Stay Alive on A85

The Oban Times - - Front Page -

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.

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