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Transport Minister visits Stromeferry landslip site (06/03/12)
Scottish Minister for Housing and Transport Keith Brown visited the A890 Stromeferry Landslip Site today to see at first hand the scale of the problem.
Mr Brown met with representatives from The Highland council to find out about the clear up operation underway and also met with local representatives to hear about the impact of the landslip on local communities.
Mr Brown said:
"It was important for me to come here today to appreciate the scale of the problem here at Stromeferry as I am aware that landslips are a particularly difficult roads issue to deal with.
"The A890 is a local road and is the responsibility of Highland Council to fund, maintain and operate however staff from Transport Scotland's road and rail departments are working together to assist the council in its endeavours to reopen the road as soon as it is safe to do so and are offering their technical expertise.
"I am pleased to see how the various agencies have come together to keep the local area moving and delighted that ScotRail has been able to assist the Wester Ross community by providing additional morning services for the school children and commuters.
"We should also note that Network Rail is in dialogue with The Highland Council over allowing the potential diversion of the road onto railway land, as happened previously. If necessary, trains and road traffic would both be able to operate once suitable safety arrangements have been made. The Kyle line is an important part of the highland transport system and also for our offering to tourists in Scotland.
"I am pleased to hear that the ferry repairs are underway and that The Highland Council is exploring all alternative modes of travel for commuters in the meantime.
"The Highland Council is working round the clock to reopen the road and we will continue to work with them and the rail industry to help achieve this."
Councillor John Laing, Chairman of The Highland Council’s TEC Services Committee, welcomed the visit of Mr Brown.
He said: “We are pleased that the Minister took the time and trouble to see at first hand the trouble spot and to hear the impact of the closure from community representatives. I have assured the Minister we are doing everything in our power to get things moving again.
“I had a meeting earlier today with the owners of the Glenelg car ferry to see if we can extend its use at Stromeferry beyond 17 March and await their response. We are also making good progress in our discussions with Network Rail to allow a diversion of the road on to the railway. I appreciate that the loss of the car ferry in recent days has been a huge inconvenience to everyone but hopefully it will be back in operation tomorrow.”