Pe­ti­tion de­mands ac­tion to stop ac­ci­dents on A85

The Oban Times - - News - DAVID MCPHEE dm­cphee@oban­

A PE­TI­TION de­mand­ing im­prove­ments to the A85 Oban to Dun­beg road has been launched by Dun­beg Community Coun­cil.

Community coun­cil­lor Sean MacIn­tyre re­vealed the de­mands ear­lier this week. The community coun­cil is ask­ing for dou­ble white lines to be painted along the length of the road [ be­twen Oban and Dun­beg] and for the speed limit to be ad­dressed in or­der to re­duce the num­ber of ac­ci­dents tak­ing place.

Mr MacIn­tyre said: ‘The rea­son we started this pe­ti­tion is be­cause Colin Bax­ter [who was in­jured in a car ac­ci­dent be­tween Oban and Dun­beg] came to the Dun­beg community coun­cil meeting and asked what we were we do­ing to ad­dress the amount of ac­ci­dents.’

Over the past week alone, two ac­ci­dents have taken place on the road in­volv­ing nine cars. Mr MacIn­tyre con­tin­ued: ‘I have per­son­ally been over­taken on the road and, af­ter speak­ing to many res­i­dents in Dun­beg, they think it needs to be ad­dressed.

‘As far as I am led to be­lieve, it is just down to money to up­grade the road. Safety should be para­mount, es­pe­cially if it would save lives. A lot of peo­ple walk that road on a Sun­day, es­pe­cially when the weather is nice, and there’s a large num­ber of peo­ple who walk to the ceme­tery.

‘Since the cy­cle track has been opened, it has been used as a ring – peo­ple walk over the track and head back into Oban along the road.’

How­ever, Oban po­lice think the num­ber of in­ci­dents on this stretch of road is down to a lack of con­cen­tra­tion.

Con­sta­ble Andy Bar­ron, of the divi­sional road polic­ing unit, told The Oban Times: ‘A lot of it is down to tourists com­ing to the area and not know­ing the roads. The ac­ci­dents over the past few weeks were down to poor driv­ing a lack of con­cen­tra­tion and a lack of aware­ness.’

Af­ter dis­cussing al­ter­na­tive so­lu­tions such as adding more signs to the route, Con­sta­ble Bar­ron added: ‘The prob­lem is that there’s only one road into Oban – the A85.

‘The ma­jor­ity of vis­i­tors will be com­ing in on that road, so short of do­ing some ma­jor road­works along there, which could cost a huge amount of money, I don’t think signs will make a big dif­fer­ence.

‘You have to ex­pect the un­ex­pected at this time of year. It’s a case of driv­ing with a bit more cau­tion. I stopped some­one last week who was do­ing 35mph at Taynuilt. He thought he was on a sin­gle-track road. A lot of peo­ple are not aware of their sur­round­ings.’

Con­sta­ble Colin May added: ‘They have car­ried out im­prove­ments over the years on the A85 such as the shell grip, which has def­i­nitely made a dif­fer­ence to crash statis­tics.

‘A few more signs about con­cealed en­trances would be good go­ing in to Pop­pies, for ex­am­ple. At this time of year there are peo- ple on the road who don’t know it. There­fore peo­ple should al­lo­cate more time for their jour­ney as it [the road] is go­ing to be busier. If peo­ple see bad driv­ing, they should report it to us and we can in­ves­ti­gate it.’

A Trans­port Scot­land spokesman said: ‘Safety is a pri­or­ity for us and man­ag­ing speed is an im­por­tant part of our strat­egy. We con­stantly mon­i­tor the safety of our trunk road net­work. This in­cludes screen­ing all lo­ca­tions where three or more ac­ci­dents have oc­curred in the pre­ced­ing three-year pe­riod on an an­nual ba­sis. We un­der­take fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion and, where ap­pro­pri­ate, mit­i­ga­tion mea­sures are pri­ori­tised and im­ple­mented.

‘ We are cur­rently con­sid­er­ing a re­quest for pedes­trian sig­nage at Pen­ny­fuir Ceme­tery and will be dis­cussing the re­cent ac­ci­dents with Po­lice Scot­land.

‘We are not aware of the A85 pe­ti­tion.’

Sean MacIn­tyre stands with the pe­ti­ton, which de­mands im­prove­ments to the A85.

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