A walker was killed yesterday in a traffic accident on the A82 in Glen Coe, which was closed for several hours as a result. The man, who has not yet been named, was hit by a campervan near Altnafeadh. The van's occupants were unharmed.
As a key trunk road through a major destination for hillwalkers and climbers, the A82 has long been recognised for its dangerous combination of fast traffic and pedestrians. The lack of an official trail through the length of the glen tends to encourage walkers onto the verges at many points, or even onto the road itself, where speeding and overtaking vehicles can be hazardous.
At the foot of the Devil's Staircase on the West Highland Way, and with the main car park for Buachaille Etive Mor, Altnafeadh is a particularly busy spot for walkers. Being situated on a bend in the road between two very fast straight sections, it is also one of the main points at which vehicles pose a risk. West from here there is no safe road-side route for walkers for quite some distance. The same is true towards the mouth of the glen, where pedestrians heading east from the Clachaig have few appealing options.
Although the full details of yesterday's accident have not been released, the incident has reignited ongoing discussion on social media concerning traffic hazard in the glen. Some have mooted tighter speed restrictions at key stages on the A82, while other walkers suggest that the lack of an official footpath parallel to the A-road through the length of the glen inevitably leaves pedestrians at risk when returning to their starting point at the end of a long hill round.
More than one commentator has pointed out that the course of the old pre-A-road can be followed to give a traffic-free alternative through much of the glen. At present this is an incomplete route, unmaintained and little publicised. However, should calls for an official glen path gain traction, this would be the obvious basis for such a route.