A notorious accident blackspot on the A83 trunk road in South Knapdale is scheduled to benefit from special safety measures in coming months, according to the route’s management and maintenance contractor Scotland TranServ.
The bend, at Uamh Ba’rr Challtuin, between Ardrishaig and Tarbert Loch Fyne, lies a mile north of the entrance drive of Stonefield Castle Hotel. Recent years have seen a series of road accidents at the location, with the majority of incidents involving cars leaving the east side of the carriageway before descending a steep embankment.
In December, Sergeant David Ferguson from Lochgilphead Police Office said: “We’re aware of a number of vehicles having left the road at the bend in question in recent months, and we’re in discussion with Scotland TranServ with a view to seeking a solution. We’re very conscious of the fact that many of the drivers using this road are local people, and we ask that they drive with care”.
Later, a spokesman for Scotland TranServ explained: “The area in question falls within the area of the A83 Route Accident Reduction Plan Phase 3. The bends in the area have been assessed against nationally-used criteria and will be signed with yellow-backed warning signs, “SLOW” road markings, yellow-backed chevrons and new verge markers”.
He continued: “High friction surfacing will be applied at the bend in question when the weather is more conducive to such work. The application is highly weather dependent and can only be applied in dry weather conditions”.
The accident hotspot hit local headlines last month after a car containing a woman and three children left the road and narrowly avoided striking a second car which, following an earlier accident, remained abandoned at the foot of the embankment.
The A83 has trunk road status between Tarbet on Loch Lomondside and Kennacraig on West Loch Tarbert. It carries traffic to and from the Kintyre Peninsula, including vehicles using the area’s ferry terminals. The latter are situated at Claonaig, Kennacraig, Tayinloan, and Campbeltown, and serve the islands of Arran, Islay, and Gigha, and the Antrim coast of Northern Ireland, respectively.
Since early December, the Argyll First group of Argyll & Bute Council members has been pressing for numerous improvements to the A83’s management and maintenance, including upgrading the route’s Kennacraig – Campbeltown section to trunk road status. The group has set up an e-petition and intends to use this, in tandem with hard-copy petition sheets in local shops and businesses, to bring the cause to the attention of the Scottish Parliament.