The Argyll First group of c0uncillors which is a member of the new coalition administration of Argyll and Bute Council, have been invited by Cabinet Secretary, Alex Neil, to be a member of the Task Force he is setting up to address the issue of the landslip prone A83.
The group will be represented on the task Force by Councillor Dougie Philand who will be at its first meeting in Arrochar on 15th August, chaired by Transport Minister, Keith Brown.
Argyll First began the campaign to get the A83′s landslip vulnerability and other issues related to this vital road actively addressed. Their successful petition, Sign for the A83, is currently being heard by the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee.
Councillor Donald Kelly of Argyll First has told us that the group – widely respected and trusted – will ‘continue to fight this campaign on all fronts until solutions are identified and put in place to address all issues raised on our petition’.
The issues raised are:
- the vulnerability of the A83 to landslides;
- the ‘pinch points’ on the road at Inveraray and between Ardrishaig and Tarbert
- safe crossings at Inveraray and Ardrishaig
- trunking the road to its termination at Campbeltown.
The Task Force
If you’re a government and you intend to take action on the imperative permanent solution to the A83′s problems, you know what that solution is by now (in terms of the achievable you are contemplating) and you have the authority to get on with it.
You don’t need a Task Force.
You’ve already got one.
It’s called Transport Scotland and Scotland Transerv – under the Transport Minister and all sitting in the departmental responsibilities of the man responsible for infrastructure, who is also the man who decides on capital investment.
What is there for a Task Force to do that cannot be done inhouse?
There is plenty for it to say, of course – and who would put money on its not commissioning a study.
According to the Cabinet Secretary in question, Alex Neil, the Task Force’s job is:
‘to monitor progress on an alternative emergency route for the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful, and to oversee the provision of a long term sustainable solution to the difficulties faced in recent years at this location’.
The Task Force will be judged on results and in short order.
The difference between the long grass and the launch pad is not hard to detect and to demonstrate.