/ A82

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Alex Slipchuk on 03 Feb 2013
http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-21243893


Thank goodness I can save time by not having to cut steps. I wonder how some of the businesses along this route will be effected.
Jamie B - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to The Big Man:

0.5km of new road. Haud me back.

In the context of the woeful shortcomings of the entire West coast artery, this is like applying an elastoplast to a burst dam.
Cuthbert on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Jamie B:

Yep you are right. Until there is more money it wont change. It's been neglected for decades.
Wee Davie - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to The Big Man:

£9.2m? Seems unrealistically cheap for a project of this difficulty. Sounds like they're going to build out onto the Loch?
AlH - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to Jamie B)
>
> Yep you are right. Until there is more money it wont change. It's been neglected for decades.

You're spot on there... wonder if it would have been as neglected if it lead to Edinburgh? Or am I a cynic?
Milesy - on 03 Feb 2013
How much business is lost in the summer by people who avoid the road? I always head up past Killin to Crianlarich to avoid that road.
Jim C - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Milesy:

Speaking as someone living South of the Pulpit Rock,(I live near Balloch) the only easy way around this is if you have access to two cars, and a speed boat. Park at Inveruglass and leave a second car at Ardlui and you are off and away. (Unfortunately , I have neither)

Unless there is another flaw in my already failed plan that I have missed ?
Alex Slipchuk on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Jim C: shame bullseye is no longer on the telly. The only chance I'd ever have of a speedboat, non dartplayer of course ;)
Milesy - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Jim C:

For anyone in the Glasgow area going up past callander is quicker in the summer for crianlarich onwards. I have timed it on a few occasions.
drmarten on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Milesy:
I live south of Glasgow and go up via the M77/M8 'switchback' junction just before Kingston Bridge. It takes longer via Stirling/Callendar, I've timed it as well.
tallpaulselfridge - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to The Big Man: so. If I was heading from Glasgow to get to say Oban or Campbeltown and the road was closed, and it was a typical day of the week and the Rest was shut, my only option would be the lengthy detour round Callander and up and round. Bravo to the folk who decided to 'fix' both these vital arteries at the same time. Bravo!
Milesy - on 03 Feb 2013
I am slightly east at Airdrie, and I can get up past callander 30 minutes quicker. In the summer when it is nose to tail. Particulatly in the evening coming home again when it is busy all the way from the drovers to duckbay marina.
Cuthbert on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to AlH:
> (In reply to Saor Alba)
> [...]
>
> You're spot on there... wonder if it would have been as neglected if it lead to Edinburgh? Or am I a cynic?

It's way bigger than that. There are plenty of other shocking roads near Edinburgh. This is about £100s of millions wasted on Trident, wars abroad and so on.
Douglas Griffin - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Milesy:

I was brought up in Airdrie and when I started going to the hills I still lived there. When heading for Crianlarich I always used to go via Callander - definitely quicker, as you say.

Not sure whether there'd be much in it if your starting point was Glasgow - depends on the traffic, I guess.
MG - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Douglas Griffin:
> (In reply to Milesy)
>
> I was brought up in Airdrie and when I started going to the hills I still lived there. When heading for Crianlarich I always used to go via Callander - definitely quicker, as you say.
>
The windy bit from Callander to Lochearnhead is also great fun! Or frustrating depending on traffic.
Douglas Griffin - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to MG:

A stop for a pie from the wee van at Lochearnhead was also part of the fun. :-)
Joak - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Douglas Griffin:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> A stop for a pie from the wee van at Lochearnhead was also part of the fun. :-)

A stop from the wee van, 3 speeding penalty points is also a regular part of the Lochearnhead experience for the unwary!
Fat Bumbly2 - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to AlH: "wonder if it would have been as neglected if it lead to Edinburgh?"

Welcome to the A7.
awwritetroops on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

For those with a heavy right foot, travelled at the right time of night it's the best road in Scotland.
Kevin Woods - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to awwritetroops:
> (In reply to Saor Alba)
>
> For those with a heavy right foot, travelled at the right time of night it's the best road in Scotland.

And I know what you mean! Done this many times, love it. I despise driving it with traffic on the road, but it's great when it's empty.
m dunn - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to The Big Man: there is an underused and unpromoted railway line just up the hill. Big traffic onto it solves the problem.
Kevin Woods - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to m dunn: You might be thinking of the Glen Ogle Railway? The Loch Lomond-side railway is most definitely in use.
Nic DW - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Joak:

> A stop from the wee van, 3 speeding penalty points is also a regular part of the Lochearnhead experience for the unwary!

A second to that! I got away with it 'cos the guy failed to clock me properly but didn't stop him giving me a lecture by the roadside for 40 mins!

Glad to see a small step in the right direction for fixing up the A82. But it needs to be effectively rebuilt all the way from Tarbet-Inveranan. It's a shocking state for a road of its stature, and should be a much higher priority then dueling the A9 IMO.

If it has to close to fix it then well worth it in the long run! Its shamefull as the main link from Glasgow to the west highlands. Fed up of naff excuses about difficult geology. Cant imagine the Spanyards or the Italians having a problem.

Whoever mentioned the railway I'm afraid thats even worse. A very picturesque journey if you've got all day but otherwise slow, unreliable and infrequent. Glasgow to Mallaig takes significantly longer then Glasgow-Euston.
Kevin Woods - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Nic DW:
> (In reply to Joak)

>
> Whoever mentioned the railway I'm afraid thats even worse. A very picturesque journey if you've got all day but otherwise slow, unreliable and infrequent. Glasgow to Mallaig takes significantly longer then Glasgow-Euston.

Aye. Expensive, infrequent and slow. Been there got the t-shirt.
m dunn - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Kevin Woods: eh? That's why it would be ideal for big traffic - like artics, buses etc.
Nigel Thomson - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to The Big Man)
>
> 0.5km of new road. Haud me back.
>
> In the context of the woeful shortcomings of the entire West coast artery, this is like applying an elastoplast to a burst dam.

Or farting against thunder!
m dunn - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Kevin Woods:
Heavy goods ain't interested in the view.
Infrequent? If you look you'll see I said underused.
Slow? Possibly; but for most heavy haulage, speed's not crucial and for bus tourists could be much more picturesque than the road. Note I said could be. It isn't, as Scotrail are clueless in terms of promoting their own product and have allowed scrub to grow alongside the track ruining the train as a viewing platform.

I guess what I,m saying is that the railway could be ideal for both types of traffic that clog up the lochside road. However, in reality, transport policy in relation to tourism in the Highlands would need a radical overhaul for this to happen.
Kevin Woods - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to m dunn: I'm just talking about the trains.

They could put a road up Glen Loin...?
Kevin Woods - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Kevin Woods: Though I'm sure the road planners would have done that one if they could
Alex Slipchuk on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to awwritetroops:
> (In reply to Saor Alba)
>
> For those with a heavy right foot, travelled at the right time of night it's the best road in Scotland.

+1

I miss the E30
mark turnbull - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to The Big Man:
Big Man U still climbing chalk ?
Cuthbert on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Nic DW:
> (In reply to Joak)
>
> [...]
>
> A second to that! I got away with it 'cos the guy failed to clock me properly but didn't stop him giving me a lecture by the roadside for 40 mins!
>
> Glad to see a small step in the right direction for fixing up the A82. But it needs to be effectively rebuilt all the way from Tarbet-Inveranan. It's a shocking state for a road of its stature, and should be a much higher priority then dueling the A9 IMO.
>
> If it has to close to fix it then well worth it in the long run! Its shamefull as the main link from Glasgow to the west highlands. Fed up of naff excuses about difficult geology. Cant imagine the Spanyards or the Italians having a problem.
>
> Whoever mentioned the railway I'm afraid thats even worse. A very picturesque journey if you've got all day but otherwise slow, unreliable and infrequent. Glasgow to Mallaig takes significantly longer then Glasgow-Euston.

+1

Any visit to the Alps or Norway shows that if there is enough money you can build roads anywhere. We dont have any particular challenges in Scotland or the UK that are difficult. Lack of money and will is the main problem.

I think the entire Loch Lomond section north of Tarbet should be abandoned and a new road built about 50m up the hill closer to the railway.

