Motorists in Lochaber face lengthy delays on the commute to work at the start of the tourist season after construction works to improve a sea wall got underway this week.
Commuters claim journeys that would have taken ten minutes last week on the A82 between the south of Fort William and the town centre are lengthened by half an hour in rush hour traffic.
Road contractor BEAR said the works were essential to stabilise the road – and would last for six weeks.
One lorry driver, James MacLennan, said more than two hours were lost to his company in one day while he waited for the lights to change.
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Mr MacLennan said: “On the first day of the works on Monday, I was hauling logs from the south of Fort William to the woodmill to the north of Fort William.
“It was a short haul, but because I had to come through the road works every time, it added two hours of waiting in traffic onto my day. For me it is a nightmare.”
Robert MacNaughton, a delivery driver, said his job was being made “impossible” by the works. He said: “I only get paid a small amount for every package I deliver between here in Fort William and Oban. The roadworks are making my job impossible because I am stuck for seven or eight times a day.”
Another road user, Brianna Hamilton, who works at one of the hotels on the A82, said: “It should take me eight minutes to get to work at the hotel. But yesterday I left my boyfriend’s house in Upper Achintore at 8.45am, and I got to work at 9.38am.
“Why on earth did anyone think it was a good idea to undertake the works in April, and when the tourist season has started?”
A spokeswoman for BEAR said it had consulted with business owners and members of the public prior to scheduling the six week-long works.
Eddie Ross, for BEAR Scotland, added: “The £465,000 coastal defence project for the A82 at Achintore Road in Fort William will help ensure this section of the route is protected and strengthened against the coastal erosion for years to come.
“Our teams will do everything possible to ensure disruption is minimised during the project including manually operating the traffic signals and working to ensure traffic management can be removed over Easter Weekend and ahead of the Fort William Six Day Trails Event in mid-May.”