Highlands and Islands Scottish Conservative MSP Donald Cameron has described a decision by Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, to postpone a meeting of the A83 taskforce by more than two months as “unbelievable”.
The meeting, which was due to take place yesterday (27th March), will now take place in June.
Donald said: “The A83 is a major arterial road serving many residents and businesses in Argyll. They will be enormously disappointed by this delay.
“For the Cabinet Secretary to cancel the meeting with just two days’ notice, is simply unbelievable. Apparently he has more pressing committee business elsewhere.”
Donald, who pressed Mr Matheson in January on progress on the A83 with questions in the Scottish Parliament, added: “Once again, issues which are crucial to rural parts of the Highlands like Argyll are put on the back-burner by this SNP Government.
“It simply isn’t good enough to hold up progress in this way and I will be asking for a full explanation of how the SNP Government proposes to make up for this lost time.”
Councillor Alastair Redman (Scottish Conservative – Kintyre and the Islands Ward) said: “It's seems that Mr Matheson and the Scottish Government he represents talks the talk without walking the walk. This is yet another example of how little this central belt urban obsessed SNP cares about rural Argyll.
“Time and time again this Government have left our trunk road network underfunded and have not shown any real leadership over this matter.
“I'm in full support of the ongoing campaign from Argyll residents and the local press alike to find a long term solution to the problems with the A83. This means the Scottish Government taking responsibility and investing large scale funding to our trunk road network here in Argyll not just piece meal patchwork.
“The SNP have in the past tried to pass on the blame for their own failing on ferries, Police, NHS, Education and our economy to the U.K government and no doubt they will try the same with the A83 but the people of Argyll are fed up with their excuses.
“The fact remains that if this was a trunk road linking two of Scotland's urban centres it would already be fixed. This continued sidelining and indifference to the needs of rural Argyll must stop.”