Then straighten out the railway and get decent rolling stock that isn't an 80s bus on rails.
Jim C - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to tallpaulselfridge:
> (In reply to The Big Man) so. If I was heading from Glasgow to get to say Oban or Campbeltown and the road was closed, and it was a typical day of the week and the Rest was shut, my only option would be the lengthy detour round Callander and up and round. Bravo to the folk who decided to 'fix' both these vital arteries at the same time. Bravo!

Tell me about it, My recreation is North of Loch Lomond,and family wise,, sister's farm is Campbeltown way!
billy no-mates - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to AlH)
> [...]
>
> It's way bigger than that. There are plenty of other shocking roads near Edinburgh. This is about £100s of millions wasted on Trident, wars abroad and so on.

We can sort it out in Scotland without looking outside! Bin gaelic support? Max 2% of the population, they all speak English too and we wast money on bi-lingual road signs and schooling? Idiocy. Scottish Parliament? Before the money went straight to the councils. How much a year is that wasting? Upgrading the forth and clyde canal to allow canal boats before the A82 and A9! Shows Scottish priorities. What about trams in Edinburgh, any spare cash left over? Not once Scots politicians have been near.
IainMacG on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
>
> I think the entire Loch Lomond section north of Tarbet should be abandoned and a new road built about 50m up the hill closer to the railway.
>
> Then straighten out the railway and get decent rolling stock that isn't an 80s bus on rails.

Fully agree with that man.

I live in Helensburgh and my family are in Skye so I know this road well. Concerned that the current approach doesn't have a proper long term strategy and will trash the loch. Be better to build a full new road higher up and keep the old road for walkers and cyclists etc as further S at Firkin Point.

And I have to say that, although we should properly fix the A82, if we're just patching then my immediate priority would NOT be pulpit rock but would be to sort the Stoneymollan roundabout (end of dual-carriageway at Balloch) so that southbound traffic isn't held up. I have rarely lost any time at pulpit rock but you can sit in traffic jams all the way from Tarbet south to Balloch (45 mins) on a bank holiday weekend.
Ideally, traffic heading from the S along the dual and then turning R in to Balloch should be fed across via tunnel so it doesn't stop the S-bound flow. Realise that the narrow road further north is more of an issue for heavy traffic.
(Lights touch paper, stands back...)
drunken monkey - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to The Big Man: Salmond cant get his head far enough out of his own arse and Dual the A9, so what makes you think the A82 will be any different.

But its ok - The country will be covered in wind turbines and everything will be just fine.....la-la-la-la
Cuthbert on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to drunken monkey:

It's nothing to do with Salmond or any other politician really. Scotland doesn't have the money end of. We are about to spend at least £2 Billion of our money on HS2 and it will never come to Scotland. Only when decisions are taken by people who actually care and understand will things change.
drunken monkey - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba: The A9 Dualling was in the SNP manifesto was it not? So far i've seen a couple of extra crawler lanes and thats it.

Not good enough.
IainMacG on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to drunken monkey:
Tell me about it - I get annoyed at the inconsistency of 'green' logic that says building new roads is evil incarnate, yet it's ok to build vast arrays of wind-farms using vast quantities of raw materials (relatively for the power output) and trashing wild land...

Anyway, less about wind-farms, let's not get off topic...
... this is moaning about the A82.
Ramblin dave - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to The Big Man:
Can someone explain the case for upgrading the A82? I admit that I only really use it to go on holiday, but apart from the single lane bit around Bird Rock it never seemed drastically worse than you'd expect for a road going through one of the least densely populated areas in Britain. It gets busy on Bank Holidays, just like every other road to a popular holiday destination, and it can be annoying to get stuck behind slow lorries on it but it still seems to be if anything relatively better provided for than a lot of other, more populated areas that just completely seize up every morning and evening without fail...
IainMacG on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to drunken monkey)
>
> It's nothing to do with Salmond or any other politician really. Scotland doesn't have the money end of. We are about to spend at least £2 Billion of our money on HS2 and it will never come to Scotland. Only when decisions are taken by people who actually care and understand will things change.

Warning - potentially boring serious debating point

I am fundamentally and ideologically VERY pro devolution of power generally. And therefore as you might imagine quite sympatethic to independence.
But my assumption (and please correct me if wrong) is that you propose independence and as something that will bring decisions to people who care...?

My concerns with this:
a/ politicians - unless they can be kept right by the population.
(Just a dig! Devolution or independence can assist though and this isn't an argument against).

b/ bigger concern, that we are simply swapping power in London for power in Edinburgh and central belt and that highlands and islands (and other areas for that matter, Borders, SW, NE...) will still be screwed...
(Again, devolution or independence can assist though and this isn't an argument against... but neither is it enough in current form... We have an extremely centralist Scottish govt in the model of the UK one.).

So, my point is that I am not convinced that independence will make the situation any better for the highlands and specifically might not make any difference in A82 decisions (especially given your point about the money).

To head off a potential retort, you might say that we won't waste our money funding HS2 (although I would personally say this is good for travel and business) or Trident etc etc.
See point b/ above; still doesn't mean that they (the central Scottish Govt and central belt dominated Scotland) are going to spend money on the A82...

Thoughts? You're gàidhealtachd I believe so interested in your take...
Ramblin dave - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to drunken monkey)
>
> It's nothing to do with Salmond or any other politician really. Scotland doesn't have the money end of. We are about to spend at least £2 Billion of our money on HS2 and it will never come to Scotland.

And the East Coast Main Line will never come to Cornwall or Wales. If central government isn't allowed to pay for anything that isn't equally beneficial to the UK as a whole then we're not going to get much done...
Cuthbert on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

Correct, we aren't going to get much done. The East Coast mainline is unlikely to leave the East Coast I am reliably informed ;-)

Transport policy isn't devolved to Cornwall as far as I know.
Richard Baynes - on 05 Feb 2013
Of course the A82 matters so much to the outdoor community but the Tarbet to Inverarnan stretch is one of those problems that's difficult to quantify in standard terms. It serves a relatively small population ... around 80,000 was the estimate I was given as living north of it and for whom it's the most direct route, so not enough votes to bother the politicians. However the road is used by literally millions of people, frequently, all year round, for recreation and so brings economic benefit to the region and other unquantifiable benefits to lots of people. Scotland's tourism business, one of our biggest (or is it out biggest?)is dependent on access to the Highlands, so a lot more than the 80,000 are affected... I think, anyway.
In terms of the road itself, it's not the most unsafe, although pretty high on the scale (I suspect there are not more fatals there because it's difficult to get beyond 30mph); it's probably one of the hardest to maintain in its present form because of the huge run-off from the hillside above and the poor drainage; and it's one of the slowest because of the bends and the narrowness. All that adds up in my opinion to the worst A-road in the UK, but I suspect it doesn't score highly enough on Governmental measures ie safety etc. The plain fact is that it doesn't function as an A-road: most hauliers avoid it, and it is used by an awful oot of people, but getting those arguments across is difficult.
Flinticus - on 05 Feb 2013
Why don't they dual lane some of the A82? Not all, keeping visual impact down, but a few overtaking opportunites would be welcome. In summer with slow moving traffic in both directions, you can't always get the chance to overtake as it is, especially on the straight stretchs north of Crianlarich? (the road from the Drovers to Crianlarich should have been built with three lanes, so dual part of the way each direction). I assume I'm not the only one banging my head on the steering wheel behind a car or caravan doing 50.
Cuthbert on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to IainMacG:

Good post. My point about the A82 or the A9 etc is that there isn't and wont be, the money to do what every politician wants which is to upgrade these roads. In my view, which you may not agree with, the money is wasted on nonsense like Trident which isn't important.

So, Trident and HS2 (good project I think) have been decided by people who dont represent the electorate in Scotland and I think the majority of politicians, from all parties in Scottish Parliament, would put the A82 about Trident and it is independence from decision making that I dont think is very good that I want.
Cuthbert on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to drunken monkey:

I think they put a committment in to dual the A9 but I amnt sure of this. It might have been at some time miles into the future also.
tony on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

The manifesto committment was:

And, among other projects, we will continue development of a route strategy and improvements for the A96 and dualling the A9. The A9 is a key artery in Scotland’s transport network and we will continue to invest in improvements to the road on a continuing and progressive basis. We are fully committed to dualling the A9 from Perth to Inverness and have fast-tracked work to extend the dualled section at Crubenmore.

