Call for more ac­tion at road crash blackspot

The Oban Times - - The Oban Times - MON­ICA GIB­SON mgib­son@oban­

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.

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