Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford has said that there is significant work that must now be carried out in the Loch Katrine area in order to make it a safer place, following recent landslides.
Mr Crawford has discussed the scale of the challenge with Scottish Water, who own much of the surrounding land, and has since received an update from their Head of Corporate relations:
“Last week we worked to clear as much of the road as possible of debris, earth and stones.
“The affected road remains closed to through traffic and warning and information signs to deter walkers and cyclists from using the road due to safety concerns also remain in place.
“Our focus this week is to continue clearing debris, carry out further ground investigation studies, lift infill materials to the affected areas, design the remedial work on the road and establish the next phases of work required.”
Following concerns raised by local businesses that footfall in the area has decreased due to the inability of walkers and cyclists to access certain parts of the damaged road, Mr Crawford has written to the Scottish Government, asking for advice on what potential support may be available through government agencies for businesses facing similar circumstances.
Mr Crawford has also written to the Chief Executive of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, highlighting his concerns about the lack of mobile signal in the Loch Katrine area, and asking if there is any way in which the National Park can help to facilitate the instalment of mobile phone infrastructure.
This comes following the accounts of residents who were unable to get the message out to friends and family following the landslides as the main BT line was down and they had no mobile signal.
Mr Crawford has had confirmation from BT that the phone line is back up and running in a number of properties who had lost it due to the landslides.
Commenting, Bruce Crawford said:
“I’m continuing to work closely with the relevant agencies and the local community to see that every effort that can be made to get the place back up and running as normal is being done.
“However, these incidents have highlighted a very serious issue about mobile signal in the area. Many of us take mobile signal for granted, or view it as a luxury. However, for many in the Loch Katrine area, having mobile signal could have meant that they had a means with which to get a quick message to family and friends – when they were otherwise cut off from the world.
“I have therefore written to the National Park in order to find out more about what can be done to help facilitate better mobile infrastructure in the area.
“I have also contacted Finance Secretary Derek Mackay for advice on what possible support may be available to local businesses who are facing challenges as a knock on effect to trade as a result of these landslides.
“On a number of fronts, there is significant work that must be carried out to repair the damage of these landslides, and I would encourage anyone with any specific concerns to contact my office.”