We will have a fuller report on this later but we understand that the session in Inveraray on 22nd August was generally felt to be very valuable; and that Scotland Transerv were open and informative.
The reality appears to be that neither Transport Scotland nor Scotland Transerv see the current A83 as the solution to its current vulnerability to landslides.
The reason why galleries are not now considered is that the problem of instability lies as much below the A83 as above it. The road is slowly sliding off the hill. This has been known for some time.
Topography makes re-routing this access road into Argyll all but impossible.
The favoured solution appears to be tosecure the present A83 as best possible and to build a second road on the south side of Glen Croe, using the current two-way A83 as a two-lane carriageway with traffic running in one direction; with traffic on the new two lane road on the other side of the Glen running in the other direction.
The thinking is that, in the case of landslides affecting one of these roads, the other could immediately serve as a two way road of the order of the current A83.
Update: Below is the latest parliamentary question and answer between Jamie McGrigor MSP and Transport Minister Keith Brown MSP, on the subject of the A83 at Rest and Be Thankful.
Question Jamie McGrigor (Highlands and Islands) (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party):
‘To ask the Scottish Government , further to the answer to question S4W-08320 by Keith Brown on 19 July 2012, whether the work will be accelerated, in light of the landslide on 1 August 2012.’
Answer Mr Keith Brown MSP (S4W-08997) :
‘It is very important that any solutions, permanent and temporary are properly designed and constructed. We are fully committed to delivering a safe diversion route at the A83 Rest and Be Thankful in as short a timescale as possible. Discussions are ongoing with the landowner and the works are currently programmed to start this month, with a 12-week construction period.
‘I am chairing a taskforce which has been set up to oversee progress. The taskforce, which met for the first time on 15 August, includes representatives from the key agencies involved.’