Councillors unite to push for action on Rest

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In a rare demonstration of unity, every single Argyll and Bute councillor agreed to press for action to improve the Rest and be Thankful road.

A motion on the A83 was presented at a full meeting of the council on October 18 urging the Scottish Government to work towards a ‘permanent solution’ to the landslide problem.

The move came after the A83 trunk road, a lifeline artery for communities in upper Cowal, Mid Argyll, Kintyre and the islands, was closed from October 9 to 18 following landslides at the Rest and be Thankful.

Councillor Aileen Morton, Leader of Argyll and Bute Council, said: ‘What made this latest closure so significant is the fact that the landslides and severe weather also wiped out, for a period, the supposed solution to the problem – the Old Military Road, which too remained closed until Monday October 15, one full week after the first landslide.

Argyll and Bute Council Leader Councillor Aileen Morton.
Argyll and Bute Council leader Aileen Morton.

‘The failure of the most recent works to keep the road open demands an urgent review of existing and future plans at the Rest and be Thankful.

‘The scale of financial support needed to deliver a permanent solution is potentially very substantial. However, when considered in the light of other investments across the country, such as the Queensferry Crossing at a cost of £1.350 billion or the Aberdeen bypass at a cost of £745million, then the potential costs here are put into a different perspective.

‘Our communities, and in fact the wider Scottish economy, need and deserve a robust road network that keeps Argyll open.’

The council leader will write to Transport Minister Michael Matheson to ask for a meeting with councillors and officers to discuss the issue.

The motion also demands that ‘the Scottish Government, without further delay, formally commits to identifying and funding a permanent solution to keep the A83, and Argyll and Bute, open for business’.