MONEY has been “guaranteed” by the Scottish Government for a long-term solution to decades of landslide problems on the A83 near the Rest and Be Thankful.

And concern has been raised about some of “less than positive” national media coverage on occasions when the key trunk road is closed.

The comments were made at a recent meeting of the Scottish Government’s ‘A83 task force’, attended by three Argyll and Bute councillors - two of them representing the Lomond North ward, where the problem stretch of road, west of Arrochar, is located.

The road, on the north side of Glen Croe, has been plagued by landslides for decades, with traffic diverted via the single-track 'Old Military Road' on the opposite side of the glen during periods of poor weather - or, when conditions are particularly bad, forced to take a 60-mile diversion via Crianlarich, Tyndrum and Dalmally on journeys between central Scotland and mid Argyll or Kintyre.

An account of the task force’s latest discussions has been provided in a report to the council’s environment, development and infrastructure (EDI) committee ahead of a meeting next week.

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Transport minister Jenny Gilruth updated other members of the task force – including Lomond North ward councillors Iain Shonny Paterson and Maurice Corry – on January 25.

Members of several other organisations were also present.

It was the task force’s first meeting since the government announced its preferred option for a ‘medium term solution’ to the many years of closure of the main A83 road on the north side of Glen Croe.

That medium-term fix will involve a number of “interventions” along the existing Old Military Road (OMR) diversion route, intended to improve the resilience of the road.

The interventions include extending two-way working along the OMR by almost 1,300 metres, providing additional edge protection, widening some curves, improving culverts, and bringing in more ‘geohazard mitigation measures’, including barriers, bunds and catch fences.

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In her report on the task force’s meeting, council executive director Kirsty Flanagan said: “During the taskforce meeting, a discussion took place about the communication of the announcement for the medium-term solution, and also about some of the less than positive communications transmitted by national media groups in situations when the Rest and Be Thankful is closed.

“It was agreed by all at the meeting that endeavours would be made for more positive communications about Argyll and Bute being open for business in situations when the A83 may not be available.

“At the meeting, the council leader also raised the question of the commitment of funding for the medium term and long term solutions.

“The minister for transport confirmed that monies are guaranteed and that this is a priority project for the Scottish Government and finance will be put in place for both the medium and long term solutions.”

Ms Flanagan's report will go before members of the council's EDI committee on Thursday, March 2.

The next taskforce meeting is due to take place in June.

The planned Glen Croe route has five sub-options which are currently being explored, with an announcement on ‘preferred option proposals’ expected this spring.