Oban public slam ‘shambolic’ and ‘disgraceful’ roads

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‘Shambolic’ and ‘disgraceful’ are just two of the words used to described the road through Connel.

This section of the A85 is littered with potholes and has been referred to as a ‘farm track’.

BEAR Scotland, which is responsible for the trunk road, says resurfacing is scheduled to start in February, but it is keen to bring this forward.

In a Facebook post highlighting the issue, Bob Gibson said: ‘Connel road is like a farm track. Drivers are all over the road trying to avoid the potholes, dangerous or what.’

Aidan MacDougall said: ‘Going through Connel is like off-roading at the moment.’

Neil Munro stated: ‘Connel is a shambles cracked windscreen from stones thrown up from passing van.’

Pamela Cumming added: ‘We were visiting Taynuilt from Aberdeenshire for a week and couldn’t get over the state of the temporary surface at Connel – a disgrace.

‘Cars being damaged. Imagine if there were more motorbikes on the road with the potholes filled with water that u don’t see until you’re  in them – that could be serious accident.’

However, this isn’t the only area that has been criticised.

Charlie Jack suffered a buckled wheel after hitting a ‘six-inch deep’ pothole near Barcaldine.

Charlie said: ‘The roads are in a poor condition and they are not being sorted. I was driving and I saw what looked like a broken verge, and it was too late to avoid – there was a really big bang when I hit it.

‘And by the time I got to the road end the tire was flat. I went to the garage and they tried to put air into it, but it was too badly buckled.

‘It does not look bad, but I stopped to take a photograph and it has to be a six-inch drop – it’s like a cliff edge at the far end.’

Charlie, who drives a bus for a living, added: ‘I have never known the roads the way they are at Connel. That never used to happen – the way they break apart.’

Argyll Square, Nant Drive, Glencruitten Road, Longsdale Terrace and Dalavich were also highlighted as problem areas.

Oban Community Council chairwoman Marri Malloy said: ‘In the 32 years I’ve lived in Orchy Gardens there has never been an update [and] the road is a disgrace.

‘Also the bottom of Lonan Drive there’s a big hole – enough to drown a large animal. This has been reported for years to the council but nothing has been done. If your car went into this hole, it would cause serious damage. Time something was done about the roads in Oban.’

A spokesperson for Argyll and Bute Council said: ‘We carried out repairs to Argyll Square and other areas around Oban last week. Areas across the network which have deteriorated will be repaired as soon as possible as part of our ongoing maintenance programme.’

Speaking about the trunk roads, a spokesperson for BEAR Scotland said: ‘We’re aware of the defects on the A828 near Culcharan and A85 near Connel and have been monitoring various sections on the routes, with teams working to carry out temporary repairs to the locations. We will be working to permanently repair any defects as quickly as possible.

‘Resurfacing is programmed in February near Connel. However, we will try to bring this forward. In order to complete these resurfacing works safely, we will require a road closure.

‘We’ll need to consult with stakeholders and residents before doing so, and in the meantime we’ll keep monitoring the route. Where required we will install signs to alert and slow down motorists until these permanent repairs are completed.

‘We also constantly review our programmes of larger planned maintenance works so that, where possible, and subject to budget, resurfacing projects may be brought forward to target areas showing significant deterioration.’

Members of the public can report problems on trunk roads through Transport Scotland on 0800 028 1414, which will then pass the issue on to the appropriate contractor.