyre over to Portavadie in Cowal offers road access through to Dunoon  for the Western Ferries service to Inverclyde.

This is slap bang in the middle of the height of the tourist season. It could not be more damaging to the local economy of Argyll and the Isles.

There is no alternative to an immediate address to the commissioning of the galleries that are known to be the correct permanent solution.

We will publish updated information here as we get it.

Political responses

Jamie McGrigor MSP says: ‘This is disappointing and frustrating news for my constituents throughout Argyll & Bute who rely on this lifeline route and for the many visitors to the area at what is the height of the summer tourist season. I hope that the road can be re-opened as soon as possible once the debris is cleared and engineers deem it is safe for it to be reopened.

‘Today’s news emphasises the need for the Scottish Government to ensure that, in the short term, an appropriate alternative diversionary route is in place by this autumn to alleviate the impact of similar closures due to landslide, and, in addition, that it invests in the A83 to ensure that such landslides can be prevented. I and my colleague Councillor Donald Kelly will continue to maintain pressure on Ministers to make them aware of the critical and strategic importance of the A83.’

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82 Responses to A83 closed due to another landslide – now reopened

  1. Cross Firth of Clyde ferry services are a viable alternative route. Why did Transport Scotland not take a wider view of the transport network before downgrading one crossing to passenger only.

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    • Ferryman you know why. I am surprised you haven’t used this storyline to repeat the rubbish that appears on other articles.

      I am sure that you could spin any story to the fact that the SNP failed to make good on their promises. Wait a minute, didn’t they make promises regarding sorting out the Rest? Is there a trend here?

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      • Actually I am pointing out that the Civil Servants are not doing their job.

        Why have Transport Scotland not been on top of keeping the A83 open, after years they still do not have plans in place? The SNP went back on their promise for vehicle ferries that is true, but why did the Civil Servants then fail to put in place a reliable passenger only service?

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  2. So bang goes the planned overnight closure of the A82 at Pulpit Rock – further disruption and expense, this time to Transport Scotland, with the bill unlikely to be covered by their insurance (if they have any). Presumably landslips blocking the Rest are now so commonplace that insurance cover against the cost of disruption would be unavailable anyway – except at a sky-high price.

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  3. Due to the uncertainty of road closures, I stopped organising meetings in Inverary some time ago and now hold them in Tyndrum. Today was a day when such a policy was completely justified otherwise colleagues from Glasgow would have been stranded.

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  4. “There is no alternative to an immediate address to the commissioning of the galleries that are known to be the correct permanent solution.”

    No. Galleries may be A solution, they may even be THE solution but they are not KNOWN to be the solution until someone competent has actually made an in depth study of the situation and the best solution.

    Just who is the authority behind this statement?

    Rushing into remedial work without fully understanding the issues risks making the situation worse. The landslides are a real pain in the posterior for everyone in Argyll but trying to bounce Transport Scotland into precipitous action is likely to do more harm than good.

    Besides which, as I posted earlier, pretty much nothing can be done in any case until the Pulpit Rock work is completed, otherwise we are looking at very, very long detours.

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    • Dr DM – all agreed, but the current situation reminds me of a Glasgow city councillor not that many years go who – on hearing that there was to be further delay in deciding what to do about the M74-M8 ‘missing link’ on Glasgow’s South Side – muttered (loudly) that the question had been ‘studied to death’. The trouble with all the ‘studying’ of the Rest & Be Thankful is that it risks being overtaken by events, and I wonder if Transport Scotland is being propelled into an ‘upgrade’ of the old road that will be seen to have done more harm than good?

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      • Robert: bringing the old military road into use as a relief road seems a sensible (and relatively) cheap measure designed to help alleviate some of the problems when the main road is closed due to slips. As we have seen, Transport Scotland is also studying options for a more permanent solution to the main road which will report before the year is out.

        I imagine that the report will outline a number of possible solutions with costings for the different options and, hopefully, a risk/benefit analysis of the different options. Funding the best option will then need to be found from a very tight capital budget and that is when a lot of lobbying will be necessary to ensure that we receive the most effective solution (and not just the cheapest).

