Locals fear major road works planned for the A82 in Lochaber will clash with tree-felling operations nearby and lead to double disruption for motorists.
Bear Scotland – the agency that carries out trunk road maintenance on behalf of Transport Scotland – is planning to start an eight-week project to resurface and waterproof Ballachulish Bridge on the busy Fort William to Glasgow route on October 1.
The work is scheduled to take place seven days a week from 7.30am to 5.30pm, during which times the road will be reduced to one lane with temporary traffic signals, a convoy system and a 10mph speed limit.
Stewart MacLean, of the A82 Partnership, said it was unfortunate that the scheme would coincide with tree-felling operations being carried out by Forestry Commission Scotland at Glen Righ, near Corran Ferry, which is only about four and a half miles along the A82 towards Fort William.
“The combination of these two sets of road works will double the journey time between Ballachulish and Fort William,” he said.
“We have raised our concerns with Bear Scotland and are hoping they will take our comments on board.
“It would be preferable if they did it after the October school holidays – between the October and Christmas holidays,”
A Bear Scotland spokeswoman said the refurbishment of the deck of Ballachulish Bridge would ensure its safe use for years to come.
She said: “While works are underway, we will be committed to minimising disruption to motorists as much as possible. This will involve temporary traffic lights being used to maintain single lane traffic on the bridge.
“The works are weather dependent. We are therefore eager for the works to be carried out before the winter weather begins.
“We thank the A82 Partnership for their feedback on the planned works and will take it into consideration before activity is finalised.”
The A82 Partnership is an umbrella organisation for individuals, businesses and organisations which support the upgrading of the trunk road