Unstable hillside closes Rest completely

A saturated hillside and heavy rain forced the closure of both A83 and local diversion for safety reasons

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The old military road (OMR) local diversion route at the A83 Rest and be Thankful was closed to traffic for days earlier this week amid safety concerns.

As heavy rain fell, the decision was taken by trunk road operator BEAR Scotland and Transport Scotland to close the OMR from 6pm on Monday. It remained closed all day on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The closures followed a weekend in which the OMR was shut overnight on Saturday and Sunday, re-opening at 8am on Monday.

With high levels of water saturation on the scarred hillside, safety was the primary consideration given the risk of debris flows and flooding.

Traffic was diverted using the standard lengthy route via Crianlarich and Inveraray on the A82, A85 and A819.

Engineers continue to work on new landslide mitigation measures on the hill, including construction of an in-channel debris barrier.

Repairs required to allow a reopening of the A83 trunk road itself, which included the reinstatement of pre-existing landslide catch fences following Storm Aiden, have now been completed.

‘We need to ensure road user safety is upheld at all times, and with the wet weather continuing along with the saturated hillside we took the decision to keep the OMR closed as a safety precaution on Tuesday and throughout Wednesday,’ said Eddie Ross of BEAR Scotland.

‘Our teams have been patrolling the diversion route to check for any issues and ensure that traffic is kept flowing on the route, and will continue to do so until the route is stood down.’

The OMR was expected to remain closed until Thursday morning, when an inspection was due to take place to assess the situation.

Mr Ross added: ‘As ever we thank all road users and the local community for their patience while we do everything we can to address the ongoing situation at the Rest.’