Highlands & Islands

A82 works closure challenged by Lochaber businessman

Traffic cones
Image caption Under the plans the stretch would only be open to emergency crews and for local access

A businessman is challenging plans to close a stretch of the A82 overnight for up to three weeks for road works.

The proposed closure at Onich between Fort William and Oban for essential resurfacing in October would involve a diversion of up to 160 miles (257km).

John Grieve, managing director of Lochleven Shellfish Company, said it would be devastating to his business.

Contractor Scotland Transerv said the project had been put out to local consultation.

A spokesman said for health and safety reasons the stretch of road would have to be closed and access restricted to emergency vehicles and residents of nearby properties.

It has been proposed to carry out the repairs between 19:00 and 06:00 five days a week for up to three weeks.

Mr Grieve told BBC Radio Scotland that the closure would severely affect collections of fresh produce from his shellfish company and trade to a restaurant he owns.

'Absolutely devastated'

He said one lane of carriageway should be kept open to allow all traffic to pass. He is to commission a civil engineer to examine Scotland Transerv's plans.

Mr Grieve said: "The restaurant would be absolutely devastated.

"October is a pivotal month of the year. Our trade mainly comes from hotels and guesthouses and I am in no doubt that would be devastated."

Last month, First Minister Alex Salmond said the Scottish government was committed to improving the A82.

In June, the government allocated £500,000 for a study of the trunk road to identify potential sites for improvements.

Detailed environmental and engineering surveys would assess where improvements were most needed.

Among the projects being considered are the introduction of overtaking lanes north of Crianlarich.

Also, traffic management measures to increase safety south of Fort William alongside Loch Linnhe.

Campaign group, the A82 Partnership, has described the road as one of Scotland's "most dangerous".

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