THE A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful is to undergo a trial of 24-hour operation over the next two days to consider if the route can remain open safely overnight on a long-term basis.

Starting today (Monday), all traffic will remain on the A83 overnight with teams carefully monitoring the hillside and weather conditions in the area. 

The two-day trial will allow teams to deploy convoy operation on the A83 overnight to identify and address any issues in the planning for longer term night-time use of the trunk road.

The Old Military Road (OMR) will remain on standby as a local diversion route throughout the two-day trial, with teams ready to implement use of the route should weather conditions deteriorate.

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Teams have been working 24/7 on a programme of mitigation measures above and below the A83 to enhance landslip resilience in the area, including installing a new debris fence across the steep channel formed by landslips last year, strengthening existing debris fences on the route and enhancing the drainage in the area to control and manage any excess water flows.

The A83 has been open during the daytime when weather conditions have allowed since January 8, with motorists using the OMR as a local diversion route overnight as a safety precaution.

Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s north west representative, said: “The two-day trial of running the A83 24-hours a day will allow us to identify any issues associated with operating the route at all hours for road users, and will enable us to optimise the convoy operation, shift patterns and overnight monitoring practices for the coming period.

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“The Old Military Road local diversion route through the centre of the glen will remain on standby and we’ll have teams ready to implement the route quickly should conditions in the area or on the hillside begin to change.

“While we’re hopeful we can safely move to 24-hour operation of the A83, we must underline that if there is wet weather forecast or a weather warning – particularly overnight – which we think could impact the hillside then we will look to use the OMR as before.

"Road user safety remains of paramount importance and we will only operate the A83 if we are content that it is safe to do so.

“As ever we thank road users and the local community for their patience while we do everything we can to address the ongoing issues at the Rest.”

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