A83 hill pass likely to stay shut for rest of the day

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Heavy rain is hampering efforts to carry out safety checks on the closed A83 Rest and Be Thankful route after a series of landslides.

The route is likely to stay closed in both directions for the rest of the day.

An initial check suggests it is still unsafe to open the road or the Old Military Road because torrential rain is continuing to affect the slope above the carriageway, said BEAR Scotland.

Large amounts of debris from the hillside also reached three additional landslip mitigation fences at other areas on the slope. BEAR Scotland’s assessment has now been expanded to look at the approaches to the Old Military Road as a precaution.

A standard incident diversion route is now in place as an alternative route on the A83. An earlier accident on the diversion route on the A85 near Dalmally has since been cleared.

Tommy Deans, BEAR Scotland’s north-west network manager, said: ‘Safety is our top priority, and we’re doing all we can to assess the slope and the extent of the debris from the steep hillside above the carriageway.

‘At least four different debris fences have caught significant levels of material from landslips. However, heavy rain is making conditions difficult for teams to assess the extent of the debris which has come down the hill and the likelihood of any further occurrences elsewhere on the slope.

‘At this stage it is unlikely we’ll be able to safely open the A83 or the Old Military Road today until we are absolutely certain that the slope at the Rest and Be Thankful is safe and until then we encourage road users to follow the diversion route via Dalmally or consider alternative travel options.

‘Road users should also check Traffic Scotland for the latest information about the Rest and Be Thankful, and we’ll be doing our best to keep stakeholders updated on progress.’