Letters to the editor 23.05.19

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Skye residents and businesses want benefits of airport

The Sleat Community Council was dismayed to read the letter from Joanne Matheson of Acharacle Community Council (‘Airport on Skye would damage the environment’, The Oban Times, May 9) concerning the proposals by Highland Council, HITRANS and Highlands and Island Enterprise to consider the resumption of air services to and from Skye.

It is disturbing that Ms Matheson seemingly bases her opinions on information seen on social media where she states ‘that this proposal is for an airport that the majority of people don’t appear to want’.

We would strongly challenge Ms Matheson’s assumption and suggest that she provides factual evidence of her assertion. She clearly does not wish to consider the potential benefits for the island and its communities, including enhanced transport connectivity, business development, economic growth, employment and recruitment opportunities, improved links for medical travel, together with offering visitors an additional choice of travel options.

If she is basing that statement on information that she reads on social media, then she is very much misguided.

We would further question the Acharacle Community Council’s right to object to the granting of further interim funding for the ongoing study without knowing the full requirements for the introduction of a trial service which are still being assessed particularly with the backdrop of the current financial climate.

Businesses, organisations and residents on Skye and its neighbouring areas should be assured that there will be an open and transparent consultation at the appropriate time, including public meetings, if indeed the proposal is progressed further.

This will allow those with an interest to hear the full facts of such a trial from the public agencies responsible.

Roddy Murray, chairman, and Rob Ware, secretary, Sleat Community Council.

Grateful thanks for help following serious illness

Following a most enjoyable holiday aboard the Glen Massan, part of the Majestic Line, my husband David had a stroke at the Columba Hotel in Oban. He was admitted to Lorn and Islands Hospital.

I would like to thanks all the people who helped me during my stay, including the Columba Hotel which found me a bed; Julie’s Cafe which kept me going with smashing soups; the bus drivers, who were most courteous; and the laundry, which kept us clean.

Everybody was most friendly and helpful.

After three weeks, David was moved to nearer home, where he is continuing to improve. Thanks you to all the hospital staff for the care and treatment he received.

Jean Williams,

Tregynon, Newtown, Powys, Wales.

Visitors should be encouraged to use public transport

We should be doing more to encourage tourists to visit Oban by public transport rather than by car. The roads get very clogged up by caravans and HGVs in summer.

The Glasgow to Oban bus service, although free to senior citizens and disabled, has toilets that are quite unsuitable even for many who do not consider themselves disabled.  The toilets on the trains are okay but ScotRail does not seem to realise that the rush hour on the Glasgow to Oban line consists of Saturdays and Sundays.

For example, the 12.11pm  Sunday train from Oban to Glasgow often has standing room only because ScotRail flatly refuses to run a Sunday morning train from Oban to Glasgow, even in the peak summer season.

Many people overlook the fact that certain types of disabilities, such as asthma, are a direct result of pollution. I have decided to support the organisation known as Extinction Rebellion because so many illnesses and
disabilities are caused or made worse by pollution.

David Gallant, Oban.