Is the Rest and Be Thankful open? Latest on the A83 mountain road that was closed due to landslip - and diversion details

A convoy system is currently in place for travellers using the Rest and Be Thankful

Friday, 28th August 2020, 4:42 pm

The A83 Rest and Be Thankful has been closed since August 4 due to a massive landslip.

Linking Loch Lomond with Campbelltown, ‘The Rest’ is a vital road for residents based on the Kintyre Peninsula.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Weeks on from the initial landslip the clean up operation is still ongoing as authorities work around the clock to make the road safe and passable.

Is the Rest and Be Thankful open?

The Rest and Be Thankful is open, but only via Old Military Road which runs parallel to the main road.

Cars using the Rest and Be Thankful will travel by a convoy system.

Travellers have been warned to expect disruption and to allow for extra time on their journey.

It is expected that these measures will be in place for another week.

To plan your journey by public transport you can contact the Traveline Scotland information line on 0871 200 22 33 or visit their website.

What happened on August 4?

About 65mm of rainfall is estimated to have fallen at the Rest and Be Thankful over the course of the day.

This caused a landslip 200m above the A83 and Old Military Road. The landslip occurred after heavy rain created a "fan effect" down several water channels.

It’s estimated that 6,000 tonnes of debris swept down the mountainside, with a quarter of it reaching the road. One of the landslip mitigation catch pits situated between the mountainside and the road caught 2,000 tonnes of debris.

A smaller landslip took place in January.

Potential solutions to problem road

The Rest and Be Thankful has long been plagued with landslips.

Eleven options to provide a “long-term solution” include new sections of the road within Glen Croe in Argyll.

No details have yet been published but they could include tunnels and bridges.

Options could also include upgrading the current landslip diversion route – the Old Military Road – parallel to the A83 further down the glen.

The project would be on a completely different scale to mitigation measures such as debris “catch pits” built after previous landslips.

Why is it called the Rest and Be Thankful?

The A83 trunk road has been known as the Rest and Be Thankful for centuries.

Its name derives from the 18th century when the Old Military Road was built by soldiers who inscribed a rock with the words.

The climb out of Glen Croe which the road traces is so steep that it became tradition, or rather a necessity, to literally rest at the top of the climb and be thankful for reaching the highest point.