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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 00:14 
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Highland posterw might be interested --

upgrade A82

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Lochaber News - Stuart Taylor wrote:
Direct action threat over A82 upgrade
By Stuart Taylor - Published: 17 November, 2007

LOCHABER councillors are to meet with transport bosses in a bid to prioritise improvements on the notorious A82 trunk road.
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And one local councillor has raised the prospect of direct action to prompt an upgrade of the road – similar to earlier campaigns to upgrade the A830 Fort William to Mallaig route.

At a Highland Council joint ward forum last week, Bob Mitchell, head of trunk roads authority Scotland Transerv, was left in no doubt about the strength of opinion locally for a complete overhaul of the key route linking Fort William to Glasgow and Inverness.

Mr Mitchell outlined the £16million package of works scheduled to begin in 2008 which include a bypass for Crianlarich and the replacement of the 30-year-old "temporary" traffic lights at Pulpit Rock, Loch Lomond-side.

However, when pressed to give details on when the £74million-worth of other crucial works recommended in the A82 Route Action Plan would be implemented, Mr Mitchell was unable to give firm timescales.

He said: "There is a desire to see a certain amount of money allocated for improvements to be carried out. The road is being assessed, with four areas of concentration: accident statistics, lay-by provision, bridge assessments and bends and alignments."

Cllr Brian Murphy, chairman of the Lochaber Transport Forum, said it was "absolutely vital" for the local economy to see the whole of the A82 upgraded. The works scheduled were "just a start", said Cllr Murphy who added that the battle for a complete overhaul of the route had to be stepped up.

"I've certainly got a few ideas about how we can speed things up, and this could even include road blocks. It's how the message got across with regard to the Mallaig road," the Fort William and Ardnamurchan ward councillor said.

Asked during last week's ward forum meeting by Inverlochy & Torlundy Community Council chairman, Andy Anderson, whether the A82 was "fit for purpose", Mr Mitchell responded: "That's a difficult question for me but what I would say is that the road has probably served its purpose."

On the issue of completion of the Fort William A82 bypass or creation of a link road between the town and neighbouring Caol, Mr Mitchell said it was "impossible at the moment to say when or if funds will become available".

Cllr Michael Foxley, meanwhile, has called for a socio-economic study to of the A82 between Crianlarich and Inverness to be carried out by consultants.

It follows the recent publication of a similar report on the "cost benefit analysis" of dualling the A9 between Perth and the Highland capital, which estimated a benefit to the north of Scotland of £1billion over 30 years and the creation of 4,500 jobs.

In a letter to strategic transport agency HITRANS, Cllr Foxley says: "I think they (consultants) will find that the state of the A82 is an even more significant break upon the economy of the Highlands and Islands than is the A9.

"The A82 between Glasgow and Inverness is in a far worse condition than the A9 and is a major constraint on economic development in the West Highlands.

"The section between Tarbet to the north end of Loch Lomond is in an extremely poor condition where it is impossible for two coaches of HGVs to pass each other without one having to stop and the other to slow down.

"The section from Onich to Fort William has seen many accidents occurring annually, some of these being fatal."

Cllr Foxley adds: "Planned works for the A82 are inadequate and years distant. The south Lochaber ward councillors intend to meet soon with roads officials from both Highland Council and the trunk roads authority to carry out a detailed assessment of the A82 between Fort William and Crianlarich and to prioritise sections for improvement as retired councillor Charlie King and I did for the Mallaig road some 20 years ago."

* An economic appraisal commissioned by HITRANS in 2006 concluded that improvements on the A82 could bring 1,000 new jobs to the West Highlands and Islands over the next 20 years, together with £500million of new business investment.

s.taylor@lochaber-news.co.uk

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 12:16 
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That's a lovely drive, between Glasgow and Fort William. I did it in 2005, and wasn't aware of any problems with the road.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 13:39 
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DieselMoment wrote:
That's a lovely drive, between Glasgow and Fort William. I did it in 2005, and wasn't aware of any problems with the road.

It's a long single-carriageway road that in summer attracts heavy tourist traffic, including a high number of caravans, and sees a lot of overtaking accidents.