No timescale given, which might be an indication of priorities.
Cuthbert on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to tony:

Aye and the money available and no borrowing powers. Pretty much any party would be in the same place given the settlement.

Anyway, re A82 I think it is a priority as is the Strome Ferry road, the A9, Highland Mainline, Glasgow-Edinburgh High(er) speed, eletrification to Stirling, then Perth and Aberdeen, gauge enhancements permitting bigger containers on trains, tunnel under the Cobbler to avoid rest and be thankful (this would be normal in the Alps or Norway), upgrading of track on WHL and North Highland to permit heavier loads, straigtening of the track on these lines (it's decades out of date in many places) and so on.
tony on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to tony)
>
> Aye and the money available and no borrowing powers. Pretty much any party would be in the same place given the settlement.
>
> Anyway, re A82 I think it is a priority as is the Strome Ferry road, the A9, Highland Mainline, Glasgow-Edinburgh High(er) speed, eletrification to Stirling, then Perth and Aberdeen, gauge enhancements permitting bigger containers on trains, tunnel under the Cobbler to avoid rest and be thankful (this would be normal in the Alps or Norway), upgrading of track on WHL and North Highland to permit heavier loads, straigtening of the track on these lines (it's decades out of date in many places) and so on.

I hope that's not a list in order of priorities. The idea that the Strome Ferry road should be prioritised over most of the other things in your list is nonsense.

I'd be interested to see a cost-benefit analysis of a tunnel under the Cobbler.
Ramblin dave - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to tony:
> (In reply to Saor Alba)
> [...]
>

> I'd be interested to see a cost-benefit analysis of a tunnel under the Cobbler.

Economists reckon that the extra five minutes on the journey from Lochgilphead to Glasgow is costing the economy billions...
drunken monkey - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave: faf! :-)
drunken monkey - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave: The Loch Fyne oyster Bar is "kin" expensive mind.
Cuthbert on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to tony:

Not it's not. Like I say, unless someone says something it's a fair assumption to presume that they don't mean it.

The cost-benefit analysis would probably show it wasn't worth it. But value isn't measured in cost. And thankfully many would support it. It just needs money.
billy no-mates - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to tony)
>
> It just needs money.

It costs £17 million a year to run BBC Alba, why don't we use that?
In reply to The Big Man:
I wonder if any of you lot remember what the A82 was like in the good old days when Fort William from Glasgow typically took over 3 hours. Major decisions included - do I wait for the Ballachulish ferry or take the "detour" via Kinlochleven? Happy days when Glasgow to Torridon took over 7 hours - and that was via the old A9 without a Kessock bridge.
And the traffic volume was a lot less then - early 1970's.
BnB - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to drunken monkey)
>
> It's nothing to do with Salmond or any other politician really. Scotland doesn't have the money end of. We are about to spend at least £2 Billion of our money on HS2 and it will never come to Scotland. Only when decisions are taken by people who actually care and understand will things change.

Scotland is part of the UK (still)and a good proportion of the population enjoy welfare payments paid for out of English tax receipts. Should those end? You can't isolate one issue (like HS2, or North Sea oil) and treat it in isolation.
Flinticus - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
So in your world, the Russians could invade, from the north, and speed down the widened A82 & A9 to the main centres of population & government?

The winding roads & choke points offer plenty of ambush opportunities.
MG - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Flinticus:
> (In reply to Saor Alba)
> So in your world, the Russians could invade, from the north, and speed down the widened A82 & A9 to the main centres of population & government?
>


Is that on your top ten list of worries!? I don't know if you were serious there, but regardless, this thread is becoming increasingly barking.
In reply to The Big Man:
PS - what's this doing on Winter Climbing - should be in The Pub -the way some punters "drive" the A82- not to mention some o the haverins!
ads.ukclimbing.com
nickyrannoch on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to drunken monkey:

If you want to make it party political the SNP's minority administration wanted to pull the plug on the Edinburgh trams and put that money into other projects including dualling the A9, and were defeated by the other parties in parliament and in Edinburgh City Council.

In reply to The Big Man:
OPS you're all a load o borin young farts! When I was a lad you had tae be oot yer scratcher early tae get the best hitchin spot at Ballopch. Whit a bunch o whingin softies!
Cuthbert on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to BnB:

No, you are wrong. I can isolate this easily.
BnB - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to BnB)
>
> No, you are wrong. I can isolate this easily.

Then I'd like my tax back please. ;-) Or at least spend it on the A82, which I use every month.

I'm on the fence about independence. And I literally have a foot in both camps, different aspects of my life being located in both Scotland and England. Our Aunt Joan was a tireless campaigner for independence. And I do think it might do some good for Scotland. But all I perceive from Edinburgh is a little man on a massive ego trip. There are some worrying historical precedents you know...
tony on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to nickyrannoch:
> (In reply to drunken monkey)
>
> If you want to make it party political the SNP's minority administration wanted to pull the plug on the Edinburgh trams and put that money into other projects including dualling the A9, and were defeated by the other parties in parliament and in Edinburgh City Council.

Democracy - what a bastard!
Cuthbert on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to BnB:

You need to look beyond one person. Unless you want me to judge the entire UK on David Cameron that is?
nickyrannoch on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to tony:

Well done on missing the point entirely.
BnB - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba: Democracy will decide... and eventually evict both of them. T'was ever thus. But, in the meantime, be careful what you wish for. As the Who memorably put it: "Meet the new boss....,"
Ramblin dave - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to tony)
>
> Not it's not. Like I say, unless someone says something it's a fair assumption to presume that they don't mean it.
>
> The cost-benefit analysis would probably show it wasn't worth it. But value isn't measured in cost. And thankfully many would support it. It just needs money.

I can see a lot of value and importance in a lot of the services that are maintained via subsidies in the highlands and islands - a lot of that stuff essentially keeps communities in existence. But I honestly can't see the importance of things like large scale upgrades to the A82 or a tunnel under the Cobbler that would be vastly expensive and would basically make it a bit more convenient to get to and from some fairly small places.
Cuthbert on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

Ok, we will just have to take different views on this.
Douglas Griffin - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> But I honestly can't see the importance of things like large scale upgrades to the A82 or a tunnel under the Cobbler that would be vastly expensive and would basically make it a bit more convenient to get to and from some fairly small places.

You never know, given decent transport links they might be able to become more than just 'fairly small places'.
Richard Baynes - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave: As I said above, it can be difficult to argue in favour of a wholesale upgrade using conventional measures but it could be the intangibles that make it more important. While the number of people at the other end of it is low, its use by a lot of other people is quite intensive. One effect I suspect is the shop-window problem: so many potential inward investors in Scotland want to drive up Loch Lomond while they'r here, either to see the loch or to get to Ben Nevis or Glencoe, and they see how shockingly bad the road is and it's a dterrent. It is difficult to argue the hard economic case, but it pisses a lot of people off. If it was seriously improved rather than tinkering with it as planned, the predicted economic benefits to the west Highlands while relativelay small in absolute terms would be great proportionate to the population ... but I think the predictions (made in a report to Highland council some years ago) may underestimate the transformative effect of a new road on the way people view the area. It was clearly felt worthwhile to improve the Baslloch to Tarbet stretch back in the (70s? 80s? can't recall but) which was pretty bad, and that makes the journey to Arrochar a doddle; imagine what a road of that standard up to north of the Drovers could do.
Cuthbert on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Richard Baynes:

Excellent contribution Richard.
MG - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Richard Baynes: I think you are spot on there. A new road would basically be a huge subsidy for (you say) 80,000 residents and people who like skiing and walk and climbing. It would probably never produce enough additional economic activity to pay for itself (again as you say).

The question is whether the population (be it UK or just in Scotland) is willing to support spending so much money on a road when there is no economic return. Or whether they prefer the money be spent where there may be a return, such as on better education. Or simply on other vanity projects like trident or gaelic road signs or railways to nowhere in the Borders.
jonnie3430 - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Richard Baynes:

I don't think the road is a deterrent to one off visitors, they will put up with it because they are more focused on where they are, not what the road is like. It's the regular users of the road that want the upgrade as they are interested in getting up and down it as smoothly as possible (without being stuck behind a tourist enjoying the view!)

