750 back ‘killer’ road pe­ti­tion

The Oban Times - - News - SANDY NEIL sneil@oban­times.co.uk

‘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.

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