Election hopefuls back A85 campaign
THE Stay Alive on the A85 campaign is really taking off and this week we hear what council election candidates think of the problem.
It was community councillor Sean MacIntyre who kicked off the first petition to raise the profile of the dangers of the road.
Mr MacIntyre said: ‘The 30mph speed limit should be stretched as far as the cemetery. And from there to Dunbeg, double white lines and a reduction in speed from 60mph, as this section of road is used more since the cycle track was opened.’
The cycle track runs between Ganavan Sands and Dunbeg, which directs cyclists onto the main road in both directions.
Mr MacIntyre worked on the initial campaign alongside Julie McKenzie, who is committed to making the road safer. Allan McKie, who supports
The Oban Times campaign, said: ‘ We should be seriously considering average-speed cameras and reducing the speed limit on this stretch to 50mph. Being proactive will save lives; being reactive won’t.’
William Mohieddeen, said: ‘I am very happy to support The
Oban Times campaign to make the journey between Connel and Oban a safer one.
‘I back the campaign demands for traffic- calming measures, and would particularly like to see commitments made to encourage active transport – walking and cycling – by installing a safe path throughout the Connel- Oban route.’
Kieron Green said: ‘I have previously raised with Transport Scotland my wish for a 40mph speed limit from Oban to beyond Pennyfuir cemetery, and highlighted the importance of buses being able to stop there.
‘I also feel double white lines preventing dangerous overtaking from Oban to Dunbeg, and an off-road link completing the national cycle route between Oban and Connel would improve safety.’
Brian Burnett said: ‘I would like to see the following improvements: speed limited to 50mph and enforced by average-speed cameras, double white lines to prevent overtaking, improved junction at Dunbeg and a bus lay-bys where appropriate.’
Andrew Vennard said: ‘It would be useful for a report to be commissioned in relation to the whole of the road to identify the best way of reducing accidents, as well as identifying the costs.
‘Since the A85 is a trunk road, and since any works will require the approval of Transport Scotland, it would be very difficult for me to suggest my own personal choice improvements, and so the next steps would be to work with Transport Scotland to agree a suitable set of measures.’
Breege Smyth commented: ‘I have pledged support for this campaign because there have been too many deaths on this stretch. Something has to be done. Bad driving contributes and speed is a factor but is there more?
‘I would like to know what effect the anti-skid surface has had. A reduction in speed would result in fewer fatalities. I would welcome a speed restriction and average-speed cameras.’
David Pollard said: ‘I agree that it is important to improve safety on the A85. The main problems are excessive speed and dangerous overtaking.
I suggest installing a roundabout or traffic lights at the Dunbeg junction, speed cameras between Oban and Connel, and smoothing out some of the more dangerous bends on the road.’
Neil Mackay said: ‘Stop, look, listen. We have waited long enough for these words to be put into practice. The A85 authority need to stop as soon as possible, look very carefully at the dreadful statistics of this road and listen to those who live with the statistics, hear the sounds of emergency services and dread what it could mean.’ Mary-Jean Devon said: ‘I have always found different times of the year to have specific issues. I also think young people should be cautious when driving on any road.
‘Too many lives are lost to poor driving on roads that in some places require major investment.’
Jim Lynch said: ‘The reduction in the speed limit to 40mph and the introduction of double white lines would go some way to improving the situation. However, drivers’ behaviour also needs to change. I would like additional signs alerting drivers to the dangers of speeding and overtaking.
‘I have urged my campaigners to support the petitition via change.org.’
Jamie McGrigor added: ‘The A85 has many blackspots. More warnings are needed of the potential hazards of which many tourists may be unaware. The modern signs which flash are very effective and more should be installed. The section between Connel and Oban has tight turns and is often too narrow. It needs to be widened and straightened with more warning signs.’
Elaine Robertson added: ‘I have spoken to Transport Scotland about safety on the A85, with particular regard to the Oban/ Dunbeg section. We urgently need double white lines and preferably a 40mph restriction.
‘We also need improvements to safety at the Dunbeg junction, perhaps lights and definitely a roundabout.’
All 18 candidates were contacted for a comment.
Thanks to everyone who has contacted The Oban Times campaign team to discuss the concerns about the A85.
Next week, we will have some insight into the road itself and will begin to share some of the hundreds of comments we have received.
Danger: a car overtakes an Oban Times staff member just before a blind bend coming out of Connel. To watch our video visit The Oban Times website at www.theobantimes.co.uk