750 back ‘killer’ road petition
‘ATROCIOUSLY dangerous’, ‘a death trap’, ‘horrendous’, ‘terrifying’, ‘a killer’.
These were just a few descriptions of the A85 Dunbeg to Oban carriageway posted on an online petition to improve its safety, which attracted 700 signatures in a day.
Dunbeg Community Council began distributing paper petitions last week in its campaign to cut the number of crashes on the main road into Oban and, on Monday, community councillor Sean MacIntyre put the appeal online at www.change.org.
Mr MacIntyre, a Dunbeg resident, is demanding Transport Scotland upgrades the A85 stretch ‘ with double white lines and address the speed limit to stop the countless accidents that happen on a regular basis’.
Within a few hours the online petition reached 100 signatures, the minimum target needed to send it to Transport Scotland, and numbers grew rapidly over the next 24 hours.
Almost all argue an upgrade is ‘urgent’ and ‘overdue’, citing the road’s ‘appalling record of traffic accidents’, and the disruption caused by closures.
Iain Davidson, from Dunfermline, wrote: ‘ The section between the Halfway House and Pennyfuir is a killer.
‘I’ve lost two good friends on this stretch of road and there have been countless dozens either taken from us or very badly injured as a result of the treacherous visibility there.’
Gail Lockhart from Oban also appealed: ‘My son was in a road traffic accident on this road. Thankfully he walked away. Far too many haven’t.’
Some are cutting back their visits to Oban because of the ‘crazy driving’.
Connel resident Jenny Brady wrote: ‘So many times I come around a corner on this stretch of road to come face-to-face with a car overtaking and on the wrong side of the road.’
Kim Entwistle, also from Oban, posted: ‘Sirens on that road every day this week, already half a dozen folk injured and the summer hasn’t even really begun yet.’
Eric Smith, another Oban resident, agreed: ‘This road is a notorious death trap for unwary or foreign holiday-making motorists, pure and simple. Avoidable deaths and serious injuries will occur this summer if immediate action is not taken.’
Shopper Liz Paul of Duror said: ‘I have the choice of the A82 or the A85 when I want to go shopping – toss a coin, pick your danger.’
Commuter Rachel Young of North Connel suggested solutions: ‘There should be double white lines on the whole road and the speed limit should be reduced.’
Irene Mackinnon of Oban said: ‘The amount of accidents could be greatly reduced if there was a 40mph speed limit.’
Robert Turnewitsch of North Connel, a regular user of the road between Connel and Oban, also supported the petition: ‘Significant measures need to be taken to reduce the risks/ hazards on this road and the ‘need’ for overtaking.’
He requested ‘adequate use of white lining, [a] widening of foot/cycle path between Dunbeg and Oban, [and the] extension of foot/cycle path from Dunbeg to Connel.’
Claire McHardy of Oban argued accidents will only get worse: ‘ The volume of traffic using this road has increased significantly over the years and is only going to get busier given the increase in the population of Oban and surrounding area and ferry traffic to the islands.’
Mr MacIntyre said he was ‘over the moon’ with the response.
To sign the online petition, go to https:// www.change. org/ p/ transport- scotland- dunbeg- community- council- demand- the- upgrade- of- the- a85 or fill in the petition form. ■
TRAFFIC into and out of Oban was disrupted again early on Thursday morning following a two-vehicle accident on the A85.
The crash happened between Pennyfuir and the filling station close to Oban shortly after 6am.
Police said no-one was seriously injured but a woman had to be cut free from her car.
A contraflow was put in place while emergency services attended to the incident.