        However, it seems to me that the Scottish Government is taking the problem seriously and is moving with a commendable degree of alacrity. It is only human nature for us to be impatient to see a solution but, as my father was fond of commenting, measure twice, cut once. Let’s make sure that we achieve the best solution for the Rest.

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        • I’m sure the government is taking the problem seriously, but there have been studies ongoing for some years now. I hope that being seen to spend money on creating an emergency road isn’t viewed by any politicians as taking the pressure off making the far more costly decisions on how to provide reasonable security long-term against both the current problems and any other potential threats that the geological investigations uncover.
          The search for the best solution is running late, and mustn’t be allowed to develop into a search for perfection that stretches beyond the horizon.
          It would be good to see an independent assessment of the ongoing cost of disruption of this road and the A82 – it might help to concentrate political minds when presented with the estimate for what needs done.
          When the hillsides collapsed so spectacularly onto the A83 between Ardrishaig and Tarbert a decade or so ago it was only chance that no-one was even injured, when the events could have killed dozens – and there was no ‘plan B’, witness the black farce of traffic diverted on the Kilberry route leading to gridlock and extensive damage to a local road utterly inadequate for the task. I’m sure the trunk roads management has learnt lessons over the years – e.g. the enthusiasm for convoys when things go wrong – but the history of the A82 trunk road neglect between Tarbet and Ardlui, the enthusiasm for overnight trunk road closures, and the difficulty (or even impossibility) of a ‘plan B’ in some areas, make fixing the inadequate bits of these roads absolutely essential.
          While capital budgets are undoubtedly tight, just now tenders for the work should be highly competitive, and the investment should be seen as just as vital as the mega-spend on the duplicate Forth road bridge. Whilst roads in mainland Europe are by no means perfect, there does seem to have been a much stronger commitment in many countries to providing main roads free from the threat of landslips and rockfalls than there has been here, for very many years.

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    • That is a sensible response equally applicable to the non-sense rush into installing pontoons in Dunoon and Gourock.

      What problems do pontoons solve, are they the best solutions to those problems are they cost effective – all unanswered questions (apart from Mr Wakeman who does not use the service but dislikes gangways, which will still be used with pontoons exactly as they currently are on linkspans).

      I agree completely with the point on galleries. They are a potential solution but until there is a clear engineering definition of the problem don’t rush in.

      The key question though is why do Transport Scotland not already have detailed engineering information to hand?

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      • Ferryman – you misrepresent the facts yet again, presumably through sheer ignorance, and it’s a real mystery if you can’t see that pontoons would provide near-level access regardless of the state of the tide. I somehow doubt that you’re a frequent user of the Rest & Be Thankful, but that doesn’t disqualify you from commenting on it, so there seems to be more than a touch of ‘the dog in the manger’ in your mindset.

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        • So you are obviously unaware, presumably through sheer ignorance, that we have had near-level access to the bathtubs on this route for the last year – without pontoons. You really don’t know what you are talking about do you?

          I comment on the A83 and the A82 because they are a part of the transport network with which the Firth of Clyde ferries are closely associated. I use both the A83 and the A82 far more frequently than you use the ferries.

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          • Robert Wakeman: you wrote “‘Near-level access to the bathtubs’ – via a vehicle ramp at Dunoon, but how at Gourock?”

            It is a vehicle ramp that is used at Gourock. We have had level access to the boats at both sides for over a year.

            You have been spouting off about access and gangways at every opportunity and you don’t even know how the system works!

            I confine my posts to a subject I know something about and which I use regularly.

            You proclaim on every subject under the sun, including things you don’t use and clearly know little about.

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          • Ferryham: too much narrow minded bluster and not enough commonsense – no I didn’t realise that the Gourock vehicle ramp was being put to foot passenger use – it’s presumably a temporary measure, as it’s a ridiculous location for passenger transfer, when you consider the distance from the trains. And you’re hijacking a different thread.

