Drivers stuck as tanker removed from A83
A TANKER that lay in a ditch for almost a fortnight was finally removed on Sunday, closing the A83 for more than five hours, writes Colin Cameron.
The bogged- down lorry proved more difficult to remove than first anticipated, leading to frustration for drivers caught up in road closures.
At the centre of the operation was a Scottish Water sludge tanker that left the road between Castleton and Achnaba on December 29 before coming to rest on its side in a ditch. The driver received minor injuries in the crash. No- one else was hurt.
Plans to recover the vehicle were hampered by poor weather and road closures at the Rest and Be Thankful.
The recovery operation was eventually able to take place, in heavy sleet and rain, on Sunday January 10. To allow a crane to lift the HGV from the ditch, a full trunk road closure was agreed.
A spokesperson for trunk road operator, BEAR Scotland, explained: ‘Work to recover the vehicle started at first light, with the road reopening under traffic control at 1.30pm, before being fully reopened at 2.30pm.
‘The process took longer than anticipated as a result of the vehicle being entrenched in a muddy ditch. During the recovery, the vehicle used to stabilise the tanker broke down, delaying the operation.’
Signposted diversions took drivers on an 80-mile detour via Oban.
Among frustrated drivers stuck at the Lochgilphead-bound side were building contractors attempting to catch the Islay ferry and at the other end, a Boys’ Brigade party from Campbeltown was forced to abandon hopes of travelling to a pantomime in Glasgow.
The tanker trailer is removed by crane shortly after 11am