THE Scottish Government is being pressured to set a date for the opening of an alternative to the damage-prone A83.

Whilst Transport Secretary Michael Matheson has committed to finding a permanent solution for the Rest and Be Thankful, ministers have been asked to provide further information on the timeline of the appraisal of 11 options.

Work has been ongoing on the route since August 4, when a large landslide blocked it after heavy rain fall in the area. The route has been dogged by adverse weather events which have forced its closing for many years.

Aileen Morton, local authority leader at Argyll and Bute Council, said: “Whilst we are relieved there is now a recognised case for investment and a commitment to move away from temporary mitigation measures, we still need construction timescales and a date for the new route.

“It is simply not enough to talk about the options and agree a consultation phase.

“For years, closure of the A83 has seriously impacted our communities.

“The early signs are encouraging but we must see swift progress maintained until the new route is fully operational.”

Matheson outlined plans to change the route to members of the community and local elected representatives at a meeting of the A83 taskforce yesterday morning.

Potential options are being considered, while a team is being established to undertake more detailed assessments and stakeholder engagement.

Matheson said: “I understand the frustration and disruption that landslips at the A83 Rest and Be Thankful bring for local communities and drivers.

“I realise people are looking for a long-term solution to dealing with landslips. I have instructed officials at Transport Scotland to accelerate our work to consider infrastructure options for the A83.”