shutterstock_1795192489 (1)

An announcement by Transport Scotland that it has appointed an engineering firm to design a solution to a dangerous section of the A83 has been sharply criticised by campaigners, who have described it as 'a nonsense'.

The Rest & Be Thankful Campaign (RBTC) said if the Highlands road on the Kintyre peninsula was anywhere else in Europe it would have been rebuilt by now and it has accused the government of insulting hauliers and other businesses.

Last month, the Scottish government said Atkins WSP Joint Venture would be appointed to a £25m contract to design a medium and long-term solution to the Rest & Be Thankful, which in recent years has increasingly been plagued by landslides.

The government estimates there are 100,000 tonnes of unstable material ready to fall on lorries and other motorists on the road and in 2020 it had to be closed for 200 days due to landslips.

Read more

But RBTC chair John Gurr said the solutions were taking too long: “Earlier this year there was a tender for £25m and months later they are now appointing that tender,” he said.

“Transport Scotland have announced the same long term options they announced 10 years ago.

“We wonder how many more design stages will there be before we see an actual solution.

“If this were any other country in Europe, or it was more centrally located, this road would have been rebuilt to provide a safe and rapid access into Argyll.”

Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth has said it was clear that “an urgent solution” was required and its agreement with Atkins would allow work to start “at pace”.