Argyll First on A83 Task Force

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.

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4 Responses to Argyll First on A83 Task Force

    • The corner of Front street and Main Street Inveraray is worth looking at, as well as the need for crossings in Tarbert and Ardrishaig – and it’s not that great in Lochgilphead crossing towards the Front Green at the traffic island, because some people whip round the corner out of Colchester Square watching for traffic from the right and not spotting pedestrians until they’re on them.
      In addition to pedestrian crossing points, the list of ‘pinch points’ is longer than already mentioned – the stretch past Arrochar & Tarbet station, through the bends and over the bridge at Succoth, Arrochar, over the bridge at Inveraray, through Minard, outside the Fyneside filling station, Lochgilphead, over the bridge at the Corran roundabout, Lochgilphead, over the canal bridge at Ardrishaig, and along the shore at Erines. The bridges at Ardrishaig and Inveraray would be difficult or impossible to widen, but there are detailed plans for a bypass to Inveraray.

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  1. Transport Scotland appear to be career Civil Servants with no practical engineering or technical experience. They showed themselves to be out of their depth on the Dunoon Gourock ferry tender and working to their own agenda. They will also be in a dither over the A83, unable to understand and evaluate technical choices placed before them.

    It is to manage Transport Scotland that Alex Neil is having to form Task Forces. No doubt there will also be plenty of consultants drafted in to try to compensate for Transport Scotland’s lack of expertise.

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