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          • Wakeham you wrote “I didn’t realise that the Gourock vehicle ramp was being put to foot passenger use – it’s presumably a temporary measure”

            Precisely! You have been prattling on for ages about services you don’t use and know nothing about. No it is not a temporary measure, that is what was specified in the tender.

            The use of linkspans is of course superior to pontoons for embarking and disembarking because unlike pontoons they are not affected by wave motion or the wash from vessels and can be adjusted to accommodate for the vessel using the facility. In your earlier posts you showed your ignorance of the need for pontoon design to take into account the freeboard of the vessel using it.

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          • This is turning into a saga; misrepresenting and misinterpreting what I’ve said in an attempt to defend your own prejudices and disguise your own inability to address the question of the unsatisfactory trek between linkspan and train at Gourock. It’s counter-productive – and brings little of any worth to this discussion, which incidentally is about the A83 and landslides.

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      • I think that you are all missing an obvious solution. Why not charge the motorists by way of a toll both ways at the traffic lights and the resultant collection would pay for a long term fix. I’m sure Jamie McGrigor’s party would approve of such a free market solution.

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        • Why indeed not have a private company charging tolls? It is not as if there is not an alternative route if you don’t want to pay.

          Just joking. But that is exactly the situation on the Firth of Clyde ferry route. Private monopoly, no control on profits.

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          • The control on profits is that if WF starts to get too greedy another operator will find it worthwhile to set up in competition. A bit like in past times on the Islay service when the government operator got too inefficient and created the opportunity for WF to set up – a situation that repeated itself at Dunoon.

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    • IFE: You like me must have limited imagination. Our MSP Mike Russell is going to put a tunnel under the Firth of Clyde and another under the Irish Sea. He has not mentioned the Arochar Alps but what is one more tunnel.

      Surely you are not blinkered to the possibility of all these tunnels. Or, like me, you are perhaps wondering what planet our MSP is on and why he has not concentrated on getting the roads and ferries into a better state.

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  5. If the picture on this article is up to date Traffic scotland have the closure on their site in the wrong location (again)
    The picture shows the closure on the Arrochar side of the top car park , Traffic scotland are showing it on the Inveraray side.

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  6. Re Dr Douglas Mackenzie’s first comment above – No 4.
    We published some time ago information obtained that Transport Scotland had asked a major engineering firm, a regular contractor for them, to cost the gallery solution.
    This is a reasonable foundation for describing that option as a ‘known’solution.
    It is also practicable. It has been used successfully in landslide prone areas in countries like Austria so there is history. We would also not support it if we had not researched the matter.
    The straight fact is that government can go on talking about this for decades and it is not in Argyll’s interests to encourage this. We have to come to a decision and get actual action begun.
    There are other solutions – the usual menu being re-routing roads, building tunnels and building MSE walls.
    Would you like to suggest a possible re routing, given Argyll’s topography?
    Tunnelling? Where exactly and at what cost?
    All of these works are expensive but it is inconceivable that the tunnell option is affordable or will be for a substantial period.
    The gallery option has been privately identified by government and engineers as workable.
    There is a viaduct option which has possibilities but would be more expensive than gallwries. There are useful visuals of such solutions here, as adopted in New Zealand: http://blogs.agu.org/landslideblog/2011/07/31/landslide-protection-new-zealand-style/
    We must now press for the gallery solution to go forward or choose to accept the position of ongoing hostage to fortune. This is not a time for cavilling.
    One obvious consequence of the gallery solution is that the old military road below ought not to be the emergency diversion route during construction.

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    • One option, as an alternative to a gallery, would be to move the road up/out to bridge say at least 2 metres above the hill slope to allow slip material to flow through below it without piling onto the road; this might be cheaper (and less disruptive to the hillside) than constructing a gallery, but might not work if there’s a risk of large rocks bounding down from above.

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  7. Can someone enlighten me as to how much money has been spent on ‘ongoing studies’ that have been ongoing for years?

