‘Amateurish’ roadworks signs could hit trade

One of the signs

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Concerns have been raised about a string of ‘road closed’ signs along the A828 warning of overnight roadworks happening miles away.

The works – which started this week and will last until September 17 – are taking place at different sections north of Appin to Ballachulish between 8pm and 5am, with no works on Friday or Saturday nights.

Yet signs appeared as far back as the turn off for Connel Bridge near The Oyster Inn.

The signs placed on the approach to Connel Bridge at the start of the A828

It sparked complaints that some signs are too ‘premature, amateurish and unspecific’.

There are fears confused drivers may just turn round and not venture further – hitting businesses which are open and trying to recover from lockdown.

The route is home to a number of roadside pubs, restaurants and businesses. Port Appin also provides access to the Lismore passenger ferry.

BEAR Scotland is overseeing the major improvement project on behalf of the Scottish Government and has agreed to act.

It pointed out that it is ‘required’ to ensure that all traffic using the A828 as a through-route were aware of the road closure and to follow the diversion accordingly.

A spokesperson for BEAR Scotland said: ‘Following some concerns from local businesses our teams have arranged for additional road signs to help explain that the road closure is after Creagan when the project resumes overnight from Sunday.

‘We will continue to work with the local community and do all we can to assist them while our teams work to complete the ongoing £595,000 surfacing project on the A828.’

Unspecific – the road closed signs near the Lochnell Arms Hotel

A number of councillors were alerted to the issue, including Roddy McCuish, who accepted that BEAR Scotland needed to provide motorists with advanced warnings.

However, he said: ‘I feel signs at Connel Bridge are premature and a wee bit too soon and it does discourage people from travelling down that road.

‘I fully understand BEAR’s policies of getting people to divert but there are several fragile businesses on the road up to Appin and Duror and would advocate, perhaps, a sign at the Creagan Bridge would be the best way forward.’

In total, the works encompass a three kilometre (1.8-mile) stretch and are designed to create ‘smoother and safer journeys’.

The programme of works: