Thursday, 16 July 2015

Our Lifeline Road

This is the B8007, our lifeline road, at Ardslignish brae.  The section on the right is sliding, at the moment gently, down the hill.

For readers who don't know West Ardnamurchan, we have only this one road - a narrow, windy, potholed, single-track affair - which connects us to 'civilisation'. Were it to be cut, we would be separated from our supplies of food, fuel and other daily needs, our doctors, the ambulance and the local hospital, and it would, of course, stop all visitors coming here - and this community depends heavily on tourism.

The road has been cut before, but never completely.  However, what is now happening along the steep section at Ardslignish brae is cause for considerable concern. Several people who pass along the road regularly have commented that it is almost visibly sliding down the hill, and the crack certainly seems longer and larger every time we pass it.

Last time a landslip affected the road it took out a section above Camas nan Geall. It remained passable, but Highland Council took some time to repair it. What's happening at Ardslignish is far worse.

Our Community Council has been talking to senior engineers at Highland Council, and they acknowledge that this problem is serious, but I don't know that any contingency plans have been put in hand for when - not 'if' - it goes.


  1. This hillside has always been on the move, but never so fast as now. Over the past two years goodness knows how many extra full sized LGV's have wobbled nervously in and out along the B8007 since EU grants allowed parts of the road to be enlarged ( not strengthened ) to permit them passage. The local delivery of heavy materials, timber , building stone, engineering steel and scaffolding for local building projects (and for one principle project) has a high cost. The eventual expense to ratepayers of failing to insist that roll on/roll off vessels were employed to the ferry pier a few hundred yards away for these heavy shipments is brought into clear perspective?

  2. We had exactly the same syndrome with the only access road to the village I live in sliding down a hillside except you could stick your fist into the fissure that opened up in the tarmac which for months was just half heartedly coned off with some tape (at least it's a double track road). It's been fixed now in exactly the same way as seen in your picture but just a matter of time before another section starts to move, I reckon ...