Second smash at Strone Point in a week - closures questioned
I have made it clear there must be action by Transport Scotland now Michael Russell
BEST of the West was in full swing when the crash happened, closing the main road artery linking the festival’s Inveraray venue with Glasgow and the central belt.
The collision, between a van and motorbike, was the second in a week on the A83 at Strone Point, where work to improve the road is severely delayed.
Fortunately neither was fatal, but people were seriously injured in both crashes. And the A83 was closed for hours while investigations were carried out.
Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell is now looking for an immediate start to work at Strone Point, saying: ‘A second accident at the same point emphasises the urgent need for this work to be done without any further delay.
‘I am continuing to make the point to the [Transport] Minister and I have made it clear to him there must be action by Transport Scotland now.’
Concern is growing, too, over the way in which diversions have been managed and the length of time roads are closed for investigation following non-fatal accidents.
Many motorists heading for Cowal arrived at Tarbet in the wake of the September 2 accident to be told they must divert round by Dalmally. On arrival at Inveraray they, of course, could not get past the accident site. Frank and Helena Wood were in one of the cars turned back at Tarbet to head for Dal- mally. They were trying to get to Lochgoilhead, which should have been unaffected by the road closure.
Frank said: ‘We took the signed diversion, only to get to Inveraray to be told we had a three-hour wait. We were going Lochgoilhead, so why such a lack of information at Tarbet? They wouldn’t let us pass and there was no information as to where incident was.’
He added: ‘As a retired firefighter I totally understand the need for safety for all emergency services concerning and the ongoing accident investigation. But the total lack of information at Tarbet, as to where the accident was, was ridiculous to say the least.
‘This needs looking at to stop it happening again.’
Mr Russell said: ‘I have been concerned about lengthy closures for some time and have urged the police and others to use new technology such as laser scanning to produce the information they need.
‘I have also complained before about vague signs which means people do not know exactly where the road is closed. I shall ask Transport Scotland and the police to look at these matters again and they would also be important topics to have raised at the next A83 Task Force Meeting.’
Cowal councillor Alan Reid is chairman of Cowal Transport Forum.
‘There were ‘road closed’ signs at Tarbet and no Transport Scotland officials or police to tell drivers the road was open as far as Strone Point,’ claimed Mr Reid.
‘I will be putting this on the agenda for the next Cowal Transport Forum meeting on October 4.
‘At the meeting, Transport Scotland and police representatives will be questioned on their responses to these road closures and asked for assurances that in the future, clear information about where the road is actually closed will be given at both Tarbet and Inveraray.’
A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: ‘Our concern lies with those injured and with family and friends at this time.
‘As police investigations are ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time, however, we are liaising with Police Scotland to obtain more detailed information on these accidents.’
Many revellers at Best of the West found themselves stranded until the road re-opened around 6pm – while others were unable to get there at all.
Michael Russell - pressing for action at Strone Point.