Driv­ers warned to ex­pect chaos as cy­clists ride A82

The Oban Times - - News -

ROAD users have been warned to ex­pect ‘chaos and de­lays’ by cam­paign group, the A82 Part­ner­ship, in the run-up to a cy­cling event in which a woman died last year.

On Fri­day, Septem­ber 11, there is ex­pected to be 800 cy­clists trav­el­ling north on the road from Cri­an­larich to Fort Wil­liam for the an­nual Ride Across Bri­tain event.

The A82 part­ner­ship pre­vi­ously ap­pealed to or­gan­is­ers, Deloitte, to re- con­sider the route, af­ter it raised con­cerns over the amount of traf­fic al­ready us­ing the road cou­pled with the safety of cy­clists and trav­ellers on the day. But their ap­peals stat­ing that there were no over­tak­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties on the 10-mile stretch be­tween Onich and Fort Wil­liam failed to budge Deloitte or­gan­is­ers, who went ahead any­way.

Dur­ing last year’s ride from Land’s End to John O’ Groats, mother of two, Sally Preece, 49, from Chel­tenham, died when her bike col­lided with a car on the A85 near to Loch Earn.

Fol­low­ing the death of Mrs Preece, the jour­ney was cur­tailed and cy­clists were bussed along the A82 to their overnight stop at Tor­lundy, but plans look likely to go-ahead again this year.

Coun­cil­lor Brian Mur­phy, chair­man of the A82 part­ner­ship, said: ‘ We are all al­ready aware of the im­pact on traf­fic flows of just two cy­clists trav­el­ling be­tween Onich and Fort Wil­liam, but to have nu­mer­ous groups of up to 30 will cause sig­nif­i­cant de­lays and will re­sult in frus­tra­tion.

‘To ar­rive in Fort Wil­liam on a Fri­day af­ter­noon is ut­ter mad­ness. Traf­fic trav­el­ling north out of Fort Wil­liam on a Fri­day af­ter­noon on a nor­mal week faces sig­nif­i­cant de­lays, so I can­not imag­ine the im­pact of an ad­di­tional 800 cy­clists on this traf­fic flow.’

Nick Tup­pen of Deloitte said: ‘The safety of our riders has al­ways been a top pri­or­ity along with min­imis­ing dis­rup­tion for the lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties. In view of the tragic ac­ci­dent last year, we have worked par­tic­u­larly closely with Trans­port Scot­land and Po­lice Scot­land to un­der­stand the chal­lenges of the area you have ref­er­enced.’

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