All an upgrade will do is increase traffic, so I'm happy having it the way it is because it is my escape to the hills and it keeps the numbers down! More traffic down Glencoe, especially a dual carriageway would be horrible, it's bad enough on the Buachaille or SCNL as it is listening to the bikers scream across Rannoch Moor and down the Glen.
BnB - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

I concur. Until the opening of the excellent new motorway south of Glasgow city centre (credit where credit's due) we would always favour Callendar (and even A9/A86) for points north west over the Lomond bottleneck. Nowadays the 15-30 minutes saved through Glasgow makes a compelling case for the A82, but it's always with the fear of two coaches meeting north of Tarbet that I take it, and still avoid in the summer months.

I wish it were much more than 500 metres of road they'd update.
jonnie3430 - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to The Big Man:

A great upgrade would be a very large sign next to the two bridges near Ardlui that are not wide enough for two vehicles, saying "not wide enough for two vehicles." I have nearly had kittens crossing one of them with a transit going the other way!
In reply to The Big Man:
I've been wondering about the design of the viaduct section . Would it be comparable to the Loch Awe "viaduct" which is built on short stilts over the lochside? - runs for 400 metres to west of the power station. Is this type of viaduct only appropriate for short stretches of road eg under a mile. or would it be feasible to carry it from for example Inveruglas to beyond pulpit rock which I think is about 4 miles, and the same for the 4 mile section Tarbert to Inveruglas. Costings would aso be interesting.
Cuthbert on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:

It is a deterent. I run a campervan hire company and plenty of people avoid the area as they have heard how bad the A82 is. They actually avoid many bits of the A82 that are ok as they don't know which bits are the bad ones.

Believe, it definetly is a deterrent.
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:
PS as far as I know the Loch Awe solution was comparable to the Loch Lomond one - but he lochside on Loch Awe is sraighter in comparison to Loch Lomond.
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Ramblin dave - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Richard Baynes: Fair points.

I guess the other mental block I have is that I don't see the A82 as being THAT crap, particularly once you get as far as Tarbet.

It does get packed on Bank Holiday weekends, but this is hardly unique - so does the M6. It's annoying to get stuck behind a lorry or a couple of coaches, and I could see a case for adding passing lanes to quite a lot of it, but dualling it would seem like massive overkill.
Cuthbert on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

Was that bit not done as part of the Cruachan Scheme?
Cuthbert on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

I dont think the UK offers good comparisons. Looking to Norway or the Alps would be better.

Ideal scenario would be a single carriageway further up the hill with multiple tunnels where crags get in the way and reducing the visual impact.
jonnie3430 - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
>
> It is a deterent. I run a campervan hire company and plenty of people avoid the area as they have heard how bad the A82 is. They actually avoid many bits of the A82 that are ok as they don't know which bits are the bad ones.
>
> Believe, it definetly is a deterrent.

Less campervans on the A82 (and A9) are a great thing in my opinion! I'd rather the quieter places stayed quiet. The disavantage of all the good roads in the Alps is that tourists flock there by the thousand. Cogne last year was MISERABLE because of the number of campervans and caravans in the campsites.

I know you are trying to run a business, but is is a bit much to expect destruction of the special environment we have in Scotland just so you can make a fast buck off some tourists.
Douglas Griffin - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:

> I know you are trying to run a business, but is is a bit much to expect destruction of the special environment we have in Scotland just so you can make a fast buck off some tourists.

I'd say it's a bit much to expect that your need to "escape" to the hills every now and again ought to trump the needs of the people who actually live in the Highlands & Islands, and whose livelihoods depend on a decent transport infrastructure.
IainMacG on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to Richard Baynes) Fair points.
>
> I guess the other mental block I have is that I don't see the A82 as being THAT crap, particularly once you get as far as Tarbet.
>

Ramblin man, I think part of the problem is that you're seeing this through the slightly, if you'll forgive me, patronising lens of someone who just comes here for a holiday once in a while.

Basically, "there's hardly anybody here, I'm on my hols and how dare you possibly spoil the quaint natives". I know that's a bit of a simplification and I'm sure you don't mean ill but nonetheless...

I believe you think of the A82 as you would a road in the Lakes and as part of the whole destination for your holidays. Some of us live here and have families and businesses and would like to see a continued, and even expanding highland economy and culture.

(For the record, there's a whole debate here about sustainable development and balancing highlands economy vs environment.
And secondly this is NOT about Scottish vs English in any way as far as I am concerned. Have the same argument with plenty of Scots from central belt or south who just see highlands as a national park - see the posts above which support my point and thanks to last post for addressing that.)
JLS on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

>"I've been wondering about the design of the viaduct section . Would it be comparable to the Loch Awe "viaduct" which is built on short stilts over the lochside?"

I worked on a bid by an unsuccessful tenderer. Our plan was for five pairs of "stilts" carrying six spans of up to 30m long. The expensive viaduct bit was therefore only 140m long. I expect the winning design will be very similar.

It was still going to be a pretty curvy bit of road hugging the existing shore. I guess cost would be the major reason for not going further but I think too, the National Park weren't too keen on an obtrusive structure visible from the Loch.

Regarding the 14 week closure - I understand that is the contractual maximum closure. There will be incentives to mimamise this and perhaps half that is what should be expected.
Cuthbert on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:

That's as maybe but they spend a lot and they are part of the economy. Fundamentally I think a fair few of your points are quite silly and quite selfish in places. I also think you are a bit dilusional if you think you aren't "destroying the environment" yourself by going climbing.

Sensible points produce sensible discussion.
jonnie3430 - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Douglas Griffin:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
>
> [...]
>
> I'd say it's a bit much to expect that your need to "escape" to the hills every now and again ought to trump the needs of the people who actually live in the Highlands & Islands, and whose livelihoods depend on a decent transport infrastructure.

??? My need to escape would be better served by better roads. I will always be against turning the highlands and islands into a vast and sanitised tourist resort, even if it means that the people that live there make less money from tourists (more tourists, more roads needed! Where do you stop?)
jonnie3430 - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
>
> I also think you are a bit dilusional if you think you aren't "destroying the environment" yourself by going climbing.
>
My going climbing using the existing roads compared to new roads!

> Sensible points produce sensible discussion.

Wahey!
IainMacG on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:
Your point gets a little contradictory. You seem to be in the patronising territory of 'I'm a traveller, they are tourists'.
jonnie3430 - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to IainMacG:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
> Your point gets a little contradictory. You seem to be in the patronising territory of 'I'm a traveller, they are tourists'.

I don't know? I'd class anywhere within 2 hours as local?
jonnie3430 - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to IainMacG:

Douglas brought the wider highlands and islands into it, I had focused on the A82.
Cuthbert on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:

Clearly your understanding of this is that of someone remote from the daily affects of the situation. Thankfully, hardly anyone agrees with you.
IainMacG on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:
Yeah, and to be fair, shouldn't read too much in to your, probably flippant, comment about campervans (can we mention caravans too now?)...
You got caught in my annoyance at Ramblin Man's Scotland-as-one-big-holiday-destination mentality
jonnie3430 - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

It seems the majority do. How long has the campaign for the A82 upgrade gone for? How much success? I was pro-upgrade until I realised that I just wanted to be able to get too and from Glencoe quicker and that I didn't feel that it was justification for a road upgrade in one of the most famous spots in Scotland (Loch Lomond.)

You want it so you can recommend it as a route for those that hire your campervans. Bit of a tory attitude that, isn't it?
MG - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to IainMacG:

> I believe you think of the A82 as you would a road in the Lakes and as part of the whole destination for your holidays. Some of us live here and have families and businesses and would like to see a continued, and even expanding highland economy and culture.
>

Which is fine, but if (as suggested above) the economic case for upgrading can't be made, you are basically asking others to finance your lifestyle in the highlands with their taxes.

If there is a credible economic case then upgrading becomes investing rather than subsidizing, and makes a whole lot more sense. If not then it is not unreasonable to factor in other people's views of the area into decisions.
Cuthbert on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to MG:

All public sector stuff works like that. The economic case CAN be made if you look long term and the affect of upgraded infrastructure means that those communities become more sustainable through the enhanced economic opportunities and upgraded A82 would bring.

He isn't asking others to finance his lifestyle. This is an absurd and very poorly informed point. He is asking for access to good facilities for the taxes he pays and he should get them.

The same might be true for a city dweller. All people should have access to good quality air. Just because you live in a city doesn't mean you suddenly give up the right to having access to something which is the norm elsewhere.

