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Cycle ride fight to be taken to parliament

Transport Minister Keith Brown
Transport Minister Keith Brown

Scotland’s transport minister is being urged to intervene to stop a cycling event involving 800 people “causing chaos” on one of the north’s busiest trunk roads.

Local people want the Deloitte Ride Across Britain 2014 to be cancelled because they fear it could cause serious accidents on the A82 Glasgow-Inverness route

And business leaders claim the end-to-end event would effectively bring the local economy to a halt.

The A82 Partnership has pointed out the potential problems to the organiser, Threshold Sports, and asked the company to cancel the event or reroute it along the A9 Perth-Inverness road.

However, Stewart Maclean, of the A82 Partnership, today said members had been disappointed by the response they received.

And Highlands and Islands MSP David Stewart is now going to ask Transport Minster Keith Brown for his help.

Mr Maclean said: “The organisers are digging their heels in and insisting the event will go ahead as planned.

“We’re definitely not accepting this so we’re going to have to up the ante. We’re now involving politicians in our fight.

“The organisers don’t seem to understand that the road just isn’t suitable for 800 cyclists.”

Mr Stewart said he had been contacted by Mr Maclean and Councillor Brian Murphy, who represents Fort William and Ardnamurchan, and had agreed to raise the matter with the minister.

He said: “I’m very conscious of how crucially important the road is and the number of problems there have been on the road.

“While we want to do everything we can to encourage tourism to Lochaber, we also have to be practical, so I am determined to raise this issue with the transport minister as early as possible next week.”

The cyclists are due to leave Land’s End on Saturday, September 6. They would travel up the A82 from Crianlarich to Torlundy, Fort William, on Friday, September 12 and from Torlundy to Fort Augustus the following day, arriving in John O’Groats on Sunday, September 14.

Threshold Sports commercial director, Nick Tuppen, said: “We will continue to work closely with the local police, local councils and highways department and look at all available options to minimise disruption for the local community.”

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