Im­prove road, don’t cut speed limit

The Oban Times - - News -

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.

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