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A82 SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT PROTEST
By Stuart Fraser
14th November 2008
A82 campaigners delivered their message to MSPs and Ministers at the Scottish Parliament last Wednesday (13th) with the help of a laser beam projection onto the Edinburgh building.
The laser was also beamed onto the Salisbury Crags during a demonstration outside the parliament in Holyrood by a group of campaigners from the A82 partnership demanding an upgrade of the trunk road which runs from Glasgow to Inverness.
The group, which included members of the Fusion Youth Space from Fort William, also met with several MSPs within the parliament to remind them of their demands ahead of the publication of the Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR) which is due imminently.
Campaign leader Ally Ferguson said: “The purpose is mainly to continue to keep it in the face and in front of the MSPs at Parliament. We are obviously at the closing stages of the STPR being announced and it is most important that we continue to get the support of the MSPs and hopefully they will continue to lend their support for the A82 campaign.”
An e-petition with 8,555 signatures was presented to Holyrood’s public petitions committee earlier in the year and Ally was delighted with the support shown by the public. “It has been fantastic. All the way from Argyll right through Lochaber up the west coast and the Western Isles,” he said.
Argyll & Bute councillor Roddy McCuish also travelled with the group and spoke of the importance of the A82 road to the Oban area. “The A82 is as important to Oban as it is anywhere else because the majority of freight and tourism come up Loch Lomond side and then branch off to Oban so it is vitally important to Argyll & Bute that the A82 is upgraded,” he said.
Mr McCuish went on to stress the effect on the tourism industry in the area. He said: “It definitely will affect the tourism industry because people will come up the A82 once and they will not come back again. It is important that we urge the tourists to come back every single year and unless we can provide a safe environment for the tourists to come up to Oban and North Lorn in particular, they will not come back. The A82 is unsafe at the moment and it is not fit for purpose.”
Campaigners were enthusiastic after their meeting with a cross-party group of MSPs within the Parliament and are hopeful that the STPR will include funding for the works between Tarbet and Fort William which were identified in the route action plan.