LD 158 A long story .....
Having the Rest & Be Thankful still closed causes a lot of local disruption.
Accurate information about when the short local diversion via the Old Military Road is available is vital and there are a number of electronic signs in the area on both sides of the landslip.
Two however have not been working in recent months and in fact this one at Strachur has rarely worked. This week I have heard of people who assumed the wee red sign on the roadside was accurate, there being nothing on the electronic board at all, and drove all the way to the Rest to discover that they had to come all the way back to take the ferry, or drive the 60 mile longer diversion.
Many local businesses have complained and it was a topic, I understand, at the local transport forum this week. It was also raised at the A83 Task Force yesterday.
Just as there have been mixed message or none at all on the signs, so there were mixed messages , or no information, at some of those meetings but yesterday at the Task Force I was assured that they would be working today, and so it turned out as I was able to find out for myself on the way to and from Inveraray.
There is now some talk about them being replaced temporarily whilst they are re-furbished but whatever the necessary work is, I hope it wont interrupt again the free flow of vital news.
The positive thing this week on the Rest though is the fact that there is now a firm commitment to a new replacement road and the route of it should be agreed early next year. It then needs built as quickly as possible.
(There is a good feature on the Rest and its history on the BBC Website today which includes details of a slip in 1913 so it is not a new problem, and it wasn't solved by the "new" road which has become even more prone to closure as the weather changes and we get more intense bursts of rain.)