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Rest and Be Thankful: MSPs call for forestry road to be upgraded to prevent “massive” detours

A83 Rest and Be Thankful

MSPs are calling for a forestry road to be upgraded and opened up as a back-up to prevent massive diversions when bad weather forces the “lifeline” A83 Rest and Be Thankful to close.

The infamous road has been plagued by landslips and long-lasting road closures, with local campaigners calling on the Scottish Government to take urgent action on a “catastrophe waiting to happen”.

Both Donald Cameron MSP and Jackie Baillie MSP called for the upgrades during a debate on the matter in Holyrood.

‘It must be treated as an emergency’

Mr Cameron said: “This interim solution is needed if the weather is bad.

Donald Cameron MSP

“A report on upgrading the forestry road says this could be done in 10-12 weeks and it is clear to be as winter approaches something has to be done sooner rather than later.

“It must be treated as an emergency.”

The Highlands and Islands MSP adds 100,000 tonnes of debris is currently sitting above the A83, which is “very threatening” for locals who rely on the route.

Transport Secretary Graeme Dey is now offering to arrange for MSPs to visit the forestry road, but warns engineers say this will be the “biggest engineering challenge” they will face.

Transport Secretary Graeme Dey

He added Transport Scotland will also provide an update on their plans for the route at the next meeting of the A83 taskforce.

‘Absolutely committed’: SNP-Green deal will ‘not impact’ Rest and Be Thankful work

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