What an utterly silly post.
MG - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> All public sector stuff works like that.

No. Building something doesn't magically make it economically sensible (Humber Bridge, Edinburgh trams). Money does actually mean something.

The economic case CAN be made if you look long term and the affect of upgraded infrastructure means that those communities become more sustainable through the enhanced economic opportunities and upgraded A82 would bring.

As I said, if there is an economic case, than great. You are not just making your claim that there is up are? You do of course have numbers.
Ramblin dave - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to IainMacG:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave)
> [...]
>
> Ramblin man, I think part of the problem is that you're seeing this through the slightly, if you'll forgive me, patronising lens of someone who just comes here for a holiday once in a while.

Yeah, I do have that perspective. But that's also why I'm trying (honest!) to ask genuine questions rather than wade in assuming that my perspective is the right one...

So I guess that what I'm trying to get at is what the basic issue is with the A82 from a local point of view. Does it regularly crap out because it's over capacity? Is it the probability of getting stuck behind a coach indefinitely? Or is it just that it's slow because it's too bendy and too single-carriageway?


> I believe you think of the A82 as you would a road in the Lakes and as part of the whole destination for your holidays.

Tbf, no - I think of it as I would a road where I grew up in rural Kent or where I live in East Anglia and it just doesn't seem particularly worse than a lot of the roads I've spent a lot of time on in those areas.

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Cuthbert on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to MG:

You must be talking to yourself again there Martin. Like I say, unless someone says specifically something, it's safe to presume they dont mean it.

Look at http://a82.org/

There is an economic case. It's not as strong as some. But there is also a very strong social case which is of great importance.
IainMacG on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to MG:
> Which is fine, but if (as suggested above) the economic case for upgrading can't be made, you are basically asking others to finance your lifestyle in the highlands with their taxes.
>
> If there is a credible economic case then upgrading becomes investing rather than subsidizing, and makes a whole lot more sense. If not then it is not unreasonable to factor in other people's views of the area into decisions.

Fair challenges although Saor Alba already addressed fairly robustly ;-)
a/ I think you can make the investment case given economy and population of entire Scottish west coast, highlands and islands who ultimately rely on the A82.
Secondly, you can make the case based on one of ensuring good equality of basic transport and access for the entire UK...
I believe that's the Norwegian model for instance? Helps if you have massive oil reserves of course (and haven't bailed out the rest of the UK with them - sorry couldn't resist).

b/ I can still make my point to try and educate rather than just 'factor in' a view that considers the highlands to just be one big national park.

JLS on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to IainMacG:

>"entire Scottish west coast, highlands and islands who ultimately rely on the A82"

I wonder if once the A9 is dualled a lot of traffic might choose to abandon the A82 in favour of the A86 route. Perhaps up grading the A86 and leaving the A82 as a quaint tourist road would make more sense.
MG - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to IainMacG:
> (In reply to MG)
> [...]
>
> Fair challenges although Saor Alba already addressed fairly robustly ;-)

Childishly, as normal.


> a/ I think you can make the investment case given economy and population of entire Scottish west coast, highlands and islands who ultimately rely on the A82.

I could see going boldly for the whole A82 (Glasgow FW, Inverness) over the A9 could work there but equally since the A9 is already pretty good, it would be a huge decision. I struggle see a case for just to FW working.


> Secondly, you can make the case based on one of ensuring good equality of basic transport and access for the entire UK...

Yes, but you need to take the population with you. I don't think starting down "but we live here and you only come on holiday line" is wise for that (even if it's true). You are suggesting investing/spending for the nation. It has to be for everyone.


Douglas Griffin - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to JLS:

For the far north-west and for Lewis (if not Harris) then the A9 is certainly more relevant than the A82.
Cuthbert on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to JLS:

No I doubt that very much for people south of Fort William but from there north maybe yes and then A86.
Cuthbert on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to MG:

Could you set out what you actually think should happen instead of just picking holes in others opinions?

jonnie3430 - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> Could you set out what you actually think should happen instead of just picking holes in others opinions?

Bin the devolved parliaments, give each council the same per capita and let them spend it as they see fit, as they are the locally elected politicians.
Cuthbert on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:

Thanks. I don't think that will happen.
tony on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to MG:
>
> Yes, but you need to take the population with you. I don't think starting down "but we live here and you only come on holiday line" is wise for that (even if it's true). You are suggesting investing/spending for the nation. It has to be for everyone.

And, like it or not, there have to be priorities, simply because we don't have a finite pot of cash (and never will have). There will be a point with all the infrastructure projects have to be weighted and assigned a priority, and there should be a realisation that not everything on the hitlist is affordable.

In a country like Scotland, it is important for the remote areas to have good infrastructure links, but it's important that that infrastructure is not at the expense of other spending elsewhere which may have greater economic or social benefit to the country as a whole - unless you want to get into a an argument about the Central Belt and Aberdeen subsidising the Highlands and Islands. There does need to be a balance, and I would be surprised if a tunnel through the Cobbler were viable in this context.

I was interested to read on the A82 Partnership website some reference to a Crianlarich bypass. Slowing down to go through Crianlarich is a bit of pain, but I'm not sure it really warrants a bypass, particularly when there will still need to be some kind of junction for the A85 and the A82.

But having said that, the A82 up Loch Lomond does need sorting out.
jonnie3430 - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

Pity, it would save money and sort out your issues for local government for local people.
Flinticus - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to The Big Man:
How long before the mods move this thread to Off Belay?

or The Pub?
Richard Baynes - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to jonnie3430: It actually feeds into the whole debate of what do we see as the future for the Highlands? If we just take the narrow economic measure of what we get for a full-scale upgrade of Tarbet to Inverarnan it's not huge: I think the Tribal report to Highlands council was talking of £460m in economic benefits for the region over 30years ( my memory may be going haywire there...) and that's actually not a lot: £15m a year. HOWEVER there's the whole issue of how we keep a population in the Highlands: if we just ignore these kind of improvements because the 80,000 people are not important enouigh, the process of depopulation is likely to continue, not least because life will be improving faster elsewhere. If we invest we can maintain the population and who knows make it viable for many more people to live there, which I think would be good for the country and would be great for those people and the existing residents. Even if we just see the region as a recreation and tourism resource, we still need to keep a population there to maintain services, and also to maintain the landscape as it is. It can also be argued that keeping the region going also has a cultural and historic significance in Scotland too.
jonnie3430 - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Flinticus:
> (In reply to The Big Man)
> How long before the mods move this thread to Off Belay?
>
> or The Pub?

The pub hopefully, no need for it to be saved beyond a week!
MG - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> Could you set out what you actually think should happen instead of just picking holes in others opinions?

Richard Baynes post is very good - we need to decide what the aims are before deciding how to spend loads of money. Spending probably hundreds of millions without a clear rationale is mad. Helping highland businesses/residents in a vague sort of way doesn't cut it on its own. Given that any decision will involve a major investment for at least Scotland and possibly the whole UK, I also don't think it can be driven by the wishes of the very small population of the highlands alone.

Probably the rational decision is to do nothing to the A82 (or incremental upgrades) - the money spent would have far more benefit in say some grotty central belt town of similar population to the highlands in terms of social and economic benefit.

The FW-A9 (A86?) upgrade would be the road I would go for if money is to be spent on roads in the highlands - cheaper and shorter and of similar benefit.

UKH Forums - on 05 Feb 2013
This thread was started in the WINTER CLIMBING forum and has now been moved.
Please could you try and post in the correct forum, it makes life easier for both users and moderators.

Off Belay - A forum for general non-climbing discussions and debate. Discuss politics, society, sport, whatever you feel like on this popular forum. Please keep the trivial and extra light-hearted stuff in The Pub.
Please note - Unsuitable posts in Off Belay will be either moved to The Pub, or just deleted. 'Unsuitable' means chatty posts between mates, trivial jokes and banter, mimic posts or posts with mild bad language in the starter post or title.

More Forum descriptions - http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/info/forums.html
Humphrey Jungle - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to tony:

Perhaps the two narrow railway tunnels help justify Crianlarich bypass.
tony on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Humphrey Jungle:
> (In reply to tony)
>
> Perhaps the two narrow railway tunnels help justify Crianlarich bypass.

