THE A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful has been closed as a safety precaution amid forecasts of heavy rain for the next few days.

All traffic in the area is being diverted via the single-track Old Military Road under a convoy operation after the Met Office issued a yellow warning for heavy rain across western Scotland.

Intense persistent rainfall is expected to impact Argyll and Bute throughout this afternoon and overnight with up to 50mm of rain predicted in 24 hours.

BEAR Scotland, the trunk road maintenance company responsible for the route, says an assessment will take place at 8am on Friday to decide if it's safe to open the main A83 through Glen Croe.

Helensburgh Advertiser:

Construction work on strengthening the landslide mitigation measures in the area is well under way, including the development of additional catch-pits to stop any debris from the hillside reaching the road.

But workers have been stood down on safety grounds during the latest closure.

Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West representative said: “We’re putting road user safety first and diverting all traffic to use the Old Military Road from 3.30pm as a safety precaution due to tonight’s weather forecast of heavy rain showers.

“A band of heavy rain is expected to impact the area from this afternoon, with persistent rainfall expected throughout the night and into Friday morning.

“We have teams closely monitoring conditions in the area as well as the hillside above the A83, and we’ll assess the situation tomorrow morning with a view to re-opening the trunk road as quickly as possible if conditions permit and it is safe to do so.

Helensburgh Advertiser:

“As ever, we thank all road users and the local community for their patience in advance while we continue with our work to address the Rest and Be Thankful.”

The latest closure comes a day after transport minister Graeme Dey admitted to MSPs that the threat of further landslides at the Rest and Be Thankful is “scary”.

It was recently revealed that £8.5 million has been spent on temporary fixes on the route over the last five years, with a further £3.5m set aside for further catch pits.

A new road close to the current A83 has been identified as the Scottish Government's favoured permanent solution to decades of landslide problems - but it is a long-term fix which could take seven to ten years to complete after being approved.

And that choice has now led to five new options being put on the table for the new Glen Croe route, some of which include tunnels up to 1.8 miles long.

Real time journey information is available from Traffic Scotland on, twitter at @trafficscotland and the mobile site