Plan to widen A82 to 7.3 metres welcomed
TRANSPORT Minister Humza Yousaf has confirmed the width of the A82 carriageway between Tarbet and Inverarnan will be increased to 7.3 metres.
The announcement was made at the A82 summit in Crianlarich on Friday June 23.
Mr Yousaf said: ‘Upgrading this part of the trunk road will lead to improved journey times and reliability and will benefit freight carriers.’
Tranport Scotland consultants had maintained the upgrade only justified a six metre carriageway.
Brian Murphy, chairman of The A82 Partnership, said: ‘This is an excellent example of the government listening to the local community and reflecting these views in their decision-making process.’
Alasdair Ferguson, of Ferguson Transport and Shipping and a member of the A82 Partnership, said: ‘Making this stretch of road 7.3m wide is forward thinking to the benefit of all A82 road users. It will make the road fit for purpose for the economic development of the west coast of Scotland and is essential to improve safety and reliability.’
It is understood traffic orders will be issued and land acquisition negotiations will start next year. Addressing the issue of congestion in and around Fort William, the minister also agreed to work with Highland Council and Transport Scotland to commission a strategic transport assessment. This will take account of the present traffic grid lock and the impact of planned economic and housing development in and around Fort William.
A spokesperson for Lochaber community councils expressed support for the A82 upgrade and said: ‘Each community council has its own concerns about the road and we appreciate this summit cannot be a forum to discuss them all.
‘Our response to this, in the spirit of the Community Empowerment Act, 2015, is to provide the minister with letters on behalf of our individual communities.
‘These submissions detail some of the concerns and potential conflicts we are aware of and offer proposed solutions we think will address the needs of all parties and interested groups.
‘It is vital proper, ongoing consultation takes place with communities along the A82 to safeguard the livelihoods and businesses of our residents.’