Cyclists blamed for A83 traffic light chaos

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Cyclists passing uphill through a section of roadworks beside Rest and be Thankful landslide mitigation works are said to have sparked gridlock for weekend traffic on the A83.

Drivers complained on Facebook that ‘selfish cyclists’ travelling in the Inveraray direction held up traffic behind them, so when the lights at the top end of the roadworks turned green ‘all hell broke out’.

Archie Reid was travelling back to Cowal from Glasgow on Sunday June 7, and later posted on the A83 Facebook page: ‘The cars coming down couldn’t get past and were giving me looks as if it was our fault. I had to give them a hand moving the cones [to allow traffic to pass] as it was just shambles.

‘God knows how it would sort itself out, as no one from BEAR Scotland was to be seen. It was a total disgrace when you consider it’s our main road into Argyll.’

Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell has raised the matter with Transport Scotland.

He said: ‘The issue is that the interval between lights changing is shorter than the time it can take cyclists to travel through. This has led to traffic attempting to travel in both directions simultaneously.

‘After being informed of this issue by constituents I immediately contacted Transport Scotland and have asked that this is given their urgent attention. While I am aware the lights are due to be removed for a period of time, it is vital that a solution to this problem is found before they are reinstated.

‘I will continue to update those concerned and expect that this matter will be resolved timeously now that it has been raised.’

A spokesperson for BEAR Scotland said: ‘We were alerted to an incident at the weekend involving cyclists having difficultly travelling through the works area at the Rest and be Thankful, and our team attended later that day to check that the lights were operating correctly.

‘This is the first time we’ve been alerted to any issues with cyclists getting through the project area in the two years that the temporary traffic lights have been in place at the Rest, however we’ve taken steps to ensure any similar incidents will be avoided in the future. This includes having traffic management operatives in place for the remainder of the project between 6am-10pm every day to ensure there are no issues.

‘The current phase of the project is due to be completed by the end of this month, which will see both lanes of the A83 reopened and the temporary traffic lights removed.’