Night closures will be ‘total chaos’, warn campaigners

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Overnight road closures near Bridge of Orchy next month will mean a 24-mile diversion for drivers travelling between Tyndrum and Glencoe, adding around an extra 40 minutes to the journey.

The planned dates also clash with the Scottish Six Days Trial around Fort William, which bring in more than 1,000 visitors to the area each year.

Campaigners say unless BEAR Scotland changes the dates for the resurfacing work, it will cause ‘total chaos’.

BEAR Scotland has apologised in advance for any disruption but said there was no option.

The proposed closures for essential resurfacing work on a stretch of the A82, about 5km from Bridge of Orchy, are scheduled to run from Sunday May 6 to Friday May 17 between 9pm and 7am.

Stewart Maclean from the A82 Partnership said: ‘I’m sending a letter asking BEAR to consider changing the dates. If they don’t, it will end in total chaos.

‘It seems surprising that they didn’t check the events calendar for the area.

‘Overall, the fact they have to close the road for this kind of work just reflects the sheer inadequacy of the A82.’

Lochaber Councillor Stewart Baxter said: ‘We have had this before with BEAR. They seem to ignore the fact we have big events in the spring and summer in Lochaber. They have tried to do roadworks slap bang in the middle of a world mountain biking championship before.

‘No-one doubts that roadworks like this are important but they need to do better with their scheduling. I’ve been criticising them about this since I became a councillor in 2012 and they are still failing to get it right.’

Councillor Baxter said he would also be asking BEAR to change the dates.

A temporary road surface during the daytime means a 30mph restriction will also be in force while the A82 works continue.

A spokesperson for BEAR said: ‘Unfortunately, due to the restricted road width within this section, we have no option but to close the road in order to ensure the safety of the workforce and members of the travelling public.’

The diversion via the A85/A828 will be signed but there is a height restriction at Connel Bridge so vehicles bigger than 4.2m will have to find a different route or they can keep going on the A82 to Tulla Cottage to wait for an escort, said a spokesperson for BEAR.

Emergency services will be able to pass through the works at all times and local access will be maintained when it is safe.