Rethink over planned 70 mile Killin diversion following politicians' concerns

A potential 70 mile diversion around roadworks in Killin later this month seems to have been avoided after Stirling Council paused plans and pledged a rethink.

Concerns had been raised that locals, businesses and other motorists would face the massive detour.

Stirling MP Alyn Smith and Trossachs and Teith Councillor Gene Maxwell sought urgent clarification from Stirling Council at the end of last month regarding the proposed diversion.

Stirling Council had been planning resurfacing works on a stretch of the A827 in Killin from May 20 until June 2 between 9am and 5pm each day.

Mr Smith and Mr Maxwell wrote to Stirling Council leader Councillor Chris Kane, asking if the council could explore other alternatives to lessen disruption including night working and shorter bursts of work eased with regular traffic amnesties.

Both elected representatives expressed concern over the impact the closure would have on local residents and businesses, particularly in the busy Spring bank holiday.

Trossachs and Teith SNP Councillor Gene Maxwell had said: “Rural residents will be rightly furious at being told to undertake a 70-mile diversion to get about their business.

“Nobody decries road maintenance, or the added complexity a rural locale might bring, but this is a bit much.

“I also worry about the impact this will have on tourism in the area, which is so important for Killin.

“Let’s be sensible and pragmatic about this - and ensure genuine consultation next time.”

Alyn Smith MP had said: “Repairing Stirling’s roads is an important job, and I’m glad to see it take place.

“But as ever it’s how such work is communicated that can be the difference between a happy community and one who might feel ignored.

“A 70-mile diversion at the height of the busy Spring bank holiday is quite unreasonable.

“Rural businesses and residents across Stirling already face connectivity challenges - Stirling Council should be working to make lives easier, not more difficult.”

However this week a Stirling Council spokesperson confirmed the roadworks were to be rescheduled, and that consideration would be given as to how best to minimise any disruption.

The spokesperson said: “The re-surfacing works on the A827 are being re-scheduled.

“The community will be informed of new dates and plans in due course and in advance of any proposed works.

“We will consider all options when it comes to reviewing the new date and schedule for this important re-surfacing project.”

In their letter to Councillor Kane, Alyn Smith and Councillor Maxwell had written: “We have been made aware that Stirling Council intends to close the A827 from its junction with the A85 to the Stirling Council / Perth and Kinross Council Boundary from 0900 hours until 1700 hours from May 20 until June 2 to facilitate surfacing works.

“This disruption, during the Spring bank holiday, will have a devastating impact on the local economy of Killin.

“Shutting the entire road and setting up a 70 mile diversion for 13 days seems to be ill thought through.

“It will prevent businesses trading, tourists visiting and have a marked impact on the local community.

“Would the council reconsider how these resurfacing works are undertaken, to reduce disruption?

Perhaps emulating other successful closures, working through the night and periodic amnesties instead of a blanket closure could help soften the blow?

“We’d also like to see better communication and genuine consultation with local businesses and residents in future, as this really will have an impact on the people we three represent.”