Rest and Be Thankful: vital A83 route closed again amid landslip fears

Engineers have been forced to close the Rest and be Thankful again because of the threat of landslips.

The A83 route through Argyll was closed to traffic at midnight on Tuesday due to what engineers say is a forecast for increased heavy rainfall.

Diverted motorists are sent onto a single track route, the Old Military Road, which runs through the centre of Glen Croe using a convoy system.

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Earlier this month the road was out of action for over seven days due to the continuing problems, prompting calls for an inquiry to determine the cause of repairs delays.

Catch-pits are designed to prevent tonnes of debris reaching the road. Picture: BEAR Scotland
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A series of catch-pits to improve driver safety came after a landslip around 650 feet above the carriageway shut the road in August 2020.

Thousands of tonnes of debris including car-sized boulders slid onto the road after 100mm of rain hit the Argyll hills.

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A series of further closures by January, 2021 meant it was open for barely three weeks in the space of five months.

There has been criticism over money "wasted" over what is considered to be failed temporary fixes.

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Catch pits are designed to 'capture' debris material from a landslip and prevent it from reaching the road.

Two years ago officials said that it may take ten years for a permanent solution to stop landslides on the busy route.

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Scottish Government-appointed maintenance firm Bear Scotland confirmed that the diversion off the A83 was to be in place "due to the continuing high levels of rainfall, increased hillside saturation conditions and brown water observed by the Bear team in a channel to the south end of the site".

A Bear Scotland spokesman said: “We continue to have a presence on site and will be carrying out a detailed inspection of hillside conditions throughout the day.

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"An update will be issued to provide details of further traffic management arrangements."

The A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful was already operating under a traffic lights system after a series of slips forced previous closures.

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Argyll and Bute Council want a new replacement route within the life of the current Scottish Parliament.

In August, the Scottish Government announced a £25 million investment for design and development work for the route through Glen Croe.



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