Petition demands action to stop accidents on A85
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.