Transport Scotland agreement on old military road is NOT with private landlord

The confusions continue. The landlord with whom Transport Scotland have a minute of understanding in relation to the proposed preparation of the old military road in Glen Core to do service as an emergency diversion route is not the private landowner whose land includes most of the road.

It is with the easy touch, its sister department of government, Forestry Commission Scotland and it is for the two areas of work already undertaken, the topping and tailing of the route.

This means that the private sector landowner is still holding out for what he is demanding and has all the aces – except one – compulsory purchase.

Rather than haggle and accede as Transport Scotland has left itself with little choice but to do,  it would probably be a lesser demand on the public purse to slap a compulsory Purchase Order on what has all the appearance of a profiteering operation holding Argyll as well as Transport Scotland to ransom.

Discussions with the private landowner, the Davidsons, are said to be ongoing ongoing and Transport Minister Keith Brown, read a letter to the Task Force meeting yesterday [15th October] from the landowner assuring of his commitment to enter into an Agreement.

This is no more than a letter of comfort to get the Transport Minister off the hook at a meeting with key representatives of government and commercial life in Argyll.

There has been nothing to stop the landowner signing an agreement since August this year – except manoeuvering for personal gain around the flanks of the gift horse trotted into the arena by the foolish Transport Scotland.

It was said yesterday that once the Agreement with the private landowner has been signed, the emergency relief road will be completed within 9 weeks of signing.

Kiss goodbye to an emergency diversion route this side of 2013.

Argyll is yet again going into and largely through winter thanks to inept management at Transport Scotland and the exploitation of that weakness by a private landowner against the public interest of Argyll and the Isles.

There is now the added issue of the Task Force’s own responsibilities to Argyll. The Task Force was charged with overseeing the completion of the emergency diversion route on time.

Does the Task Force have any ‘overseeing’ powers whatsoever?

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9 Responses to Transport Scotland agreement on old military road is NOT with private landlord

  1. This story is so gross that – given the intended purpose of the road, for emergency use – I wonder that the government wouldn’t be within its rights to threaten the landowner with force majeure and just expropriate the route for improvement and occasional use – unless, that is, the landowner adopts a reasonable attitude that isn’t demonstrably holding us all to ransome.
    It’s difficult to see how upgrading this road could be disadvantaging the landowner to any significant degree, and it might even be said to add value to the property.

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    • Has the Scottish Government has ignored its own guidance on compulsory purchase? If so, perhaps an apology for being utterly without a clue might be appropriate.

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  2. Hang on a minute – how long have the government been aware of this situation? 7 years? This problem could and should have been sorted out long ago.

    With the greed that we see with the dash for renewable subsidies, along with the amount of cash landowners get for mobile phone masts etc. who wouldn’t hold out for the best deal? I can’t believe for a minute that the folk who are criticising the landowner in this case wouldn’t do the same themselves. Negotiations can take time.

    And no, I’m not related, don’t know the landowner and usually don’t need the route.

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    • You’re wrong Lowry; I for one – and I suspect many others – wouldn’t exploit an opportunity to screw the government (i.e. the people) in this situation where the need is clearly in the public interest (particularly next summer when the A82 will be closed for weeks at Pulpit Rock) and the proposal doesn’t really involve inconvenience or cost the landowner.
      We’re not all mercenary ‘ripoff merchants’, are we?

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  3. Iam sure that if this road was going up Mr Wakehan’s drive or through the middle of his place of work he would be singing a different tune.
    The government has had years to sort this surly the blame for delays MUST be layed at there door.

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    • The old road is exactly that – it’s not a private driveway, and it’s only someone’s workplace in the sense that it follows the floor of the glen where there’s usually cattle either grazing or being fed on the edge of the road. Just now the cattle are grazing the hill above the A83, but I think this is probably normal at this time of year and I can’t believe that resurfacing the old road – or traffic convoys on it – will have much effect on the livestock.

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