Sign our pe­ti­tion for new ac­tion to im­prove safety on killer A85

The Oban Times - - News - LOUISE GLEN lglen@oban­times.co.uk

WITH three near-misses re­ported to The Oban Times in the past week alone, the need for im­proved driv­ing and safety on the A85 has never been more pro­nounced.

That is why The Oban Times this week launches its pe­ti­tion – Stay Alive on the A85 – and asks read­ers and vis­i­tors to the area to sign up.

The pe­ti­tion is ask­ing trans­port min­is­ter Humza Yousaf MSP to con­sider mea­sures to make the road safer, with the cam­paign call­ing for im­prove­ments to the road through a series of leg­isla­tive, in­fra­struc­ture and net­work im­prove­ments.

The cam­paign has gained the sup­port of the Oban Com­mu­nity Coun­cil trans­port sub-group, with its chair­man David Gal­lant say­ing: ‘ This is a cam­paign the whole com­mu­nity should get be­hind.’

For­mer coun­cil­lor Neil MacKay, who was at­tend­ing the trans­port meet­ing held last Thurs­day, said: ‘ What springs to mind is the speed of ve­hi­cles com­ing onto the Bealach an Righ.

‘I live near the road and we will not walk on it be­cause the path is nar­row and the traf­fic is far too fast com­ing into town.’

Mr Mackay’s words were echoed by reader Stu­art Twort, who wit­nessed an ac­ci­dent on the road that still haunts him.

Mr Twort, who lives on a house at the side of the A85, said: ‘ I was trav­el­ling home from Oban and wanted to pull into my property.

‘I was aware that there was a car fol­low­ing me. I am al­ways cau­tious be­cause of where my house is.

‘ The cars started climb­ing the hill past the short- cut to Dunol­lie.

‘ But I put my brakes on and I put my in­di­ca­tors on and, just at the last minute, the other driver started over­tak­ing.

‘ What re­sulted was an ac­ci­dent that closed the road for four hours. The woman was charged and pleaded guilty to driv­ing care­lessly.

‘ It is clear to any­one who uses the road that there should be a slow­ing down range as you drive into town. This ac­ci­dent could have been avoided.

‘In most places – and even in Taynuilt and Con­nel – there is a 30mph zone pre­ceded by a 40mph zone to slow traf­fic down as it is com­ing into town.

‘I have no idea why we don’t have the same thing as we come into Oban.’

The Oban Times pe­ti­tion – Stay Alive on the A85 – is on Change.org and can be found by fol­low­ing this link: https:// www. change. org/ p/ humza- yousaf-stay- alive- on- the- a85oban-to-con­nel-and- be­yond.

Within hours of start­ing the pe­ti­tion dozens of peo­ple had of­fered sup­port, adding sto­ries to the cam­paign.

To speak to a re­porter about your ex­pe­ri­ences on the A85, phone Louise Glen, Sandy Neil or David McPhee on 01631 568000 or con­tact them by email on editor@oban­times.co.uk.

Next week: how busi­ness is af­fected by road clo­sures on the A85.

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