That's a fair point. They're easy to deal with in a car, but lorries and buses do struggle.
IainMacG on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> Yeah, I do have that perspective. But that's also why I'm trying (honest!) to ask genuine questions rather than wade in assuming that my perspective is the right one...
>
How very reasonable of you! Can't ask for more than that.

> So I guess that what I'm trying to get at is what the basic issue is with the A82 from a local point of view. Does it regularly crap out because it's over capacity?
Yes, summer and bank holidays you can get standing jam from Tarbet souith to Balloch/Dumbarton. 45 mins+

>Is it the probability of getting stuck behind a coach indefinitely?
>
Yes, basically the road is almost incapable of taking buses or lorries in the north Loch Lomond section. It is literally lethal.

>Or is it just that it's slow because it's too bendy and too single-carriageway?
Yes, slow and dangerous. Not even asking for dual. But a single carriageway on which you can go faster than 30-40 and without risking your life with trucks and on-coming vehicles in the middle of the road.

> Tbf, no - I think of it as I would a road where I grew up in rural Kent or where I live in East Anglia and it just doesn't seem particularly worse than a lot of the roads I've spent a lot of time on in those areas.
>
Sigh, you're comparing the trunk road A82 with a rural road in Kent.
OK, will try and make my point better: fundamentally a lot of people make the mistake of equating Scotland with a small region of England (and I know that population wise we might be). So Scotland = Cumbria or East Anglia. I don't even think you realise you do this but I am pretty sure you mentally just parcel Scotland like this. Partially due to lack of familiarity with scope of Scotland. Even if you know the Highlands ok, you've probably skipped SW Scotland, Borders, lowland Perthshire, Angus, NE Scotland.
Whereas in fact Scotland = roughly 1/3 of UK land lass with some big distances complicated by (pleasingly) difficult terrain.

You've raised East Anglia and rural roads! But the A82 is a *trunk* road. It should be the as the A11 is to Norwich (although I am not asking for dual etc just a reasonable single carriageway A road!).
It just happens to go through some beautiful land on the way!
Richard Baynes - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to MG: I must say my personal sympathies are with a wholesale improvement to the A82 Tarbet to Inverarnan, but I have to accept that I will be arguing to some extent on the basis of intangibles, benefits which are very difficult to quantify, and an instinctive feeling of unfairness that just 10 miles of bad road are holding the region back in a major way. I also feel the Edinburgh-based politicians are unable to see the relative importance of the route, which makes me mad. Maybe some of the income from the so-say coming wind-power bonanza in the region could be invested in the road ...? In fact a new blueprint for the whole stretch is being drawn up so it can be built as and when, and the individual schemes can be tied into it to make a coherent whole, but it still feels a bit piecemeal.
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IainMacG on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to MG:
>
> Yes, but you need to take the population with you. I don't think starting down "but we live here and you only come on holiday line" is wise for that (even if it's true). You are suggesting investing/spending for the nation. It has to be for everyone.
>

Agreed. I did then proceed to say that "I can still make my point to try and educate rather than just 'factor in' a view that considers the highlands to just be one big national park."
More than happy to accept this isn't going to be decided only by those that live there and I want poeple to come to the Highlands. But equally I think it's perfectly valid to try and educate them that this isn't just a simple big national park.

Back to the good post about the future of the Highlands.
Generally we need to find a good balance of sustainable development and future for the Highlands while also protecting the wild land (bearing in mind some of what you might consider 'wilderness' I consider places where people once lived).
More generally we need to find a balance on our view of more rural areas vs urban centres! No-one said it was going to be easy...
Cuthbert on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to MG:

This has been thought about, debated and reported on for decades. It's not vague and it is clear. I understand that maybe you haven had the time or interest to keep abreast of all this but dont presume that because you haven't then others haven't.

I don't think anyone is arguing for a massive upgrade, more the main sections (Loch Lomond) being tackled first.

A86 option wouldn't help Argyll at all.
Cuthbert on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to IainMacG:

The most disappointing thing about this is the willingness to really argue some silly points. There is hardly any representation on these forums from the Highlands & Islands but because these areas are visited by climbers they are of interest. However, many dont seem to question that people who occasionally visit may have some way to go until they fully appreciate the challenges or opportunities it faces.

Imagine there was noone on these forums from this area. Conclusions would be reached without a second thought to the outcomes.

Most dont appreciate the size of the area say Argyll & Bute Council or Highland has to deal with. That is why the per capita argument doesn't work as without additional resources many places would die off.
MG - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> This has been thought about, debated and reported on for decades. It's not vague and it is clear. I understand that maybe you haven had the time or interest to keep abreast of all this but dont presume that because you haven't then others haven't.

I didn't presume anything. In fact I specifically asked above if you had a case. You made some a characteristically childish response, and linked to a campaigning website that make a very thin argument.


>
> I don't think anyone is arguing for a massive upgrade, more the main sections (Loch Lomond) being tackled first.

Above you were proposing a completely new alignment for the road (with a myriad of other transport "priorities").

There is actually quite a good discussion going on here. If you dropped the attitude and actually joined in in a grown up manner, you might learn something.

Jim C - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Richard Baynes:
> (In reply to MG) I must say my personal sympathies are with a wholesale improvement to the A82 Tarbet to Inverarnan,.......
and an instinctive feeling of unfairness that just 10 miles of bad road are holding the region back ......

You are right, but it would be a VERY expensive and time consuming 10 miles of road to upgrade.

I'm a local, and have mixed feelings . Rage sometimes when I am in a hurry and some tourist is treating it like the worlds most dangerous road and crawling along at 20mph and braking irrationally. And other times when I have loads of time, I think that if it was upgraded people would want to fly along at 80, and there would be no time to enjoy the scenery.

Maybe a partial upgrade with more stopping / passing places that are signposted well in advance is a good compromise.

Pulpit Rock is a start I suppose.
I will just have to do more walking in the East whilst the works are going on, business will have a harder time.

MG - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
>
> Most dont appreciate the size of the area say Argyll & Bute Council or Highland has to deal with. That is why the per capita argument doesn't work as without additional resources many places would die off.

Which is the point I was making above. Either.

- These additional resources will be self-generating with some investment. In which case a strong economic case is needed to justify the investment. (Eg. Richard Baynes hints at coupling new road with renewables plans)

- Or, the resources won't be self-generating in which case they must be supplied in the form of subsidy from other tax-payers. You are hardly going to encourage them to do this if you go around shouting at them for not understanding the highlands.
Cuthbert on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to MG:

You haven't understood. I said there is a case because there is. It's up to you to go and find it out. I amn't going to do that for you and if you cant be bothered then you will remain the in the dark.

I am proposing a new alignment plus new road at some bits. I mean Tarbert north to the end of the bad section.

You need to drop your attitude which is one of unless you have information brought to you it is either wrong or doesn't exist. Put some effort in!
Eric9Points - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Jim C:
> (In reply to Richard Baynes)
> [...]
> and an instinctive feeling of unfairness that just 10 miles of bad road are holding the region back ......
>
> You are right, but it would be a VERY expensive and time consuming 10 miles of road to upgrade.
>

Yes, upgrading 10 miles would be all that's really needed to make the drive a more convenient one when traffic is busy. Of course that's unlikley to save more 10 or 15 minutes on a journey.

Any more than that and I'd favour MG's suggestion of improving the connection between Fort William and the A9. Much cheaper and less intrusive.
IainMacG on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to Saor Alba)
> [...] You are hardly going to encourage them to do this if you go around shouting at them for not understanding the highlands.

We're having a passionate debate. Saor is forthright but no-one is shouting...?
Just make your points MG and let's all avoid as much 'ad hominem' as we can.

Having said that, it's difficult not to be a little bit personal since this 'not understanding the highlands' point is important. Is that ad hominem? I think it's valid to point out that people don't understand the highlands or have a somewhat limited view (but not that this therefore means they are inferior or can't join the debate!) since their view often means they simply view the highlands as a holiday destination and therefore see no reason for a decent road. I think that view is fundamentally at the heart of the debate and needs challenged.
Ramblin Dave has responded extremely openly to my argument on that front... Or maybe he was just leading me on to cut me down later...? :-)
IainMacG on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to IainMacG:
Actually, MG, Saor's last point was maybe a bit shouty ;-)

Saor, come on man, just agree to disagree on the economic argument point since we're really not going to go over the fine point of economic models and forward value discounting in a forum debate - you state that the economics stack up, I probably agree with you and either way MG stated what was required if they do or don't.

