Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron has said that the Scottish Government must produce an action plan that will deliver a permanent solution to the ongoing problems of the A83 trunk road. He feared that otherwise, the continued uncertainty over the road would put the future of communities in Argyll and Bute at risk.
Mr Cameron spoke out after questioning Transport Minister Michael Matheson at a meeting of the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee during which Mr Matheson gave evidence about the future of the A83. The meeting took place just weeks after the latest closure of the road at the Rest and Be Thankful.
Mr Cameron said: “The public petition on the A83 is one of the longest-running petitions at Holyrood – now seven years and counting – and we are no nearer to learning what ministers consider a permanent solution might look like.
“Confidence in the future is critical for our business community and they need a reliable and credible partner in government which understands how important our transport infrastructure is. Instead, all we get is a minister saying exactly the sort of things his predecessor might have said when the petition was first lodged seven years ago. How many more years will people have to wait?
“It’s very difficult to encourage investment and address the threat of rural depopulation in Argyll and Bute while all ministers talk about are sticking-plaster solutions such as installing catch pits for falling debris and proposals for tree planting.
“Nothing the minister said will reassure local communities that we are anywhere nearer a permanent solution. “We don’t need any more reports or consultations. We need a plan, a timetable and action.”