Busy trunk road to re­main shut as Storm Callum drenches west coast

The Scotsman - - News Digest - By MAR­TYN MCLAUGH­LIN

The A83 at the Rest and Be Thank­ful in Ar­gyll and Bute – one of the main ar­ter­ies for swathes of Scot­land’s west coast – will re­main closed this week­end af­ter heavy rain­fall caused fresh land­slips.

The ex­treme weather con­di­tions caused by Storm Callum meant around 300 tonnes of de­bris reached the thor­ough­fare.

A fur­ther 50 tonnes had also blocked the nearby Old Mil­i­tary Road, ac­cord­ing to Bear Scot­land, the trunk road main­te­nance firm.

Both roads have been closed since Tues­day, forc­ing mo­torists to make a di­ver­sion of nearly 60 miles, but trans­port sec­re­tary Michael Mathe­son said a “safety first” ap­proach was para­mount.

He said: “The land­slides at the Rest and Be Thank­ful this week have been some of the most chal­leng­ing in re­cent mem­ory, both for the com­mu­nityand­for­theteamswork­ing in dif­fi­cult con­di­tions.

“I saw for my­self this morn­ing the size of the chal­lenge, with sec­ondary slips com­pli­cat­ing mat­ters and de­lay­ing use of the Old Mil­i­tary Road di­ver­sion route.

“It is a dy­namic sit­u­a­tion on the hill­side.

“There are warn­ings of fur­ther heavy rain and while ev­ery ef­fort is be­ing made to get traf­fic mov­ing, to­day’s events re­in­force the need for a safe­ty­first ap­proach.

Else­where, Storm Callum con­tin­ued to cause dis­rup­tion across the road, rail and ferry net­work as rain and heavy winds bat­tered much of western Scot­land.

A spokesman for Glas­gow Air­port said five out­bound flights and five ar­rivals – all of which were on do­mes­tic routes – were can­celled yes­ter­day.

Sev­eral Cale­do­nian Macbrayne ser­vices were can­celled, in­clud­ing cross­ings from Oban to Castle­bay, and Mal­laig to Ar­madale, while train ser­vices be­tween Kil­win­ning and Largs and Ar­drossan were sus­pended due to waves

“I saw for my­self this morn­ing the size of the chal­lenge, with sec­ondary slips com­pli­cat­ing mat­ters”

Wind­surfers make the most of the stormy con­di­tion sat Barassie Beach at Troon in South Ayr­shire

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