Maybe you don't even want to debate the subsidy since you are convinced BUT even if the economic case stacks up, in a democracy we've STILL got to persuade people and all the central belt based people and their MSPs that this is a priority.

Which I why I think the point of MG's to debate is that it's that we somehow can't take people to task for not understanding the highlands (or even that it's not the way to go about it). I disagree, as I said in my post above.
In reply to The Big Man:
Whatever solution is adopted must take account of the landscape, and I don't simply mean the environmental amenity but also the long term sustainability of whatever is built, given the ongoing problems at Rest and be Thankful, other continuing landslip problems on the road south of Lochgilphead, the road north through Strathcarron etc.
I was on Ben Cruachan again last week and even the access road to the Cruachan dam which I walked up is being increasingly affected by landslip, necessitating extensive rockface netting and pinning all within the past year. It's not so long since this kind of work had to be undertaken at Slochd on the A9.
Cuthbert on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to IainMacG:

The point I am making is that MG bring no positivity to this discussion and instead of actually thinking of solutions the debate is just diverted to defending simple, sensible points from people who care little, don't know much about it.

I make no bones about it. I am pro the Highlands & Islands and I want to see them prosper and for that to happen we need decent infrastructure.

MG isn't against that but his very conservative outlook, questioning any change and actually often wanting to go backwards, as well as continually questioning the most basic reasoning is never going to help anyone other than those who like to argue on the internet.

There is also the point about how d you get away from subsidy such as building infrastructure to gradually do that. It's normal elsewhere but in the UK everything is lowered to the lowest common denominator.

I would argue that the H&Is have actually subsidised many parts of the UK for hundreds of years, through people, not pounds. Dr Jim Hunter has good points on this.

If you want something, dont waste your time with people who aren't willing to help.
jonnie3430 - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to IainMacG)

> I make no bones about it. I am pro the Highlands & Islands and I want to see them prosper and for that to happen we need decent infrastructure.
>
You want the place more built up and busier? Go live in the Lakes, or if you like it that much, SE England. Some like the quiet life.
Cuthbert on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:

Did I say that? No.

I want more sustainable communities in terms of housing, age structure, the economy and the environment (mainly through a reduction in deer numbers).

The thing is you want others to have the quiet life so that you can visit now and again. What do you think if the residents disagree with your vision for where they live?
jonnie3430 - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to IainMacG)

> Most dont appreciate the size of the area say Argyll & Bute Council or Highland has to deal with.

This part of the A82 is in Stirling County!
tony on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
>
> MG isn't against that but his very conservative outlook, questioning any change and actually often wanting to go backwards, as well as continually questioning the most basic reasoning is never going to help anyone other than those who like to argue on the internet.

Asking questions is an essential part of any decision-making process, and asking really basic questions is really important. A friend of mine was the head of planning in Melbourne. They wanted to build a new low-carbon building, and spent much time and effort asking lots of questions about every element of the way the building would work before coming up with a design. And then after that stage of the design process, they took a break and invited a whole bunch of engineers and architects to ask questions about the whole process and the whole design. At the end of that process, they had a better design that was quicker and cheaper to build, and which worked better for the people who used it. They could have ploughed on ahead without asking questions and they would have got a decent outcome, but the questioning part of the process played an essential part in the overall eventual quality and cost of the project.

You're a keen proponent of the Highlands and Islands, which is fine - they need their supporters, and it's good to be committed. But it's also good to demonstrate that you take the issues seriously, and to do that, you need to be able to respond seriously to questions and not just brush them aside as if they're not worth the bother. Doing that fails to convince anyone of anything, and may well persuade people that you either have something to hide, or you don't have a full grasp of the situation.

For example, you want a tunnel under the Cobbler. That would costs upwards of £100million (quite probably a lot more). Is that really the best way you can think to spend on £100 million in Scotland, never mind the H&I? Is building a tunnel the only way to improve living and working conditions in the area? Do you blithely plough on ahead without asking questions about the real value to the whole of Scotland of that spending? Is, for example, £100 million better spent on a tunnel through the Cobbler or on better education facilities, or healthcare, or home improvements to improve fuel efficiency?

There's a long list of things that need doing in Scotland to improve the lives of a significant proportion of the population. Lifting people out of fuel poverty, addressing the health issues of the overweight and those with poor diets, providing decent childcare for working parents, improving educational opportunities, ... it is pretty much an endless list. Somewhere, some priorities are needed, and you don't get those priorities sorted without asking difficult questions. Do you want to spend £100million on a tunnel under the Cobbler, or do you want to spend it on health initiatives to help those whose life expectancy is among the lowest in Europe? Choices, choices ...
jonnie3430 - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
>
> Did I say that? No.
>
> I want more sustainable communities in terms of housing, age structure, the economy and the environment (mainly through a reduction in deer numbers).
>
I think you have a bit of a chip on your shoulder concerning estates. If people want to live there, let them, if they don't, then let them move. It sounds like you want some sort of socialist farming community forced on people.

> The thing is you want others to have the quiet life so that you can visit now and again. What do you think if the residents disagree with your vision for where they live?

Not really, I'm thinking about moving and oop north is high on the list because it's quiet and in amazing surroundings. What I am not interested in is more tourists encouraged up there by better access roads blocking the smaller roads, which are big enough for the local population, just not big enough for tourist numbers in summer.

The residents and owners of the land can and do what they want. Its because they have done this that it is such a nice place to go that I want to live there.
tony on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:
> Not really, I'm thinking about moving and oop north is high on the list because it's quiet and in amazing surroundings. What I am not interested in is more tourists encouraged up there by better access roads blocking the smaller roads, which are big enough for the local population, just not big enough for tourist numbers in summer.
>
The problem with that attitude is that tourism is an essential part of the economy in remote parts. I can think of places which would die if there were no tourist facilities and where life is pretty marginal for the locals. Like it or not, tourists bring in essential money. They help support local businesses, which are needed by the local population - without those local businesses, it becomes increasingly likely that the local population will be forced to move away. If you want an empty Highlands, that's fine, but you'll have a long way to go to do your shopping if you move there.
Cuthbert on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:

Well I think when you do make the move, I hope you do, you will probably change your mind.
Douglas Griffin - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to tony:

A couple of articles re. the ongoing depopulation of the Highlands (and especially the Islands):

http://www.brianwilsonwrites.com/docs/WHFP_20120525.pdf
http://www.whfp.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1080
ads.ukclimbing.com
Cuthbert on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to tony:

Good post Tony but remember I am not thinking about this with a context of the current practice. I am thinking about as part of bigger change which I think is required.

Sorry I dont have time to debate wider points. No, if I had £100 million I wouldn't spend it on a tunnel but I wouldn't just work under the system we have in Scotland (spend only what you are given and not able to borrow or change tax etc). My vision wont happen under the current system. The A82 along with multiple other things, has been neglected for decades. Britain hasn't delivered for this and that applies to the SNP also. Doing more of the same, tinkering with symptoms, will produce more of the same.

Where I disagree with you is this. I don't need to do anything on UKC. I think it's one of the worst places on the net to get discussion about points which relate to the Highlands. Simply because climbers don't like someone saying that a few climbing trips doesn't produce an insight and that they might not know as much as they think. It's true though.

I am already campaigning on other things and I don't think UKC is really relevant to much of it.

Basically I want the A82 to be updgraded to modern standards using the taxes that I and others pay. That this notion has resulted in multiple stupid comments and a thread very long is a reflection of UKC, not the idea itself as the idea is nothing other than reasonable.
MG - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to IainMacG)
>
> The point I am making is that MG bring no positivity
> MG isn't against that but his very conservative outlook, questioning any change

My last post on this thread as you are clearly determined to make it personal. I have made several positive suggestions above, you may not like them or agree, but that is a different matter. I am not against change but I am against mindless change that doesn't consider the wider context or attempt to prioritise or doesn't haven't a clear goal. This means that, yes, I will question any suggestions for change to see if they are wise. This is the only sensible thing to do because otherwise you just proceed with the first idea that comes into your head and waste money - there is hardly a shortage of examples of this happening.

