Forestry Commission Scotland is giving people plenty of notice that, while they have been suitably quiet over Christmas, their harvesting operations on the Glen Righ stretch of the A82 will get going on Monday 7th January 2013.
Alex MacLeod, who is managing the A82 project for the Commission, says: ‘We want to re-assure people that we won’t be doing any work over the Festive period but also to remind them that we will be hitting the ground running in the New Year.
‘Some of the constructive feedback from our recent successful drop-in events asked that we continue our good in keeping people informed about what’s happening when – and we aim to do just that.
‘Traffic management will be in place from 14th January with a lane closure immediately South of the Loch Linnhe car park.
‘There will also be a need for regular but short periods of road closure in both directions though it is expected that these will be for no more than 10 minutes at a time; and we will ensure that vehicles will be allowed to clear between each of these.
‘We understand that road users will find this frustrating and we apologize in advance for the inconvenience – but the harvesting work is very difficult and potentially dangerous and the safety of our operators and road users is of paramount importance.’
The harvesting operations are expected to last until late March, with traffic management initially in place between the hours of 08.30 and 16.30, Monday to Friday.
The Commission will also ensure the short road closures are delayed until after 9.00am.
Visitors to the recent drop-in events viewed maps of the forest areas, photographs showing the harvesting challenges, work methods and work completed to date. The majority agreed with the ‘sensible long term plan for a serious problem’ and were ‘pleased to have the opportunity to hear of the work programmes’.
Other issues that people raised were improved local notifications of road closures, concern about the visual impact of clearfelling, keeping people informed and quicker removal of harvesting warning signs after the completion of operations.
One of the issues is that clearfelling is not clearfelling – but only clearfelling the commercial trees. One of the quite awful visual impacts left after harvesting is the forest of strangely blackened naked trunks of the untouchables – creating a landscape that looks for all the world like a post-nuclear holocaust. The visual vandalism is always ugly and always distressing.
Alex MacLeod says: ‘The feedback we received was very welcome and overwhelmingly supportive and we will do everything we can to ensure that as we get into the more intensive work in the future, we will keep communities and businesses involved and informed.’
- For more information about Forestry Commission Scotland’s longer term programme over the next 10 -15 years, and to see a full report on the drop-in sessions – visit the Commission’s website here.
- You can also follow them here on Twitter.
- Up to date traffic management information can be found here on the Traffic Scotland website.