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Hope fades of swift fix for Stromeferry bypass

By Scott Maclennan

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LONG-running problems on the Stromeferry bypass look set to be left to Highland Council to solve – at least in the short term.

The area is notorious for frequent rock falls and landslips that block the bypass leading to a diversion of more than 130 miles. And there have been hopes that the Scottish Government might offer financial support for a permanent fix.

Council leader Margaret Davison met transport minister Michael Matheson at the end of November but the only outcome was advice to apply for Scottish Futures Trust funding.

Councillor Davidson was asked about the meeting by Derek MacLeod, the local ward member, to find out if any progress had been made at the meeting.

She explained: “The cabinet secretary advised that the council should talk with Scottish Futures Trust with regard to potential funding options.

“Your other comment was about the strategic transport review – that is not due until 2020 as far as I know and he spoke about Stromeferry being part of that review if we wanted to put it forward.

She said: “We will be continuing to prepare, we have no option – we have a duty to the people that use that road daily.”

Cllr Macleod is growing weary of the to-and-fro between council and government.

He said: “On the question of whether the Scottish Government recognises their responsibilities under the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 to regularly review the Strategic Roads Network there was no answer.

“The long-awaited response to the STAG appraisal... will probably repeat the assertion that as a local authority road [it’s] not a problem for Scottish ministers or Transport Scotland.”

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