Highlands & Islands

Highland Council 'needs help funding Stromeferry bypass'

Landslide at the Stromeferry Bypass Image copyright Ingrid Deschryver
Image caption A landslide at the bypass last year

MSP Rhoda Grant has called on the Scottish government to help fund the cost of a permanent solution to the trouble-hit A890 Stromeferry bypass.

The road has been badly affected by rock falls in recent years, with one slide closing it for four months.

Highland Council cannot afford the proposed solutions - a new bridge and bypass at an estimated cost of £100m, or diverting the existing road.

The government said it and the council were discussing the options.

Scottish Labour MSP Ms Grant said: "It is a real safety issue and just been good fortune no-one has been killed on this road because there have been huge landslides."

She said the bypass was used to take schoolchildren to Plockton High School.

The Scottish government said the work being done by Highland Council to build a safer route to replace the Stromeferry bypass was recognised.

A spokesperson said: "Transport Scotland is in continued discussions with Highland Council to help them identify a solution, and are providing technical advice as part of the appraisal of possible options.

"Any decision on providing financial support for the preferred option will be determined by the availability of resources within future spending reviews."

The A890 helps to connect Lochcarron to Plockton, and its high school, and eventually with Kyle, on the opposite side of Loch Carron.

The road runs across the top of the sea loch to link up with the A896, the main road to Lochcarron.

When the bypass is closed, drivers face having to take a 140-mile (225km) diversion, instead of the usual 18 miles (29km) from Lochcarron to Plockton.

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