SCOTTISH Government bosses have reaffirmed their commitment to upgrading a major road which has been subject to decades of landslide problems.

The A83 provides crucial transport links for Argyll communities, but at the Rest and Be Thankful – the road's highest point – ongoing landslides have frequently caused the road to close.

The Scottish Government announced in June that a long-term solution to the landslide problem would be to build a debris shelter over the stretch of the trunk road at Glen Croe.

READ MORE: Rest and Be Thankful – Resident concerns of A83 solution

At a meeting of Argyll and Bute Council’s Helensburgh and Lomond community planning group on August 22, attendees heard that the debris shelter remained the government's preferred long-term solution to the problem.

Gordon Ramsay, a chartered civil engineer with Transport Scotland, said: “This is a priority for the Scottish Government. They are committed to a solution and it is recognised that the A83 provides a key route.

“We are working to progress this scheme as quickly as we are able to.”

The National: The road is now down to single file traffic while the works are carried out

Attendees were told that upgrading the Old Military Road on the opposite side of the glen – currently used as a diversionary route whenever the main road is closed – is not a viable long-term solution.

Iain Adams, associate director for highways with WSP, said at the meeting: “We looked at the Old Military Road and it is doing its function, but it is not a trunk road, and nor is it anywhere close to being one.

“We do not think it is right for a permanent, sustainable and resilient trunk road.”

LibDem councillor Paul Kennedy raised concerns at the meeting about how the debris would be cleared from the roof of the shelter once it was constructed, and how it would be disposed of.

READ MORE: Murray Foote named new SNP chief executive

Kennedy asked: “Once the roof is constructed, there will be an accumulation of debris behind the walls.

“Does this mean that once that is finished, it will have to be removed, and where will it be removed to?”

Adams told the meeting that the government was “considering” where the debris would be removed to.

He said: “The catch point is actually accessible from the roof, so that when it needs to be cleared, the road can continue to function.

“Material will be removed, but it will be done in a way that keeps the road user safe. In terms of where it goes, that is something we are considering.

“There will be some material that cannot be stored and needs to be cleaned out. It is very much an evolving piece of work.”