OMR alternative ‘under investigation’

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A temporary interim alternative to the Old Military Road is under investigation to provide a diversion when the new A83 Rest and Be Thankful route is under construction, according to a council report.

In addition to the ongoing plans to fix the A83 with a proposed permanent solution at Glen Croe, Transport Scotland is also investigating creating a temporary alternative route to the Old Military Road (OMR) while the main road is being constructed.

The OMR is brought into use when the notorious stretch of the A83 is closed but any alternative to it could take up to 18 months to design, and then three to four years to construct, according to a report to go before a virtual meeting of Argyll and Bute Council on Thursday April 15.

Five main options for the new replacement route through Glen Croe are also outlined in the report, with construction on that estimated to take between seven and 10 years.

A consultation is running on those options until Friday May 28.

Council executive director Kirsty Flanagan said in the report: ‘Transport Scotland is  considering alternative interim routes to be used rather than the Old Military Road.

‘The purpose of these routes is to provide resilience and divert traffic during the construction of the permanent solution.

‘The routes being considered are within land in the ownership of Scottish Ministers.

‘It is understood that this would effectively replace the Old Military Road and would be constructed to eliminate the steep gradients and hairpin bends that exist on the upper section of the OMR.

‘It is also understood that this route is being designed to provide more resilience reducing the reliance of the diversion route.

‘Whilst the timescale is yet to be finalised, Transport Scotland are anticipating an interim route could be designed within approximately 18 months and constructed within three to four years depending on the extent of work involved.

‘Due to this being a temporary interim solution, normal trunk road design standards will not necessarily apply.’

Robin Currie, the council’s leader, Kintyre and the Islands Liberal Democrat councillor has previously called for a permanent solution to problems at the Rest and Be Thankful within the term of the next Scottish Parliament.