Also the section between Tarbet and Ardlui along the upper half of Loch Lomond is very sub-standard.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 18:21 
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I used it in Sept.2005, and must have been lucky - it was traffic free and we had the road to ourselves. You can get a decent speed up along there. No cameras that I recall.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 22:38 
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No problems -Who's turn for the opticians then .

Glasgow - Tarbet --not so long upgraded - an easy NSL road. Then you get to the tricky bit -
Tarbet to Crainlarech - narrow , windy and full of potholes due to water and HGV. It's possible to get a fast run on this , unless you get stuck behind a "brake merchant " and passing places are very limited. How can any Highways agency in this day and age class this as an A road ,when parts of it are not suitable for two cars to pass side by side .
Crainlarech - Glencoe - good road - requires a good bit of surface repair with a lot of surface breakup and loose stone , but still above NSL possibilities , apart from the width with the volume of HGV (OH and the occasional highway robber around White Corries ).
Glencoe - Fort William - no real problems - apart from surface breakup ,causing a lot of loose stones to be airborne.
Fort William -Inverness - nice fast road - to me 60 is an easy pace ( but then I was doing this 30+ years ago in a Moggie 1000 van ) .But then the older sections have a big problem with surface breakout - due to the way Highland region "repair "this road - surface dressing +tar . Great in winter --the resident water sits below the stone surface and freezes , leaving a good grip on the top .

To my mind , it's high time that this artery got the same treatment as a comparable road in England (or am I being racist ??) ---make it a DC - or at least fit for two HGV to pass on bends with no problems.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 15:40 
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Quote:
the replacement of the 30-year-old "temporary" traffic lights at Pulpit Rock, Loch Lomond-side.


Funny, I drove past those this year and commented on remembering them going up as a temporary measure.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 23:23 
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Homer wrote:
Quote:
the replacement of the 30-year-old "temporary" traffic lights at Pulpit Rock, Loch Lomond-side.


Funny, I drove past those this year and commented on remembering them going up as a temporary measure.


But then - I like some others can remember when this corner was a bit of a hit and miss affair(with no lights ) ,especially if a bus or HGV came the other way .

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 01:53 
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PeterE wrote:
It's a long single-carriageway road that in summer attracts heavy tourist traffic, including a high number of caravans, and sees a lot of overtaking accidents.


The A82 is a road I regularly drive .... between Glasgow and Fort William. Yup overtaking accidents are all too common and often very serious, I've never actually witnessed one happen, but have witnessed a few potentially dangerous overtakes, and some pretty outrageous behaviour by ppl being overtaken e.g. accelerating while being overtaken :shock: and closing up gaps to leave the dangerous overtaker with nowhere to go when it goes wrong ... lots of COAST abandoning going on by all concerned!!!

Even if the road is going to be upgraded its going to take many years and may well not be nearly enough, meanwhile these accidents will continue to happen, is it beyond our wit to come up with something to at least reduce the number and severity of accidents on this road?

Maybe specifically designed places for ppl to pull into to allow following traffic to pass?

Anybody have any better/other ideas?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 21:37 
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:gatso2: How is the road between Lochailort and Mallaig? Last time I was there in 1997, most of it was single track.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 19:53 
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CJG wrote:
:gatso2: How is the road between Lochailort and Mallaig? Last time I was there in 1997, most of it was single track.



Only the bit between Beasdale station and approx Arisaig left .Rest is single carriageway .Up Fort William way a lot now and pop up to see relarives etc in Mallaig. Lots of places I hardly recognise the road from when I first drove it - and wish some of those that remember the stretch between Glenfinnan and Lochailort could see it now ( albeit another stretch in sore need of an upgrade --but at one time for us up north a good bit of road ) --all I can remember is a bit of single track almost cart track with massive drops ---but that 50+ years ago .


To give an example - when I started work in Fort william ---getting there from Mallaig on a monday morning was about an hour drive ( less if you pushed it, 45 mins was asking for trouble )--now 45 mins (to me ,knowing the bad bits ) is a leasurly drive .

