Argyllshire Advertiser leader column – August 14, 2020

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Act on promises

The catch pits at the edge of the A83 trunk road intercept debris flowing down the hillside above the carriageway.

But they only work if the debris finds a pit. Earlier this month, the landslide missed. Until we have a pit from Ardgartan to Loch Restil, this is always a risk.

What is also a risk is that someone gets caught among the debris, a point stressed by the united politicians in their letter to the First Minister and Transport Secretary Michael Matheson. It is simply down to good fortune that nobody has been seriously hurt to date.

In relative terms, our A83 is just as vital as the M8 or M9 to the central belt – arguably more so. Yet the current mitigation measures are the result of the cheapest option being selected following the Jacobs report of (from memory) 2013.

At the back end of 2018 Mr Matheson told a meeting of the A83 Taskforce that Argyll and Bute would be at the front of the queue when it comes to transport investment.

It is surely now beyond question that Argyll, and the A83, needs to be taken seriously, and for the Scottish Government to act.