    Why hasn’t the SNP government done something about this road sooner? The Argyll economy needs help and the tactics deployed on delaying this essential solution is ludicrous. Has anyone considered suing the govenment for loss of income?

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  8. Ok, why don’t we just dig another tunnel, this one under the Rest. Then the top of the mountain can slip all it likes.

    We’re putting one in from Dunoon to Gourock anyways… :)

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  9. They are doing all this work where the hill has already slipped, commonsense says it will go at a different place next time. This is a prime example. How much would it cost to upgrade the old road with lights to control the flow and widen it at places to have waiting zones so traffic can clear sections keeping the delays to a minimum.

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  10. So, when exactly is Cllr Donald Kelly starting his blockade of the Scottish Parliament in protest about the Rest??

    Or was that just more of him bumping his gums again? Aw mooth and nae action??

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    • Does this mean that you have only a secondary concern for the core issue here, Simon – that, whatever it takes, Argyll must have the A83 as an assured arterial access?

      The Argyll First campaign markedly accelerated consciousness of the need to get this road sorted out; and it put the issue in a place where, politically, it cannot now be sidelined.

      It also ties Argyll First to a determined continuing pressure on the matter.

      Their record to date – as with their campaign to scrap the undemocratic executive committee of council – has been one of quiet persistence until they succeed.

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  11. For Newsroom (post 8). Neither you nor I are civil engineers so while we can push for a solution to the problems in the Rest area I would say that it is not our role to dictate what the solution should be. To suggest otherwise might seem a tad arrogant (or just naive).

    I have never said that galleries are not the solution but, to paraphrase your own questions, how many, where and at what cost? Is it best to follow the existing road line or open up a completely new line through the glen? Should galleries be used only for the most vulnerable sections or for the whole route? If only for the most vulnerable parts, then what should be used for the other parts? How will galleries affect the visual aspects of the glen? Are there environmental considerations that would mitigate against using galleries? How do the costs of these works compare with other options?

    In your article you did not describe galleries as A known solution, what you said was:

    “There is no alternative to an immediate address to the commissioning of the galleries that are known to be the correct permanent solution.”

    I do not agree with that statement, if only on the basis that I have not seen an authoritative study that has looked at a permanent solution and, from the sound of things, neither have you. Use of words like “no alternative”; and “known correct solution” are just a bit too emphatic for my taste.

    I’m certainly not cavilling (good word though). There is nothing petty about suggesting that we don’t go hell for leather for one solution until we know the consequences of that solution both in terms of its effectiveness and cost. What we need to do is to continue to pressurise our elected representatives to pressure the SG to pressure Transport Scotland to come up with a workable solution to the Rest. It is not true that TS have done nothing but study the problem. They have already carried out quite a bit of remedial work, the problem being that it has not proven successful given the increasing amounts of rainfall we have been experiencing in this area of late. That means they need to look at the problem harder than they have done before. The previous studies are not a waste as they inform the current one but as nothing TS has done up till now has been truly effective then they clearly need to do some more thinking.

    I say, let’s wait for the upcoming report and see if the proposed solution makes sense. If it doesn’t appear by Christmas then let’s kick up a stink. But in the meantime, why don’t we let the people whose job it is to improve our roads actually do their job. I’ll bet the New Zealanders spent some years studying the solutions to the road you kindly illustrated.

    More speed, less haste.

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    • Meanwhile, the pressure’s on – with the BBC reporting that the current slip is more like a thousand tons of material (including, worryingly, large boulders), and the road’s unsafe to clear – let alone reopen. If the government has to start making payouts to local businesses hit by loss of trade it might further concentrate minds, though it’s clearly sensible to call for cool, calm and considered decision-making.

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  12. CalMac currently have a large ferry doing precious little trade between Ardrossan and Brodick, providing ‘extra’ sailings principally for hauliers but spending most of its time tied up at Ardrossan.
    Why is the Scottish Government not utilising it to provide a couple of runs daily to Campbeltown instead? That could provide a viable alternative for some of the freight traffic heading to Kintyre and Islay.

