Please respond to the A83 Petition today

The Argyll First petition – Sign for the A83 – is in the process of being heard by the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee .

Transport Minister Keith Brown is appearing before the committee in September.

Between now and then, all responses to the petition must be with the committee by 24th August.

Public responses from Argyll and the isles are being coordinated by Councillor Dougie Philand of Argyll First who has asked that they are with him by 12th August.

The petition itself can be found here (and you may also still sign it).

It is asking that the Scottish Government ‘address the many issues which currently exist on the A83′ These include the vulnerability of landslides (which as we know to our cost can occur in the high season as well as in the winter); the pinch point at Inveraray, between Lochgilphead and Tarbert; the lack of safe crossing points at Ardrishaig and Tarbert; and trunking the rest of the A83 between Kennacraig and Campbeltown.

To date:

  • Argyll First (Councillors Donald Kelly, John McAlpine and Dougie Philand) appeared before the petitions committee on Tuesday 16th May, with cross party support from Argyll and Bute MSP, Michael Russell (SNP) and  Highlands and Islands MSP, Jamie McGrigor (Scottish Conservative).
  • The committee approved the petition and went on to seek further reports from:
    • Transport Scotland
    • Argyll and Bute Council
    • Strathclyde Police
    • Highlands and Islands Enterprise
    • Scottish ambulance dept.

The responses to Petition PE1428 received to date frm these bodies are here, so that you can  see what they have said:

Whether you are a business or a private individual, your response to this petition – your own case for the need for the Scottish Government to address the situation with the A83 as a matter of urgency -  will be of serious help to getting action on this matter and will be valued.

None of the response form the organisations above are long and are worth a scan before you send your own.

Argyll and the Isles cannot any longer accept that the strenuous efforts being made  to develop its economic sustainability by innovative and serious private sector investment, by business initiatives and by our inspirational Argyll and the Isles Strategic Tourism Partnership are simply swept into oblivion by landslides closing our only core road access.

Why would anyone choose to stage a major event in Argyll, contract with an Argyll business on anything outside Internet delivery or book a major holiday when they cannot be certain that they would not meet queuing and frightened traffic and a sudden hour long detour into the highlands to get to their destination?

Disruption to movements and the increased fuel costs involved in an hour long diversion see our tourism and transport sectors imperilled. Argyll cannot afford to lose any of the business base it is imperative to expand.

This is a matter for action now.

Action means a decision on a permanent solution do by the end of this year with a construction start date of not beyond 2015.

Please make your own individual business or personal case on the Argyll First  petition (PE1428) and email it to Councillor Dougie Philand – – before 12th August. Could you do it today?

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11 Responses to Please respond to the A83 Petition today

  1. Newsroom (aka soapbox) wrote : ” the lack of safe crossing points at Ardrishaig and Tarbert”.

    Are you suggesting there is an unsafe ferry crossing operating at Tarbert?

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      • If I want to get to Campbeltown I get the ferry from Portavadie to Tarbert. Its not my fault if Newsroom has blinkered vision and cannot see beyond roads.

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      • I’m surprised that you don’t drive around, on principle, if you think that WF is a ripoff, as Calmac’s charges seem remarkably similar, or is it that you don’t think of Calmac as profiting from your money?

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        • I just like competition, then I don’t need to worry.

          You are correct that the prices on the old streaker service were comparable with WF. But the streakers went further, with more crew, using old inefficient vessels, silly shore ticketing arrangements and a ridiculous timetable – yet the vehicle portion still turned a profit i.e. WF must have been turning a good profit.

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          • You misunderstand – the prices you pay on the Tarbert – Portavadie route are comparable to those on WF’s route, for a similar distance.

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          • RW: no you don’t understand basic economics. The WF route carries far higher traffic volumes and has economies of scale not available on the Tarbert route.

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          • A fair point, Ferryman, but I still think that your habit of endlessly referring to WF’s profits rather than their charges or fares suggests an excessive degree of resentment just because they’re a private company, rather than because of their charges.
            The comments made by others about widespread reluctance among ferry operators to publish commercial vehicle rates surprises me, as I would have thought that in this day & age of European regulation there’d be laws insisting on more transparency – unless there was competition that might argue for commercial confidentiality.

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          • The only way to decide what the fare should be is to look at the level of profit. If the profit level is fair then you cannot really grumble about the fare, however high it is.

            That is why you cannot directly compare WF with the Portavadie Tarbert route.

            Also whilst dropping fares on WF route would stimulate increased traffic that is less true on Portavadie Tarbert.

            High volume low cost ferries is what Dunoon and Cowal need but there is no hope of reduced fares when WF cannot cope with the current demand.

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          • Your right, given the longer crossing and the additional costs, the fares should have been higher.

            Whoops does that mean that the vehcile fares were being kept down by subsidy payments.

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          • Donald McDonald:
            No the certified accounts of the Cowal Ferries (and the earlier review by the EU) showed the vehicle portion made a profit.
            So the question is were WF making an excessive profit?

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