Dan­ger­ous Rest land­slides

Campbeltown Courier - - YOUR VIEWS -

Sir, I have been driv­ing over The Rest for the last 56 years and have a long and ac­cu­rate mem­ory. I have been a mem­ber for many years of the A83 Task Force. I have stren­u­ously ar­gued at these meet­ings the RABT land­slide prob­lem must be solved and money stop be­ing wasted on ‘mit­i­ga­tion mea­sures.’ Money has been wasted on widen­ing, resur­fac­ing and up­grad­ing the Old Mil­i­tary Road (OMR) with white lin­ing, nine speed bumps and pedes­trian posts on the lower stretch. The waste was far­ci­cal as this op­tion was un­avail­able. As I pre­dicted at Task Force meet­ings heavy land­slides could and will take out both routes par­tic­u­larly at the top end as the steep­est and most dan­ger­ous slopes are where the OMR is at its clos­est to the A83. These land­slides prove this ir­refutable fact. Trans­port Scot­land (TS) com­mis­sioned the Jacobs Re­port to eval­u­ate the var­i­ous op­tions and pro­vide and pro­tect the A83 in Glen Croe which is Ar­gyll’s M8. The cheap­est op­tion cre­ated a di­ver­sion route us­ing the OMR. TS jus­ti­fies this flawed de­ci­sion and has never ac­cepted any other plan and ob­structed dis­cus­sion about a per­ma­nent so­lu­tion. On the A83 Task Force I have dealt with three trans­port min­is­ters. Humza Yousaf was the only min­is­ter who ac­cepted that mit­i­ga­tion mea­sures were not the an­swer and in­sti­gated the lat­est scheme dig­ging large pits to hope­fully con­tain land­slide spoil. This still doesn’t guar­an­tee safe pas­sage. If they had adopted my sug­ges­tion made six years ago, to build a con­crete struc­ture on the line of the present dig­gings, it would have cre­ated a 600m long, 4m wide struc­ture blend­ing into the hill­side. Gates and per­ma­nent traf­fic lights could be ac­ti­vated when­ever there are ad­verse weather warn­ings and give peace of mind to trav­ellers. What is the cost of re­mov­ing de­bris, in the high nets, in one ton bags us­ing heli­copters, de­mol­ish­ing large boul­ders some­times us­ing ex­plo­sives on the un­sta­ble hill­side and the re­place­ment of ex­pen­sive se­cu­rity net­ting? This ques­tion is de­nied as com­mer­cially sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion. I was fobbed off at a Task Force meet­ing of my tun­nel sug­ges­tion as it would re­quire a 1.2km tun­nel and would cost £120m and lead to long road clo­sures dur­ing con­struc­tion. The hold­ing pits have been ex­ca­vated with­out dis­rup­tion. A tun­nel on this line would avoid dig­ging down an ex­tra 8m us­ing pre­cast con­crete roof and side pan­els and fur­ther strength­en­ing as nec­es­sary. How can a new solid sea­wall de­fence be built at Dawlish, Devon af­ter a huge storm in 2014? Two kilo­me­tres of twin main­line rail track was re­laid in eight weeks at a cost of £40m, yet there is not a per­ma­nent so­lu­tion to The Rest land­slides. I hope our new trans­port min­is­ter brings a fresh and con­struc­tive mind to the next Task

Force meet­ing. Ar­gyll de­mands a per­ma­nently pro­tected A83. Don­ald Clark, The Ge­orge Ho­tel, In­ver­aray.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.