Warning white lines for highsiders only

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New white lines at a black-spot bridge on the A85 are only for high-sided vehicles to follow – not cars or smaller vehicles.

The recent markings at Achnacloich Railway Bridge between Connel and Taynuilt are meant to help HGVs  pass through the highest point of the bridge arch and avoid  risk of collisions – but have been branded by some road-users as ‘confusing’ and ‘lethal’.

The new white lines have also been described as ‘ill-considered’ by one letter writer who said she was ‘taken by surprise’ but obediently followed them into the middle of the road as they seemed to be directing her.

But a car, coming in the opposite direction, did exactly the same thing and they had to brake quickly.

‘Terrifying for everyone’ said Annabel Wheeler from Dingwall, who until recently travelled the Oban to Dalmally road daily.

In response to concerns, Bear Scotland has put out a public explanation on how to negotiate the bridge safely, saying the new marking are up to standard and are appropriate.

The previous markings had encouraged larger vehicles towards the edge of the road where there was reduced room under the arch.

A BEAR Scotland spokesperson said: ‘In advance of the bridge there are High Vehs road markings with an arrow to encourage HGV drivers to move towards the centre of the bridge. There is no requirement for other roads users, such as private cars or smaller vehicles, to travel through the bridge in the centre of the road.’

New signs have also gone up to warn road-users of the lay-out and bridge restrictions.

Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Representative said: ‘The new road markings installed at this location on the A85 at Achnacloich Railway Bridge are crucial to ensure that HGV’s avoid striking the structure which has been an historic problem in the area.

‘We understand the concerns raised by the local community, however the new road markings follow all relevant Traffic Signs Manual Advice and are appropriate for this type of bridge. The new road markings include High Vehs text with an arrow pointing to the middle of the road in advance of the bridge.’

Mr Ross added new signs have also been fitted to  warn motorists of the restrictions at the bridge as well as electronic vehicle activated signs which will flash when motorists are approaching from either side of the structure.

‘We are also reviewing the provision of temporary road signs on the approaches to the bridge to provide further information on the new layout to road users. Our teams will continue to monitor the new layout to determine if further measures are required to help inform road users about the new road marking layout,’ he said.