Call for more action at road crash blackspot
RESURFACING work on a ‘notorious’ stretch of road in Lochaber is being welcomed, but locals want more done.
Concern regarding the road between Onich and Fort William has intensified in the past week after three cars came off the road within 24 hours.
Mags Stewart from Fort William was involved in one of the incidents and, while she wasn’t seriously injured, she took to social media to warn others of the dangers of the road.
Following a second crash at the same spot, she questioned whether BEAR Scotland, which is in charge of trunk road maintenance, could say the accidents were all down to driver error and pleaded for something to be done.
A BEAR Scotland spokeswoman said it takes trunk road safety extremely seriously.
She said: ‘After being made aware of the incidents on Wednesday last week (July 27) between Onich and Corran Ferry, a team was on site within hours assessing the area for any obvious problems. Although no visible evidence was found of the possible cause of the incidents, such as an oil spill, slippery road signs were erected and we immediately programmed a grip-testing survey of the area for the next day. Following the outcomes of the survey and discussion with Transport Scotland, we will re-texture the road’s surface to improve grip on the bend concerned and have arranged for the work to be done on Wednesday this week.’
Stewart MacLean from the A82 Partnership said: ‘ We are happy with this update but we are still very unhappy with the state of the road.’
With regards to reports suggesting the A82 between Glasgow and Fort William was the fourth most dangerous stretch of road in Scotland, he said: ‘I’m not surprised. It works out about an accident every 19 days.’
Transport Scotland published a Road Safety Framework review in 2016. They also confirmed a total of 17 fatalities on the A82 and 54 seriously injured between 2013 and 2015. A spokeswoman from the company said: ‘Any suggestion of ranking roads in Scotland according to headline accident numbers is inappropriate and ill-informed as these figures take no account of the differing road lengths or the volumes of traffic using each route.We work closely with Police Scotland and our operating companies both to minimise the extent of any delay and ensure diversion routes are well sign-posted.’
Mr MacLean said the two main stretches the partnership is concerned with are from Tarbert to Inverarnan and Onich to Fort William.
He added: ‘There were three accidents in just one day so it’s clear something had to be done. There has to be responsibility from drivers too.’
Road users and members of the A82 Roadwatch page on Facebook were divided on where the main responsibility lies. Some commented that they had also had ‘close calls’ on that stretch of road.
However, Jean Graham said: ‘Roads are not dangerous. It’s the idiots on them that have no patience and go too fast.’
Davie Kerr wrote: ‘I agree with the comments which say the problem is not with the roads: the problem is with the drivers who drive badly on them. While I agree there are some stretches of the A82 that do need improving – Tarbet to Inverarnan immediately comes to mind – simply because they haven’t been modernised to keep up with the bigger and faster vehicles that now use them, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the A82 that slowing down a bit wouldn’t cure.’
Mags Stewart’s car after incident between Onich and Corran Ferry on July 27.