Improve road, don’t cut speed limit
A GROUP campaigning for the upgrading of a Highland section of a trunk road is challenging the Scottish government to commit to improving it, rather than reduce the speed limit.
The A82 partnership, which describes itself as an umbrella organisation supporting the upgrading of the road, has voiced concerns over the reduction of the speed limit to 50mph between Onich and Fort William. In its response, Transport Scotland admits that, at present, there is no timetable and resources have not been identified for upgrading this length of road. Transport Scotland claims that £66 million has been spent on the A82 over the last eight years, equating to £ 0.4 million per mile. However, Fort William and Ardnamurchan councillor, Brian Murphy, said: ‘Commitments have been made by the Scottish Government to dualling the A9 at a cost of £ 3 billion, or £ 21.4 million per mile, a New Forth Bridge at £1.4 billion, Edinburgh Trams at £1 billion, together with numerous Central Belt infrastructure improvement projects and a £ 5 billion investment in the rail network. To me, £ 66 million spent on the A82 over the last eight years does not appear to be a material investment in this economic lifeline.’
This is the third section of the A82 to be downgraded to 50mph, with Tarbet to Inverarnan and Glengloy to Letterfinlay also proposed to have speed limits reduced to lower than the national standard.
The A82 Partnership is presently lobbying all major Scottish political parties to include specific A82 upgrade works in their manifestos for the 2016 Holyrood elections.