In this case I have questioned the economic case for spending lots of money on the A82. Rather than explaining your position and the case you claim exists (note those who live in the area seem to be doubtful it does) you have just made sarky comments about going away and finding out. It is fundamental to any useful debate that if you make a claim it is for you to argue and provide evidence for it. That you won't suggests strongly you don't have a case and are just trying to deflect perfectly reasonable questions about the project.

I think other posters have made some good points and there probably could be a good argument made for upgrading by making a combined argument that includes elements of subsidy, tourism, power generation and general quality of infrastructure. But those pushing for an upgrade need to make this argument clearly, otherwise those who will pay for it through taxes, mostly people who will not directly benefit from the upgrade, will object.
tony on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

Cheers. Not very promising reading. The thing is, life in the Highlands and Islands is hard, and it almost has to be a positive choice - it's now so much easier to leave than it is to stay, particularly for young people looking for a vibrant future.
tony on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to tony)
>
> Good post Tony but remember I am not thinking about this with a context of the current practice. I am thinking about as part of bigger change which I think is required.
>
> Sorry I dont have time to debate wider points.

Fair enough. I have work to do as well. I'm currently editing a new book of the new N5 maths qualification in Scotland. Bloody authors ...

> Doing more of the same, tinkering with symptoms, will produce more of the same.

So to change that, you need to ask some fundamental questions about what you do want.
>
> Where I disagree with you is this. I don't need to do anything on UKC. I think it's one of the worst places on the net to get discussion about points which relate to the Highlands. Simply because climbers don't like someone saying that a few climbing trips doesn't produce an insight and that they might not know as much as they think. It's true though.

I'm not sure why you think that's an area of disagreement. I know forums on UKC won't change the way Scotland works. But if you're going to engage with people on Scottish issues, you have to accept that lots of people have lots of opinions. You can choose to ignore those opinions you don't like - a filter here is always useful - but that doesn't mean that all opinions you don't agree with are opinions that don't carry some merit.

Jim C - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to tony)
>
> Good post Tony but remember I am not thinking about this with a context of the current practice. I am thinking about as part of bigger change which I think is required.
>
..............> Basically I want the A82 to be updgraded to modern standards using the taxes that I and others pay. That this notion has resulted in multiple stupid comments and a thread very long is a reflection of UKC, not the idea itself as the idea is nothing other than reasonable.

I'm local too, and I personally don't want a full upgrade as you are pushing for , as 'in my view' It would spoil the Loch Lomond area , I would like it improved, not fully upgraded, but I'm not in a pressure group to push taht view.

So there are a range of 'valid' views on here, none necessaraly more valid than others.
Folks from 'outside', are entitled to give us a viewpoint from outside the area perspective, I have views on roads elsewhere, like Shetland (great), but other areas- for me as a 'tourist'- are not so good, So my view of those areas should be taken into account too, as we all pay the same road tax (well some of do)
Toby S - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Jim C:

> as we all pay the same road tax (well some of do)

You don't pay any road tax, there's no such beastie. VED is based on emissions and goes into the general taxation pool along with revenue generated by Income Tax, VAT etc etc etc.
Cuthbert on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to MG:

No need to take it so personally Martin. You started going about me being childish but that is fine with me.

The A82 isn't change for changes sake. You are correct to question changes but I do think you are very conservative and that challenge phases you. I base this purely on UKC but I've probably read more of your output than probably a newspaper columnist. That's a good thing about the net.

The point I am making about the economic case is that to focus on this is to misunderstand the wider picture. For example, only 2 calmac routes breakeven and on pure economic alone all services would stop. But their value is bigger than the economic.

You are right about this stuff. Think of the MOD, totally incompetent re procurement and have wasted billions. This is why I want away from their nonsense and stop wasting money on them and spend on the A82 etc.

The argument has been made clearly, maybe you haven't found it or disagree with it. But I think there is general consensus (not on here!) for an upgrade.
IainMacG on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:
>> Most dont appreciate the size of the area say Argyll & Bute Council
>>or Highland has to deal with.
>
>This part of the A82 is in Stirling County!
>
Firstly the poster was making a more general point about expenditure per capita vs the area of these councils (which basically cover the Highlands and Islands).
Making a point specifically about council areas and the A82 would be irrelevant since trunk road maintenance and investment is nothing to do with local councils - trunk roads are maintained and improved by Transport Scotland
http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/road/maintenance/responsibilities

Secondly, to take your point at face value, eh?
There's only a short section from Inveraranan to above Tyndrum in Stirling and a lot of that section is pretty ok.
The debate has mostly been about Loch Lomond section of A82 and that is all in Argyll & Bute (the boundary is at Inverarnan)...
Dr.S at work - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to MG)
. But I think there is general consensus (not on here!) for an upgrade.

I'm guessing of course, but I think most UKCers would agree that the A82 along loch lomond is a real shambles and it would be nice to upgrade it - I especially like the idea of moving it away from the loch side.

I guess the lack of consensus is on when to do this in an overall set of transport priorities for Scotland (and indeed the rest of the UK)?
Eric9Points - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Dr.S at work:
> (In reply to Saor Alba)
> [...]
> . But I think there is general consensus (not on here!) for an upgrade.
>
> I'm guessing of course, but I think most UKCers would agree that the A82 along loch lomond is a real shambles and it would be nice to upgrade it - I especially like the idea of moving it away from the loch side.
>

I'd guess that most users of the road would think it desireable to improve parts of it.

> I guess the lack of consensus is on when to do this in an overall set of transport priorities for Scotland (and indeed the rest of the UK)?

Yes.

Ramblin dave - on 06 Feb 2013
Actually, thinking about it, I'd forgotten how crap the Loch Lomond section of the road is. Point taken on that. I guess I was mostly thinking of the road north of Crianlarich, which would be pretty good if they stuck in a few bits of passing lane so you didn't have to sit behind the same pair of coaches all the way to... anyway...

(It probably doesn't help that our local trunk road is the A14, which chokes up pretty much every morning and evening, gets blocked by rush-hour accidents on a weekly basis, and yet despite it being the main link from the UK's busiest port to everywhere north of London apparently doesn't have an economic case for upgrading it without putting a toll in... but anyway, that's just a context-free local moan.)

In reply to Dr.S at work:
> I guess the lack of consensus is on when to do this in an overall set of transport priorities for Scotland (and indeed the rest of the UK)?

Also, I think, on when to do it within a set of priorities for development in the highlands and islands - ie in terms of developing local businesses and self-sustaining communities whether a quicker journey to Glasgow is more valuable than spending the money on development grants, modern broadband links, better public transport on the existing network etc..,

Although a) I know that the funding isn't parcelled up like that and b) I'm not saying that the answer there isn't "yes", just that it doesn't seem obvious...
IainMacG on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> Actually, thinking about it, I'd forgotten how crap the Loch Lomond section of the road is. Point taken on that.
>
:-)

> I guess I was mostly thinking of the road north of Crianlarich, which would be pretty good if they stuck in a few bits of passing lane so you didn't have to sit behind the same pair of coaches all the way to... anyway...
>
Agreed, some sections where you could overtake would help massively to stop what they term 'platooning'. Massive problem on the A9 too - I think they problem there is that they designed the road for future dual carriageway so built it in lovely sweeping curves... which in the (not so) short term are totally crap for sight-lines. Same on southern Loch Lomond section of A82.

> (It probably doesn't help that our local trunk road is the A14, which chokes up pretty much every morning and evening, gets blocked by rush-hour accidents on a weekly basis
>
Blocked by accidents? Sure but you can generally get round them right? Might take you a while....
My parents were heading back to Skye when they hit an accident around Ballachulish. Totally closed the A82. After some hours it became clear this was closed for rest of the day.
Their diversion? Back to Crianlarch, across to Killin, across Loch Tay to Pitlochry and then up the A9 to Dalwhinnie, then across to Spean Bridge to re-join the west coast route.
Look it up and map it on google maps if you're not entirely sure of what that entails.

> Also, I think, on when to do it within a set of priorities for development in the highlands and islands - ie in terms of developing local businesses and self-sustaining communities whether a quicker journey to Glasgow is more valuable than spending the money on development grants, modern broadband links, better public transport on the existing network etc..,
>
Fair point - and worth debating.
Although the upgrade of A82 would specifically help buses which really struggle on the north Loch Lomond section. Not to mention that travelling on it in a bus is a nausea-fest... ;-)



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