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    • For some reason the Government is not prepared to invest modest amounts in having a modern, efficient ferry fleet.

      A ferry route to Campbeltown carrying HGV and other traffic seems like a very sensible option.

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      • They might not be seen as ‘modest amounts’ – Finlaggan cost £25 million, although an efficient no-frills freight ferry of a similar vehicle capacity would presumably cost considerably less.

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        • For £25M you could get three ferries for Dunoon.
          A very modest amount.

          You are a proponent of tunnels, how many billions would that cost, as much or more than the free to use Forth Bridge?

          The whole Scottish ferry fleet only needs about £160M to bring it up to date. So yes it is extremely modest compared with what has been spent elsewhere.

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          • Three ferries now, I thought you just wanted two.

            Dunoon is getting two new ferries, which are going to cost the taxpayer nothing.

            Now that is value for money.

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          • You get nothing for free. The ferry users will pay for the ferries and the taxpayer will pay for the destruction of the Cowal economy.

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  13. Completely agree Jim, an immediate solution to a serious road disruption that at this point has no end in sight. This ongoing and regular problem is stifling business in Argyll and Kintyre in particular. The use of this little used Ardrossan ferry now could prove that a long term service on this route could not only be viable but beneficial to all.

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  14. If it’s not already implemented, maybe it’s time for Argyll & Bute Council to request that Transport Scotland contributes to the cost of maintaining the A819 Inveraray – Dalmally road, for every day that this has to serve as the trunk road.
    The more that the government is made to accept the full costs to others of its inability to ‘deliver’ the A83, the more difficult it will be for the government to bottle out of fixing the problem.

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  15. I have often wondered if a tunnel option might be considered as a long term solution? I am not an engineer so don`t know if it is possible. Even if it is expensive it might save money over say 20 years.

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  16. I guess an FOI would get us the answer to the amount already spent on so called ‘studies’ and how many there have actually been thus far.

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    • “The presence of forestry is known to be a positive feature in the minimisation of debris flow in terms of both occurrence and magnitude”

      I confess to not having followed this story in detail in the past, so don’t know whether the use of trees to mitigate the problem has been discussed (and dismissed?)previously on this forum.

      Certainly the above quote from the Transport Scotland (TS) document seems consistent with thinking elsewhere in the world – that trees & woodlands can help stabilise slopes.

      The TS document then goes on to add that commercial deforestation can actually make the problem worse – which surely implies a possible solution of establishing native woodland which will not be harvested in the future.

      It would be interesting to compare the frequency of landslips on naturally wooded hillsides elsewhere in the Highlands.

      At the very least, it would seem to be a low-cost option to try, in comparison with engineering solutions – and would contribute to the Scottish Government’s tree planting targets.

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      • Surely this might be a long term answer, but might not – and in the short to medium term we need some security of use of this route, so even native species tree planting can only really be a complimentary measure, rather than the complete answer.

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  17. Just returned from Grand County, Colorado on the continental divide where the topography is somewhat more dramatic then “the Rest” with similar problems. It would appear that we do not have engineers/transport managers who are competent in managing roads such as the A83 at the Rest. Such a situation would not be tolerated by the US communities involved and there would be severe and rapid political consequences.
    The only signs seen in problem areas read “look out for rocks on the road”, no expensive “wig wags” just competent management and action.
    Stop studying it and get people who know what they are doing to get the job done.

    They could find competent engineering solutions and road management in other countries that have “evolving landscapes” such as France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia, Croatia etc.

    Road closures in Argyll for repairs, landslides and road accidents are having serious effects on how we organise our activities and even questioning why we are living here. The total costs to affected communities and business need to be calculated and we need to find an effective way to apply pressure to get these problems resolved.

    It would not be unreasonable for the Dunoon ferry service to be made available to affected residents/business at a much reduced rate or free when incidents such as the latest slide occur.

