Ardrishaig roads closed amid fire-ravaged building safety fears

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Safety concerns over a building gutted in a fire have led to surrounding roads in Ardrishaig being cordoned off – while fears have been raised over drivers speeding on the narrow diversion route.

Argyll and Bute Council has closed Park Road and Kilduskland Road at their junction ‘for public safety’.

A council statement said: ‘This will be the case for the forseeable future and certainly until a safety concerns have been addressed.

The closures will affect traffic to and from Ardrishaig Primary School, and the council advised: ‘The route to the primary school and local properties will now be is via West Bank Road on the canal side. This road is a single track road and also has a weight restriction (10 tonnes).

‘Traffic management plans that will best deal with this disruption are being developed over the weekend for implementation on Monday [January 28].’

In the meantime the advice from Mid Argyll police is to find an alternative route.

Fire ripped through the former Ardrishaig Free Church, recently converted to a family home, on the evening of Friday January 25. Four fire appliances attended after being called out shortly after 8pm and the fire was extinguished overnight.

It is understood there were no casualties during the incident, which left the building severely damaged.

The road closures are affecting bus services. West Coast Motors has said that there is no access to the area for any of its vehicles, including school and the 422 service bus (Ardrishaig – Lochgilphead), as the diversion route is not suitable for them.

The bus company advised: ‘Could we please ask for all passengers who use these services, to make their way to the Chalmers Street stop or the stop at the bottom of Brae Road.

‘On Monday 28th January we will delay our school buses by five minutes to allow the school children get down to the stops.

‘We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, this is outwith our control.’

As diversions were put in place, nearby residents appealed for motorists to show consideration.

One resident posted on social media: ‘Following the devastating fire last night and subsequent road closures, West Bank Road is much busier than usual.

‘Please be considerate and use the passing places and be mindful of your speed.’