Point of interset - in the heady days of 1957 (ish) my parents headed north -to my mother's home town . Unfortunately the removal firm had little experience of Highland roads and sent a high van . Getting to the rail bridge about a mile from Glenfinnan , they found that their van was an inch too high . Credit to them - they decided that by reducing their tyre pressures they could get under it -and that bridge still stands .

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 21:32 
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Rumbly wrote:
Maybe specifically designed places for ppl to pull into to allow following traffic to pass?

Anybody have any better/other ideas?


Just come back from another trip up north ---that's being tried between Fort William and Inverness ,complete with messages on the message boards and signs,including ones (like on the A9)mentioning frustration causing accidents - trouble is that the worst offenders take little notice .Then again you've got the "scenic gourmets " - on holiday ,happy to trot along at 40 (and of course because they're doing that ,you're suppossed to do that too)
About the only idea that might work is using the unmarked police bikes to pull over the head of the Q for a chat (and advertise the fact on signs )---practical road safety -reducing frustration on the roads .


Another point - heading north from say the north of England ,M1 + M6.
Get to Newcastle with a choice of at least three decent trunk roads to Edinburgh and motorway north ,ending in the A9 - a road (least the bit of it I used ) was wide enough for two HGV to pass in opposite directions on corners.
Heading north on the west coast - m6/A874/A74(M) /M8 into Glasgow ,then DC to past Dunbarton . The next stretch to Tarbet has been upgraded to a decent width and straightened. After that ,you have to be very aware that if you're following a heavy , it is very prudent to be aware that if it meets another (or a bus ) there's going to be problems - two wide vehicles into one narrow road don't go .

And this is a major trunk route ---compare the width /surface and twistyness of this with that of the A5 --

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 Post subject: Re: A82
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 22:26 
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Think our friends in the North (Scotland) should mobilise soon as SPECS 3 and new 'speed limit powers' for Scottish Parliament do NOT bode well for drivers there... nor tourists that enjoy a free society, and the open road...

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 Post subject: Re: A82
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 23:16 
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DavidMC wrote:
Think our friends in the North (Scotland) should mobilise soon as SPECS 3 and new 'speed limit powers' for Scottish Parliament do NOT bode well for drivers there... nor tourists that enjoy a free society, and the open road...


Dave - the Parliament can vote - but in the remoteness of the north , once the speed Gestapo strike - I'd suggest that the few of these cash machines will survive - and no , I'm not part of some plot - I just come from up there , and KNOW how they think ,and will go about it . Longshanks tried to subdue the Highlanders - did he - he died trying . What makes Salmon think he's any better - he's a fish out of water in the highlands . And a few hundred years on - the spirit lives on .

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 23:29 
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CJG wrote:
:gatso2: How is the road between Lochailort and Mallaig? Last time I was there in 1997, most of it was single track.
Sadly upgraded it is no longer the 'wonderful roller coaster ride' as you try and follow the steam train !

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 21:26 
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SafeSpeedv2 wrote:
CJG wrote:
:gatso2: How is the road between Lochailort and Mallaig? Last time I was there in 1997, most of it was single track.
Sadly upgraded it is no longer the 'wonderful roller coaster ride' as you try and follow the steam train !



Glenfinnan to Lochailort is the same as it's been for the past approx 50 years . It was planned as an upgrade to the existing cart track ( and believe me that was a compliment, from my first trip over it in the 50's, as a kid going to Mallaig on holiday.)
After a lot of local shouting ( believe that a lot of support came from landowners/ bigwigs at Lochailort at county level) it was decided that ( from memory and hearsay as a kid) that it would be a nice new two lane road designed for the heady speed of 40 , but a lot of the cambers were not right ,and I know of several cars that tried waterski ing on the loch , after failing to get round some bends .
Sadly this stretch is now showing it's age -the surface is undulating and sinking in places .
Lochailort to Arisaig was completed a couple of years ago , making the complete stretch two lane .

But I wonder what will happen to the safety record now that the road is a lot better . Another sad ( well to me anyway) is modification at Arisaig . What was to locals a short cut ,has now become the main road .Once upon a time it was a useful place to lose the usual string of traffic as most of them would follow the signs ,not knowing that there was a shorter route .

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