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    • And now, according to the Traffic Scotland website, the A82 has been closed northbound at Renton since 21.00 Thursday ‘for up to 60 minutes’. No explanation of why, and difficult to understand exactly what’s happening – particularly since the BBC traffic website makes no mention of any closure of this road.

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  18. Jamie McIntyre. Tree planting – yes, it was mentioned some time ago but quickly brushed aside in favour of civil engineering options.

    There is a drawback to the tree planting solution, time. It takes time for trees, specifically their root systems, to become sufficiently established to bind the soil. In the meantime, the expansion of our ferry services as previously mentioned could provide alternative transport links rather more realistic than the forestry road or the old military road. And who knows, maybe we will come to see the inconvenient stretches of water which separate us as potential highways rather than as barriers. Our forebears did.

    There are advantages of reforestation, on the other hand. Trees improve with age, they grow and multiply, providing a long term solution, whereas any man made structure will inevitably deteriorate. And trees could be planted throughout the length of the valley to protect the entire road. Building galleries over that distance would be enormously expensive in comparison and there is no reason that I can see to assume that future landslides would obligingly confine themselves to the spot where a gallery is located.

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    • S.White wrote “maybe we will come to see the inconvenient stretches of water which separate us as potential highways” – absolutely.

      Unfortunately we don’t invest in these highways.
      Sea crossings are actually part of the experience for visitors. It is really enjoyable to stand on the deck of a ship and watch coast go by. It also makes much more sense to put HGVs carrying everything from timber to turbine towers on ships and keep them off the roads.

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  19. well done to Mike Story for his excellent interview with Radio Scotland yesterday. Great to have a rapid response to the negative coverage that is repeatedly used when this occurs. We should all get busy turning negative into a positive……..visitors take the ferry!!

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    • I am all for people taking the ferry but visitors do get a shock when they find out the price.

      We need real competition on the ferry route something we have never had. There was a big song and dance over tolls on the Skye bridge I really fail to see why a private monopoly ferry service on an important route is considered acceptable.

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  20. Thanks Dan

    I felt it was important to get the message over that Argyll and The Isles is still open for business. Given the time of year and the hundreds of thousands of people heading our way, the piority was to give visitors and potential visitors the confidence to still come to our area.

    There is no question that huge improvements to the A83 are vital and behind the scenes we are lobbying MSPs and Ministers hard.

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  21. Mike….it was spot on, as you say, the message needs to start M6/M74/M8. Businesses are justified in their frustration due to disruption but we all need to work together to ensure all business services are maintained, to get visitors in, and product out!!!

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  22. Many thanks and congratulations to all those “doers” who managed to get the Rest open and safe as quick as possible. I travelled to my daughter’s in Ayrshire A.M. Friday which took me 3 hours and 6 minutes via Tyndrum (Rest still closed.) Returned P.M via same route but Rest now opened, took 2 hours 20 mins. Exactly same distance but just goes to show the increase in traffic volumes when Rest closed.Some of the comments on here would suggest a slight ignorance in tha understanding of mass and gravity, it was not a case of bulldozing the rubble away, a lot of engineering ifs, what ifs and buts have to be considered before work could commence on clearing site . Once again thanks to the “doers” P.S based on some of the comments on here (and elswhere) I’m surprised no one has suggested an array of powerfull lasers on the opposite hill which when triggered by radio transmmitting motion detectors would vapourise the materials avoiding further landslides, maybe the odd vaporised grouse or rabbit which moved like a potential landslide but little cost relative to the benefits to Argyyll’s economy??? Could also be programmed to remove caravans and caravanettes with more than three vehicles behind them but that’s another matter! Nurse! Nurse! :) :)

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      • NO, read it again, same route less traffic. Perhaps like, in some of your other posts you have never used the route(or facility)but you feel free to comment. I can assure you that the A82 between Tarbet and Ardlui takes traffic in both directions and neither carriageway is better or worse than the other. It would seem that you have a gripe with the maintainers/providers of this section of highway and I would cordially suggest you take it up with them, or post on a thread relevant to your observations Ta!

