An extra £3million has been announced to deal with landslides at the Rest and Be Thankful in Argyll.
The Scottish Government investment will be added to the £9million that has already been spent around the Rest and Be Thankful in recent years to improve resilience and to help keep local communities connected in the event of landslides.
The hill pass on the A83 Tarbet to Campbeltown road has been blighted by landslides for seven years.
An emergency diversion route along the Old Military Road at the Rest has been opened to save traffic from having to make a 60-mile diversion when there has been a slide.
Transport Minister Derek Mackay made the announcement about the new funding today(wed) at the latest meeting of the A83 Task Force in Arrochar during an update on how work on the A83 Route Study is progressing.
The extra money will be used to take forward landslide mitigation work in Glen Kinglas and at Strone Point corner.
Mr Mackay said: “The Scottish Government is firmly committed to mitigating the effects on landslides on the A83 and this further investment will allow us to take forward more work at the Rest and Be Thankful and at other areas prone to landslides.
“This is a vital route for communities in Argyll. We know how important it is that the road stays in operation to allow people to go about their daily lives and to allow the transfer of goods and services throughout the area.
“The most recent landslide events have shown us that we can keep Argyll open for business. The netting at the Rest and Be Thankful has prevented thousands of tonnes of rubble reaching the road and this has kept disruption to a minimum. The Old Military Road Diversion Route has shown it’s worth and brought time savings for the drivers who have made use of it.”
Argyll and Bute Council’s depute leader Councillor Ellen Morton, attended the meeting and said afterwards: “The council warmly welcomes this additional investment from the Scottish Government and their continuing commitment to ensuring Argyll and Bute remains open for business.
“Hopefully this additional work will further mitigate against the effects of landslips, however, netting works on the hillside remain a temporary measure. Although the Old Military Road has worked well during recent incidents, carrying thousands of motorists in and out, we still need to explore options which guarantee continuity of access.
“It is only the Scottish Government that can provide the answer.”
Councillor Douglas Philand of the Argyll First group in the council has suggested building a tunnel through the hillside to provide a permanent solution to the road closures.