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?