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        • You said you returned the same route, and you went out via Tyndrum, so you must’ve travelled both ways via the A82 through Tyndrum, but on the return journey – with the Rest reopened – with less traffic north of Tarbet. So why the oafish response? It was a perfectly reasonable question.

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          • An “Oaf” is an awkward lout or a stupid person and that’s what your calling me pal but we’ll not go there . My post was one of thanks to the “doers” in clearing the road and my simple journey details were to highlight the difference in traffic volumes when Rest closed. journey took 46 mins longer because of the increased number types of vehicles and their respective capabilities NOTHING at all to do with the “really bad stretches” anywhere, if you had any knowledge of the area and routes you would know that the parts of the journey affected by the closure /opening of the Rest would be between Dalmally and Tarbet on the outward journey and Tarbet and Dalmally on the return journey!It was not a reasonable question, it was totally irrelevant to my post just another example of your penchant for highjacking any post for your own self perpetuation; one question from an “oaf” Would you address me to my face as you have done on here? I thought I’d come across my allocation of morons untill I came on here last April to clarify some wrong assumptions and today to make my observations on the Rest(I was wrong) One other oafish question, were you ever refused entry into the Spanish army? if there’s anything you can’t grasp from this post I’m sure Ferryman or Simon would be only to happy to help :) :) Oafish enough??

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          • ‘Sokay’ – Where are you coming from? (in both senses) You said you did the journey to Ayrshire on Friday same route & distance both ways, you went via Tyndrum, and it took 46 minutes longer going out than coming back, when the Rest was open again.
            I asked if the delay was on the Tarbet – Ardlui stretch (which is where the A82 is really inadequate in places) – and you start slanging me! I think you owe me an apology.

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        • Seemed more rude than oafish to me. I had to read it a couple of times too. No need for the attitude, he only asked.

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          • I apologise to Robert for any hurt caused by my response. I did think that it was quite cear that more traffic ‘tween Dalmally and Tarbet bothways on my outward journey added 46 mins to length of time, more traffic accessing and leaving Inverary jnctn. Longer columns of traffic travelling at the speed of the slowest, columns taking much longer to pass cyclists etc.More time to join southbound traffic at Tyndrum and turn right at Crianlarich, yes the condition of the road did not help but was not the cause unless you take into account with increased traffic volumes the lights at Pulpit rock did create longer lines of mixed traffic both ways. Perhaps I was upset that Robert and Andy were more concerned about the well known condition of stretch identified than my Laser array suggestion I’m replying to Robert via Andy’s post as only way I can find. Will this apology make tha banner headlines? sleep easy Robert water under the bridge Sokay

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  23. R.W. reckoned I owed him an apology for my reaction to his irrelevant question, Andy thought it was rude? Out of common courtesy I posted the above and in a polite and gentlemanly fashion tried to clarify the purpose and content of my post. I will not modify or delete the post but do feel that it deserved the courtesy of some form of acknowledgement not necessarily acceptance of same, it’s not as if he hasn’t been on the site since my posting??? Perhaps he’s been studying his many contributions to F.A. site and having a long think to himself, make up your own minds. One further question is there a singular description for one who is an expert in ferries, pontoons, Norwegian seaboard and tunnels, American president’s indiscretions in the procreation field, Local Govt. economics windfarms, A83.A82 etc.,Higgs boson, Bose Einstein condensate et all??:):)

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    • I made no comment on the subject matter other than to say that your point could have been a bit confusing. Once I understood your observations, all was clear. I simply thought that your reaction to his question was a bit sharp.

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      • “Rude” was the word you used which I’ve no problem with, but would disagree that my point was confusing as you will see from subsequent posts! He used my post to further his own grievance. Where is R.W. has the cat got his mouse? No courtesy left?but loads of apology demands! Does he feel his position as incumbent troll under threat, I’ve seen better trolling but he tries, and his position as such is safe for the time being :)

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