Letters to the editor 02.05.19

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Crossroads at Spean Bridge pose a considerable danger

I leave the main road to go up the Leanachan road at the Spean Bridge crossroads junction three or four times a day, seven days a week.

Almost every time I fear vehicles coming behind me before I exit the main road on to the Leanachan single-track road, are going to hit the back of me – I’ve had several close calls.

The main reasons are the speed of traffic as they come off the straight section of road and come around the corner about 50m from the crossroads junction, only then to see traffic going up the Leanachan road and the lack of awareness by the main road vehicles of the possibility that traffic exiting the main road on to the Leanachan will have to stop on the main road if a vehicle is coming along the Leanachan road, as two vehicles won’t fit in the mouth of the Leanachan road.

There is also a danger for those exiting from the main road turning right down the High Bridge/Brackletter/Kilmonivaig road as they too may have to sit in the main road until oncoming traffic on the main road is cleared. School minibuses with primary children must face this problem daily.

I asked the community council if it would inquire about the safety issue, asking if the mouth of Leanachan exit could be widened to be similar to the High Bridge/Brackletter/Kilmonivaig exit.

The reply I got was no, BEAR Scotland had said it had trouble with a culvert at this junction. I asked a local resident about that and he told me the only problem with the culvert is when leaves choke it. Some problem!

As I travelled up from Lochy Bridge I noted at Carr’s Corner where there is only one junction to a business yard but there is a big ‘Slow’ sign painted on the road and a cluster of 30mph signs on both sides. Just by the Inverlochy Castle Hotel entrance, there is a very clear sign with an orange background with the words ‘Reduce speed now’.

I don’t have a problem with these signs except there seems to be a very inconsistent approach to safety. Are the lives of those using the crossroads at Spean Bridge of less importance? So why do we not have similar signs?

It is only a miracle that there have not been more deaths at this point in the road.

Let us have those of us who use the crossroads junction protected before someone is killed.

Betty MacLachlan, Spean Bridge.

Oban is looking wonderful

On a quick litter picking jaunt up to Pulpit Hill and around town, I marvelled at how clean and beautiful Oban Bay looks and really is this year, after  all the hard work of the street cleaners and volunteers at the Spring Clean, which spruced  ” our wonderful little town.

Or is this just because spring is in the air and we’ve had some glorious weather, the new born lambs along the A85 are bouncing and the council’s planted flowers are blooming? It’s also wonderful to see lots of the empty shops recently being renovated and filled, hopefully bringing a vibrancy to town centre. However, the real gem is Ganavan bay beach, immaculately kept clean by the locals and Dougie Dan.

On the whole Oban is rather grand and splendid and how fortunate we all are to live in such a beautiful area.

Stephen Jones

Islay Mòd cancelled for 2019

Due to unforeseen unavoidable circumstances Islay’s local Mòd will not take place this year.

Originally planned for June 15, the local Mòd Ìle committee decided that it would not be possible to run the event to the standard the island expects.

This was a hard decision to make but we did not feel we had the capacity to deliver our Mòd this year. Our apologies go out to disappointed supporters and competitors.

However, we plan to use this breathing space constructively. We are looking hard at Mòd activities with the aim of being back better and stronger for 2020.

We will be seeking out best practice from other Mòds around Scotland and looking to other events for fresh ideas. A meeting will be held on June 11 so that all interested Ileach and stakeholders can input their views and ideas.

We want to retain what is best about our event but keep it fresh for the coming years.’

Neil Baker,
Islay Mòd Committee chairman.

Shocking condition of roads

It was great to catch up with constituents in Bowmore, Port Ellen, Port Charlotte and Portnahaven recently as I criss-crossed Islay listening to local issues.
In Bowmore, I heard numerous concerns about ACHA housing conditions, broken street-lighting and crumbling pavements alongside damaged walls.
Our roads and street-lighting department is limited by the funding our council receives from the Scottish Government that has hammered local authority budgets in rural areas.
Many of my constituents have correctly commented that our roads are resembling patchwork quilts given the number of temporary repairs with little long-term resurfacing.
In Port Ellen, the shocking condition of Mansefield Road continues to be raised. Aside from the terrible surface, which is dangerous due to the large number of potholes, there are blocked drains. Inaction in dealing with this road should be considered as unacceptable as it is dangerous.
In Port Charlotte, the center of the village is sadly still in darkness due to whole streets being without working lighting. Many locals have pointed out that nearly four years without street-lighting is something you would expect in a third world country not the industrial and tax revenue bread basket that is Islay.
While in Portnahaven and Port Wemyss, as well as potholes and broken street-lighting problems continuing to be brought up, more and more residents are complaining about dog fouling issues.
As we all know, the majority of dog owners are responsible and considerate but, sadly, it only takes one or two people to break the rules to make things unpleasant for everyone else. To ensure this problem is limited, I have been speaking at length with our hard-working local and mainland wardens.
I have raised all these concerns and much more with the appropriate departments and will continue to press for local improvements across my council ward.
Councillor Alastair Redman,
Kintyre and Islands ward.