In recognition of the hard economic impact of A83 closures when landslides hit Rest and Be Thankful, Mike Story, CEO of Argyll and the Isles Tourism, has been invited to join the Task Force being set up to progress the resolution of this economically crippling situation.
The government’s task force is being established by Alex Neil, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment and will be chaired by Transport Minister, Keith Brown.
Mike Story has now received a letter from Alex Neil asking him to be part of the task force, to represent tourism interests in general as well as businesses related to Argyll and the Isles Tourism (AIT).
The Task Force is under notice of general concern that it is likely to be another talking ship where a hard and fast decisions – with a start date – for a permanent solution to the unreliability of this vital road is the only real signal that the matter is being taken seriously by the Scottish Government.
The jury’s out. The business community, including the tourism sector, must fight hard to maintain pressure to get that decision taken and to avoid being seduced into a strung out series of meetings which may flatter but do nothing.
The inaugural meeting is in The Three Villages Hall in Arrochar on the 15th of August.
There is a separate meeting on the issue – a ‘stakeholders’ workshop’, in Inveraray on 22nd August, which we understand is being held by Jacobs, who have been retained by Transport Scotland.
It must have been difficult to decide which side of Rest and Be Thankful to site the meeting. Arrochar ensures the Minister will be there at any rate, although if the weather and the A83 play up, he may be talking to himself for about an hour and a quarter while delegates from Argyll and the Isles take the big detour,