Transport Scotland needs to think again on their latest A82 closure plan before they damage our tourist trade at the beginning of the season.
In a consultation, published just four working days before the Easter break, they asked for opinions on a proposal to upgrade another section of the A82, in Onich, starting on 21st April. The overnight closures would be in place in the run up to the Pre 65 and Scottish Six Day Trials, when businesses across South Lochaber are already fully booked for these major events. Noisy, disruptive roadworks in the middle of the night, is not the welcome we want to give visitors.
I can’t think of a worst time for these works. Both TranServ and Transport Scotland have repeatedly been asked not to undertake major works during the main tourist season. Yet again, they seem to ignore those pleas and fail to understand the impact on local business.
This was sneaked out the weekend before Easter, giving people a matter of days to respond. There was no opportunity for the community council to meet and discuss the plans. That isn’t consulting, it’s insulting.
Everyone knows this work needs to be undertaken, but when I met with Transport Scotland before Christmas, I was told this work would not take place until the end of 2013, at the earliest. What’s the sudden hurry now?
It’s time for Transport Scotland to think again and work with local people, instead of bulldozing their opinions to one side.