Councillor demands urgent call for solution to landslides

Argyll and Bute Councillor Douglas Philand has criticised the government for not implementing a permanent fix to landslides. Picture: PA

Argyll and Bute Councillor Douglas Philand has criticised the government for not implementing a permanent fix to landslides. Picture: PA

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A permanent solution to the landslide dangers facing drivers in Argyll needs to be found before a life is lost, a councillor has warned.

Two cars were caught up in the latest landslide, at the Rest and be Thankful section of the A83 this week, when 200 tonnes of debris fell from the rain-soaked hillside.

Argyll and Bute Councillor Douglas Philand has written to the Transport Minister expressing concern at the lack of action.

In a letter to Derek Mackay MSP, he said: “How long do we in Argyll have to continue to suffer before a permanent solution is established, or even more worryingly, a life is lost?

“I do hope you will consider the seriousness of this situation and be able to assure the residents of Argyll that you are committed to providing a permanent solution for the Rest and Be Thankful.”

The latest landslip saw the A83 closed to traffic on Wednesday, with motorists facing a 60-mile diversion until the route reopened on Thursday, after round-the-clock clearance work by Bear Scotland.

Inveraray hotelier Donald Clark criticised the Scottish Government for not implementing a permanent fix.

He said: “We in Argyll are being treated with utter contempt by officialdom and the sooner we have politicians and officials prepared to make proper decisions to deal with this long running saga, the better. Above the recent slip, and the slip of 5 December, there is a very obvious mass of material waiting to slide which netting will be unable to contain.

“The sooner the decision makers face the obvious facts and spend £3-£4 million in properly and permanently protecting this dangerous section, the better for all.”

Alan Reid, Liberal Democrat Scottish Parliamentary candidate for Argyll and Bute, said the time has come for action.

Mr Reid said: “The cheap patch-and-mend solution has clearly failed. Fortunately, nobody was killed in the two cars that got caught up in the landslide, but the next driver to get caught might not be so lucky.

“Urgent action on a permanent solution is needed now.

“When the Forth Bridge was closed, the Scottish Government rightly pulled out all the stops to get it repaired.

“In contrast, all the A83 gets is patch and mend.”

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