Stay Alive on A85
THE Oban Times campaign to improve safety on the A85 moves up a gear with the delivery of thousands of new car stickers.
DUNBEG residents are inviting the roads authority and transport minister to review the safety of the A85 junction, before any more of the Dunbeg Corridor Masterplan’s 600 houses are built, writes Sandy Neil.
Dunbeg community councillor Marion Power said on Monday this week that she has written to Transport Scotland’s (TS) chief executive requesting it conduct a new review. ‘We have been told TS stated the village is able to take up to 300 more cars daily,’ she wrote. ‘We dispute that.’
The village, she added, at Monday’s meeting of the village’s community council, had seen ‘lots of changes’ since the last TS review she could find in 2012.
‘Already there have been 82 new houses built (75 from Link), a science centre, a nursery and a café. At peak times the traffic entering and leaving this village is heavily congested.
‘We have been told that Traffic Scotland has no reported incidents/accidents on this stretch of the A85. We would also dispute this. The village was informed there was to be a roundabout built nearer to the Halfway House garage with a new road leading into the new houses. That has not happened. We would like to see the [60mph] speed limit reviewed.’
When they received no response, Councillor Elaine Robertson sent a second letter, on behalf of the ward’s councillors, to say they were also ‘extremely concerned’ about the junction’s safety.
She told Monday’s CC meeting: ‘We are totally committed to working with you to get that junction improved. That junction has to be looked at.’
Monday’s meeting discussed local reaction to last month’s council information event on plans to upgrade Kirk Road.
Ms Power, who beforehand had submitted a door-to-door survey of residents’ views, noted the low turn-out.
She said: ‘People feel they are not being listened to. It was a protest not being there. I took down exactly what people said. They cherrypicked what they gave us, and that is not acceptable.’
Community councillor Bill Harvey added: ‘I was not impressed when I was told we would not get a roundabout. We have been at this for five years ... five years of going to meetings. A survey was done by the community council and nobody seems to be listening.
‘People are getting very, very angry. Somebody is going to get killed. They have lost confidence in Argyll and Bute Council, Link Group and Transport Scotland.’
Mr Harvey plans to urge Scotland’s transport minister to not allocate any funding, and villagers ‘to resist any more development’, until ‘proper infra- structure is put in place’.
Transport spokesman Councillor Roddy McCuish said council planners hope, if their funding application to the Scottish Government is successful, to begin upgrading Kirk Road this winter.
‘They reckon it will not be until October that the planning application for houses goes in,’ he added. ‘The road is closer to getting done than the houses.’
Councillor McCuish also advised setting up a liaison group to help reduce the ‘distrust in this room’, and agreed to write to the transport minister, Humza Yousaf, and TS for a meeting on the A85 junction. ‘With the RET, the road is much busier,’ he said.
Councillor Robertson, as convener of the local area committee, agreed to invite all interested parties, including Link Housing Association, the police and council planners, into one room for a public question and answer session.