Two rubber ducks to help bring down ‘the rock’

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Two massive operations are underway to make sure that the controlled operation to bring down the rock at the Corran Ferry stretch of the A82 goes ahead on schedule and as smoothly as possible.

On one hand, Forestry Commission Scotland and contractors Geo-rope and consultants Coffey have agreed the work programme and timeline – and are now working to gather the machinery and equipment to do the job – and on the other, partners Transport Scotland are concentrating on minimising any disruption to the travelling public.

Alan Dickerson, Civil Engineering Central Services, who is managing the project for the Commission, said:

“Making sure that all the plant, equipment, people and services are where they need to be at the time they need to be there is a pretty major undertaking in its own right. 

“The team will be working round the clock and there will be a minimum of 25 people at work on site per shift – 100 people involved in all – each of them experienced and skilled in rope access. And that doesn’t include Commission staff and the guys who will make sure that the work zone remains secure – and safe.

“But the real job is getting all of the equipment together. Some of it is quite specialised and needs to be sourced and it all has to get to the site at the right time so that all of the elements will work seamlessly together on the day.”

As well as equipment such as rock drilling rigs and tools, the team doing the job will also need tower lights, chainsaws and spares, bowsers, and rope access / rescue equipment.

Then there are the bigger items - a powered rescue patrol boat (for safety reasons) cabins, a gritter, a wrecker, a road sweeper, a fork-lift truck, a telescopic forklift, 2 tippers, 2 dumpers, 5 compressors and two generators! And two ‘rubber ducks’ (excavators on rubber wheels) to help clear away the fallen rock after it’s down at road level.

In parallel, Transport Scotland is assisting Forestry Commission Scotland in the preparation and planning for the road closure over the weekend of 9 – 12 December.  Working in partnership, significant efforts are being made to ensure road users are kept informed of the works through the Traffic Scotland website and roadside electronic message signs.

Operating company Scotland Transerv, who manage the route on Transport Scotland’s behalf have also been key to the careful planning of this exercise. A Transerv spokesperson said:

“Any decision for a road closure is only taken after careful consideration of the potential disruption it may cause. We can assure people who travel on this section of the network that this closure is being managed as tightly as possible enabling the Forestry Commission to remove the rock crag in a controlled manner.”

Motorists should allow extra time for their journeys and pay attention to any advisory signs which will be in place throughout the works. For real time journey planning information visit

For more information about Forestry Commission Scotland’s current operation to remove the rock – and their longer term programme over the next 3 years - visit 

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Up to date information on the closure will be available on the Traffic Scotland Web site

Notes to Editors
1) Forestry Commission Scotland serves as the Scottish Government’s forestry directorate, managing, protecting and enhancing the 660,000 hectare national forest estate in ways that deliver benefits to Scotland’s people, communities, biodiversity and economy.

2) Coffey International Limited is a specialist professional services consultancy with expertise in geosciences, international development, and project management ( ).

3) Geo-Rope is a specialised construction company that has developed a reputation for providing innovative construction solutions in the field of Ground Engineering, slope stabilisation, rockfall protection and technical access. ( )

4) Media enquiries: Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office 0131 314 6507


1) Tha FCS ag obair mar bhuidheann-stiùiridh coilltearachd Riaghaltas na h-Alba agus a’ riaghladh nan 660,000 heactairean ann an Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta, a' dìonadh, a' cumail smachd air agus a' leudachadh nan coilltean gus buannachdan a thoirt dha coimhearsnachdan, an eaconamaidh agus, ag obair an aghaidh atharrachadh gnàth-shìde.

2) Airson agallamhan anns a’ Ghàidhlig, cuiribh fios gu Oifigear Leasachaidh Gàidhlig a’ Choimisean, Louise Nicilleathain air 01463 725 038