Dumbarton’s MSP Jackie Baillie has called for a permanent solution to be found to safeguard the A83 from further disruption.

The route was closed at the Rest and Be Thankful for nine days from October 9 to October 18 after a series of landslips caused 3,000 tonnes of debris to be collected in specially-designed fences above the route, preventing most from reaching the roadside.

At the same time, the Old Military Road, which is used as a diversionary route, was closed for a week over the same period from October 9 to October 15 due to concerns that the severe weather could cause further landslides.

At the Scottish Parliament last week, Ms Baillie asked the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Michael Matheson, what investment is planned for the A83 and for a full appraisal of options to be commissioned to find a permanent solution, so that the route can remain open year round.

The MSP also praised the staff and workers of Bear Scotland and Transport Scotland who worked tirelessly to restore both routes as quickly as possible.

Ms Baillie told the Reporter: “This is not the first time that we have seen the A83 closed at the Rest and Be Thankful and, whilst I am grateful for all the efforts to reopen both roads, it is time that a permanent solution is found.

“I have asked the Cabinet Secretary for Transport to work with Argyll and Bute Council and Transport Scotland and commission a full options appraisal for the A83 to find a permanent solution for the route to provide certainty for local residents and businesses.”

Mr Matheson visited the area during the closure earlier this month.

In response to Ms Baillie’s question, he told MSPs: “A significant amount of work has been undertaken to implement mitigation measures.

“However, given the events of the past couple of weeks, we clearly need to revisit the issue.

“I am also open to looking at whether further measures need to be taken to address the issue permanently.

“If such measures are identified, I will make every possible effort to ensure that they are realised.”