Stay alive on the A85

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Following the busy Easter weekend, it is time to take stock of the sheer amount of traffic on the road.
It has been suggested that Oban is one of the busiest ferry routes in the country with business supporting the communities of many islands as well as a huge geographical area of the Scottish mainland.
When an accident happens, the first thought is concern for those involved. But very soon that turns to frustration and it can often take hours for the road to re-open, leaving people stranded in the town or outside wanting to get in.
The town can often grind to a standstill.
If there is any doubt over the health of those involved in the accident, Police Scotland always err on the side of caution. In some cases, it has taken 12 hours to clear the road.
Derek Connery, chief executive of BID4Oban, said: ‘The first point is that any serious injury or loss of life is extremely distressing for all those involved, either directly or indirectly. So the first actions have to be those that reduce the numbers of accidents in the first place as an ounce of prevention is far better than a pound of cure.
‘This can be achieved in a number of ways, including education, engineering and enforcement. However, in the unfortunate case of an accident, we must also have robust measures in place to mitigate the impact on the local population and businesses and also people trying to access the area for business or pleasure.
‘Currently, I believe in the event of a fatality or a possible fatality that the road could be closed for in excess of four hours.
‘This has a number of implications, depending, of course, on where you are in relation to the accident. At the very least this could mean a 30-mile detour or a 45-minute addition to your journey time, and quite often more.
‘Whether you look at the time delay or distance, we are considering a significant cost to local business, local population and ultimately the local economy.
‘The lack of alternative routes means that there has to be more resilience built into the planning for dealing with accidents and also how that information is cascaded down to the local people.
If there is enough warning following an accidents, you can make alternative arrangements to avoid the area perhaps rather than contribute to the congestion.’
Sign the petition below or at change.org for improved road safety on the A85.
Next week, council candidates are asked for their view on how to improve safety on the route.