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To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the evidence given at Oban Sheriff Court in May 2015 suggesting that, at the time of a fatal accident in August 2013, the A85 at Connel was uneven, had a low texture depth and a severe deficiency in skid resistance and that Transport Scotland was aware of such concerns prior to the accident; whether it will investigate the allegations, and, if substantiated, what action it will take.


Answered by Derek Mackay (03/06/2015): Whilst aware of recent press reports, the Scottish Government was not a party to the proceedings at Oban Sheriff Court and is not, therefore, in a position to comment on those. Condition surveys of the A85 at Connel were undertaken in the three year period prior to this accident. Based on the results of those surveys, the road surface at this location was investigated in line with UK-wide road standards and Transport Scotland’s skid resistance policy in May 2011, August 2012 and July 2013. All assessments concluded that no action was required to improve skid resistance. The site was also visited by Transport Scotland representatives and Police Scotland after the accident, when it was noted that the road surface, road markings and road studs were in good condition and concluded that an accident investigation study was not required.

The site was investigated again in June 2014 in line with the skid resistance policy. That investigation concluded that maintenance work should be considered to improve the skid resistance and to address other surface defects that had developed since the previous investigation. The road was re-surfaced in July 2014.

Transport Scotland and its operating companies take road safety very seriously and have robust inspection and repair processes in place across the trunk road network.


Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 03/06/2015
 
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