Transport Minister Keith Brown has updated Jamie McGrigor, Highlands & Islands Conservative MSP, on the Scottish Government’s efforts to prevent and minimise the impact of landslides on the A83 trunk road, via a written Parliamentary answer received today.
Jamie tabled the written Parliamentary question following a minor landslide on the A83 at the Rest & Be Thankful on 15 January which led to traffic restrictions on the road.
The Transport Minister states that it is anticipated that the next phases of landslide mitigation work will commence on the A83 next month. In addition, studies are under way at three other areas of the road - Glen Kinglas, Cairndow, and Loch Shira - with the aim of providing these locations with a similar level of risk reduction to that at the Rest & Be Thankful.
Commenting today, Jamie, who has consistently lobbied successive Scottish Government Transport Ministers to recognise the strategic importance of the A83 to Argyll & Bute and its economy, said:
“I welcome the Minister’s update and look forward to the planned mitigation works being put in place as quickly as possible.
“It is important that action is taken along all areas of the A83 which might be susceptible to landslips, given we saw the closure of the road at Kinglas last October.
“I will continue to press the Scottish Government to ensure they make the prevention and mitigation of landslides on the A83 a transport priority, given the crucial importance of this route to the people and economy of Argyll & Bute”.
The full text of Jamie’s Written Question, and the Transport Minister’s written response, is as follows:-
24 January 2014
Index Heading: Transport Scotland
Jamie McGrigor (Highlands and Islands) (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party): To ask the Scottish Government what the response was to the landslip on the A83 at the Rest and be Thankful on 15 January 2014 and what progress is being made in work to (a) prevent and (b) minimise the impact of landslips on the A83.
Mr Keith Brown MSP:
A minor landslide occurred on the A83 Rest and Be Thankful after 16:00 on 15 January. Our operating company, BEAR Scotland and Police Scotland were quickly on site to review and assess the situation and manage the initial response. The A83 was never closed and the Police controlled traffic until an assessment was carried out. This was completed at 17:30, when temporary traffic lights were installed.
The road was fully reopened at 15:55 the following day after the debris, verge and drainage channels were cleared.
The Scottish Government fully appreciates the significance of the A83 trunk road to the communities of Argyll and to the local economy. Over the last 7 years, the Scottish Government has spent over £32M on the A83 trunk road.
Our operating company is currently in the process of procuring the next landslide mitigation phases (10, 11 and 12), which are anticipated to commence on site in February 2014. Progress on this and other works on the A83 are published on the Transport Scotland website www.transportscotland.gov.uk.
Transport Scotland has also commissioned studies at 3 other areas on the A83 which are potentially susceptible to disruption due to landslides. These are at Glen Kinglass, Cairndow and Loch Shira. The aim of these studies is to identify solutions to provide a similar level of risk reduction at these areas to that at the Rest and Be Thankful. Draft options reports for each of the sites are currently being prepared.