U-turn on planned A828 road closures after public outcry

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A U-turn on a planned road closures has been hailed as a victory for people power.

Numerous residents, backed by The Oban Times, had angrily opposed BEAR Scotland’s plans to close the A828 between Connel and Ballachulish for 1o full daytime sessions this month to carry out roadworks.

Now the level of public outcry has forced the national roads agency to abandon its proposals and instead keep the road open during the works.

The organisation said in a press release on Tuesday: ‘BEAR Scotland has revised a programme of improvements for the A828 following feedback from a public consultation into proposals.

‘The programme of work, worth over £270,000, will allow for four road improvement projects to be completed on the A828, totalling to just over a kilometre of the route, without closing the road.

‘The upgrades will target areas of the road in need of repair and will create a smoother and safer journey for motorists.

‘The new programme will be carried out from Monday September 18 over six days at different sections of the route. The road will remain open throughout the improvements. However, a 10mph convoy system will remain in place for light vehicles only to ensure the safety of roadworkers as well as motorists.

‘HGV diversions via the A82 and A85 will be in place during the day, and further notification has been carried out with the Road Haulage Association and hauliers to inform them of the plans. No working will take place at the weekends to further limit disruption.’

BEAR Scotland added: ‘The six-day programme of work is a reduced version of a larger A828 improvement project which was consulted on earlier in August. The public consultation, which involved a postal campaign to over 2,000 addresses, invited community feedback on proposals to carry out over £700,000 of improvements across 14 different schemes on the A828 trunk road.

‘The original plans required up to 10 daytime closures of sections of the road. After reviewing all feedback from more than 100 responses, a new reduced programme of improvements has been prepared which will see four of the original 14 projects carried out, with a further six projects to be phased throughout the remainder of the current financial year.

‘The four larger resurfacing schemes requiring road closures have been postponed and with the aim of reprogramming under multiple night-time road closures in the future.’