Transport Minister responds to McGrigor on A83

Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown has answered a written Parliamentary question tabled by Highlands & Islands Conservative MSP Jamie McGrigor following the closure in early October of the A83 trunk road due to a landslide at Kinglas.

Landslip clearance, 3.10.13, A83 Kinglas

Work underway on 3 October to clear the Kinglas landslip on the A83 in Argyll & Bute

McGrigor lodged his question on 3 October, asking the Scottish Government, in light of the incident that day on the A83 at the Rest & Be Thankful, what action it was taking to prevent landslips at vulnerable areas, and what specific contingencies it would introduce at the A83 to prevent future closures of the road.

The Minister’s answer states that the section of the road between the Rest & Be Thankful and Loch Fyne “has been identified as an area that may require further remedial work”, and that studies are underway on the road through Glen Kinglas to Cairndow which may identify further locations for debris netting or drainage work.

In full, Keith Brown's answer reads:

"The Scottish Government fully appreciates the effect of landslips on the A83 to the communities of Argyll.  However, landslips are a natural result of the topography and climate of Scotland, and cannot be prevented.  We can reduce the effects of landslips on the road network, and significant investment has been made in the last few years.

"On the A83, we have concentrated our efforts on the area of the road around the Rest & Be Thankful, which has suffered most from landslips in the last few years.  The section of the road between the Rest & Be Thankful and Loch Fyne, on which there was a landslip on 3 October, has been identified as an area that may require further remedial work.  As noted at the last A83 Taskforce meeting, studies are underway on the section of the A83 through Glen Kinglas to Cairndow.  If these identify additional locations for debris netting or drainage work, these will be prioritised subject to the availability of funding.  In the meantime, measures are being taken to ensure that any clear-up can be as fast as possible and to ensure communications are strengthened further".

Speaking today, Jamie McGrigor said:

“Businesses and residents throughout Argyll & Bute were deeply frustrated that the A83 was closed by the first heavy rain of autumn at the beginning of October, and at a different location from the previous Rest & Be Thankful landslides. 

“I welcome the fact that the Minister has confirmed that studies are underway in the location of October’s landslip, and I hope these assessments can be completed as quickly as possible so that any necessary actions can be taken forward without delay.  The Argyll & Bute economy must not be put at risk by repeated closures of this vital trunk road”.