BEAR & Transport Scotland To Take Immediate Action To Repair A83

Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell has welcomed a commitment by Transport Scotland and BEAR Scotland, its operating company for the NW Trunk Roads, to take “immediate action” to repair sections of the road that have deteriorated very badly this winter.

Mr Russell has been making representations to Transport Scotland and the Transport Minister for several weeks following a sharp increase in complaints about the road. Sections around Inveraray, near Inverniel and at Arrochar are baldly potholed and regular road users have reported a growing number of incidents of burst tyres and damage to suspension.

Mr Russell commented: “As a regular user of the road myself I too have noticed a massive increase in potholes and places where the surface appears to be breaking up. Just after new year I drove to Inveraray and was horrified at the state of the carriage way at Strone Point where major roadworks are underway. I have also noticed similar severe problems coming into Arrochar and have information and pictures from other road users elsewhere on the route.

The A83 is the main artery for much of Argyll. For some weeks I have been making strong representations to Transport Scotland and to BEAR, alongside Cllr Dougie Philand as well as keeping the Transport Minister informed.

I have now held a telephone conference with senior management at the companies and been assured of immediate action, first of all to tackle the worst of the potholes with more regular inspections and emergency follow up work for the worst incidents followed by a repair programme, replacing sections of surface where necessary. There will also be improved signage and an information campaign.

I will be holding the company to these commitments and Transport Scotland has agreed to provide me and Cllr Philand with a weekly update. I will also continue to ensure that complaints are attended to with urgency.

I am grateful to all those who have used social media and other means to draw attention to this unacceptable state of affairs and I am glad that their concerns have now been listened to. I would urge road users to continue to monitor the situation and to ensure that the promises are kept.

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Brendan O’Hara At Inveraray – RBS Parliamentary Petition

Royal Bank Of Scotland Closures

Brendan O’Hara on Facebook

I spent most of today in Inveraray talking to people and business owners about the proposed closure of the Royal Bank of Scotland, the last remaining bank in the town.
I was also there to launch a formal Parliamentary petition which will run over Christmas and the New Year and which I will present to parliament, on the floor of the House of Commons early in 2018.
I’d like to thank Donald Clark, proprietor of the George Hotel and Marian Pallister, the award winning journalist and author for being the first names on the petition.

I visited many businesses in the town and I was delighted that every single business I visited took a pile of petition forms to have on their front counters in the run up to Christmas.
Indeed such was the demand for forms that I ran out and will have to go back up to Inveraray to deliver more.
I can honestly say I have never before experienced such widespread anger in a community and I can’t blame them.

If this ridiculous closure plan happens, then Inveraray, a internationally recognised tourism hot-spot, with a least three substantial hotels, numerous cafes, bars, gift shops, quality clothing retailers and a castle, will have absolutely no banking facilities whatsoever.

I’m sure the levels of anger among the locals wasn’t help by an incredibly insensitive RBS advert in this morning’s Herald, with the slogan “it’s our job to respond to our customers’ changing lives”.
The truth is, rather than responding to their customers’ changing lives, it’s the RBS who are imposing change their customers’ lives.

As the motion I put down in Parliament yesterday says, this decision sends out all the wrong messages and undermines the work that has been and is being done by so many to help with the economic regeneration of Argyll & Bute.
And I repeat the call I made for the majority state-owned RBS to better recognise its social responsibility and stop this brutal closure programme.

I plan to be in Rothesay and Campbeltown in the near future to launch similar campaigns over the RBS decision to close the branches there too.

Brendan O'Hara, Action on RBS, Royal bank Of Scotland, Closures, Argyll and Bute