MSP comments on Rest and Be Thankful closure.

If we all continue to work together we will continue to get progress

Today’s (5th Jan) closure is a setback but safety has to be paramount.

None the less it is very important that local people and visitors continue to see progress with work on the A83 at the Rest & Be Thankful to guarantee continuous access. There is huge concern about the Rest as I know from my frequent discussions about it with Ministers and officials but the key message must be that Argyll is, and will remain, open for business. Anyone who gives a different impression will do damage to the area.

Last year, as a result of that the Scottish Government’s acceptance of the principle of continuous access, and because of the money already spent – over £40 million on the A83 in total so far – there were fewer closures than in previous years. But more needs to be done and I have asked for an urgent meeting of the task force to consider the latest difficulties and look at plans for more investment in practical solutions. The closure on the 30th December was on a day that produced road closures across the country in unprecedented numbers. No road is immune from weather problems in such circumstances. If we all continue to work together we will continue to get progress. That is what I am focused on.

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