Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron has warned that years of neglect in addressing the problems afflicting the A83 are a threat to the economic recovery of Argyll and Bute.
Mr Cameron voiced his comments after Transport Scotland route manager, Neil MacFarlane, warned that thousands of tonnes of debris is waiting to fall on the trunk road which provides a lifeline to much of Argyll and Bute.
He said: “It is truly ironic that just as the UK Government and other partners are signing off the Argyll and Bute Rural Growth Deal, we should have yet another reminder of the SNP Government’s pitiful neglect of our vital road infrastructure.
“The unreliability of the road, and the constant resort to costly "patch and mend" operations which don’t solve the problem, all directly impact on the willingness of people to invest in our area.
“The SNP have had 14 years to sort this out and on any measure their record is one of complete and utter failure.”
Argyll and Bute Councillor, Sir Jamie McGrigor (Oban South and the Isles), a former MSP, said: “Back in 2009 I called a meeting of Inveraray. Hoteliers, business representatives and hauliers all attended to find a solution to the desperate state of the A83 and the Rest and be Thankful.
“Ironically, on the day of the meeting the SNP Government minister failed to show as he was stuck on the wrong side of a new landslide!
“I suspect Donald Clark, late owner of George Hotel in Inveraray, and at the forefront of every A83 meeting, would be turning in his grave at the failure to bring to a satisfactory closure this long-running sore.
“Looking back, for as long as I can remember, every time there is an election in the offing local SNP politicians promise people in Argyll and Bute that a vote for them will lead to improvements in our transport infrastructure, whether it’s the A83 or the ferries.
“As soon as they are safely elected the promises are forgotten, only to be recycled again next time they are up for re-election. No doubt they will reheat their promises in the months ahead.
“I very much hope that this time local people will call them to account for their record.”