Road users have their say on A85

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

THE re­sponse to The Oban

Times’ Stay Alive on the A85 cam­paign has started to build a body of ev­i­dence about ac­ci­dents and near misses on the road.

This week we hear from read­ers, along­side launch­ing aerial video footage of the sec­tion of road to­gether with a com­men­tary writ­ten by an in­struc­tor in crash scene man­age­ment.

Tourist Yves Loisel, from France, who heard about the on-go­ing Oban Times cam­paign told of his con­cerns, say­ing: ‘On hol­i­day in Scot­land last June for a cou­ple of weeks, I can wit­ness that Scottish roads are nar­row, wind­ing and rather bumpy.

‘Driv­ers must be very care­ful and look both at the road ahead of them and at other cars rather than at the beau­ti­ful scenery around them.

‘Un­for­tu­nately, I no­ticed that too many peo­ple drove far too fast for the kind of roads the coun­try has. It is true of the A85 and also of many other small roads which would badly need re­pair­ing prop­erly.’

And road watcher Stephen Jones, from Oban, said: ‘I was hit on the arm by a slow mov­ing ve­hi­cle near the Bealach-anRigh. It is the sec­ond time this has hap­pened near the A85.

‘Both driv­ers were el­derly and go­ing slow but please be vig­i­lant – the A85 from Oban to Con­nel has had many se­ri­ous ac­ci­dents in the past and a tragedy is wait­ing to hap­pen.

‘There is a nar­row path which is now a foot wider and more easy to walk two abreast, more safe to walk on. Jog­gers should al­ways run to­wards the di­rec­tion of the on­com­ing traf­fic so they have a chance of avoid­ing an ac­ci­dent if pos­si­ble.

‘The road is very scenic but there are many pot­holes and some of the storm drains are blocked caus­ing an ex­cess of rain water onto the car­riage-way.

‘In some ar­eas, a haz­ard to ve­hi­cles trav­el­ling at speed, some verges and paths are un­der a state of slight sub­si­dence, em­bank­ments are steep and un­guarded by safety bar­ri­ers in some ar­eas. Speed is a great fac­tor in all ac­ci­dents.

‘More sig­nage is re­quired, and a speed re­duc­tion along with double white lines.

‘I keep see­ing driv­ers us­ing their mo­biles and on-board com­puter di­aries while driv­ing, a dis­trac­tion on such a road that has had so many ac­ci­dents.

‘I, when driv­ing to­wards Con­nel at Pen­ny­fuir, had to mount the path to avoid a head on col­li­sion with a ve­hi­cle that was over­tak­ing a HGV. I just man­aged to avoid and brake be­fore miss­ing a wo­man and small child in a pram. On av­er­age there is a fa­tal­ity ev­ery year and many are in­jured. There are, they say, many hun­dred of nuts that hold a ve­hi­cle to­gether, but the big­gest one holds onto the steer­ing wheel.

‘A tragedy is wait­ing to hap­pen. Don’t let it be you.’

Next week: the woes of those who have found them­selves wait­ing up to 15 min­utes be­fore they are able to turn on to the A85.

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