Astonishing Deficiency of Drive on the A82

Last Updated on: 22nd November 2023, 11:04 am

The Parliamentary Petitions Committee has accepted a joint submission from two charities, Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs (FOLLAT) and Helensburgh and District Access Trust (HADAT), in response to Transport Minister Fiona Hyslop’s written answer concerning Transport for Scotland’s (TfS) proposed A82 upgrade.

John Urquhart, Chair of HADAT and FOLLAT, said: “Fiona Hyslop’s letter is a predictable regurgitation of the position that TfS has done everything correctly. The truth is they haven’t. Her admission of the possibility of a public local enquiry is at least a step in the right direction.”

Urquhart went on to explain that consultation on the two projects has been inadequate, and that the Low Road solution for the A82 from Tarbet to Inverarnan would “destroy large areas of irreplaceable Atlantic oakwood forest and blight 8 miles of Loch Lomond’s bonny banks with tarmac, concrete, steel and roaring, polluting traffic.”

He further criticised “the lack of ambition and imagination of the public bodies involved.” Urquhart said: “It is beyond understanding how such a disastrous solution on the A82 could ever have been deemed optimal when the 1980s example of the Pass of Killiecrankie was there, plain for all to see. In those days it seems we had politicians and public servants who had a better grasp of what makes sense.”

The submission also challenges “Transport Scotland’s document” which “say[s] nothing about identifying opportunities to improve road safety and quality of life in Ardlui or Tarbet.” Urquhart said: “Had the Friends of Loch Lomond or Helensburgh and District Access Trust, and other local bodies, been consulted we could have told the consultants about this and of our long-held aspirations to extend the Three Lochs Way Great Trail to Inverarnan.”

Urquhart concluded: “We hope that the Minister for Transport will come before the Petitions Committee to respond to the points we have raised above and explain why the Government continues to support such an ill-advised, short sighted and damaging scheme. We also hope that she will accompany the Committee should it take up the option to visit to the site.”

The Parliamentary Petitions Committee has accepted a joint submission from two charities, Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs (FOLLAT) and Helensburgh and District Access Trust (HADAT), in response to Transport Minister Fiona Hyslop’s written answer concerning Transport for Scotland’s (TfS) proposed A82 upgrade.

John Urquhart, Chair of HADAT and FOLLAT, criticised the consultation process, saying it has been “woefully inadequate” and that “the lack of ambition and imagination of the public bodies involved is truly shocking.” Urquhart expressed his disbelief that the “disastrous solution” proposed for the A82 could ever have been deemed optimal.

Urquhart also challenged Transport Scotland’s document for saying “nothing about identifying opportunities to improve road safety and quality of life in Ardlui or Tarbet.” He argued that if local bodies had been consulted, “we could have told the consultants about this and of our long-held aspirations to extend the Three Lochs Way Great Trail to Inverarnan.”

The submission calls on the Minister for Transport to explain why the Government continues to support the scheme, and to accompany the Petitions Committee should it take up the option to visit the site.

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