Letters to the Editor – 20.5.21

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Drivers, slow down!

The A830 through Corpach is subject to heavy traffic flows, and the pavements here are much used by residents, including children walking and cycling to Banavie primary school, crossing the road to catch buses, etc.

Recently, in an attempt to remind drivers that a 30mph speed limit applies to the road, some concerned local parents attached cardboard signs to the lampposts with the number 30 on them. I was disappointed to notice that Bear Scotland quickly removed these signs.

Our hard-working local councillors have long campaigned to make the road safer for pedestrians and we are very grateful for the installation of improvements, including a pelican crossing and signs which flash when vehicles exceed the speed limit. However, these signs seem to be routinely ignored by most vehicles, as they flash almost every time a vehicle passes. It is becoming clear that traffic will not stick to the speed limit without enforcement of some kind. Police camera vans can only visit very infrequently, so it seems that only a permanent speed camera is likely to work.

When I asked a Bear Scotland representative why the cardboard signs had been taken away, I was told that it is illegal to attach signs to lampposts. He also said that evidence such as accidents and road deaths is required before consideration could be given to installing a speed camera. This is shocking and suggests that road safety is not a priority for the body which manages our highways.

All drivers must be aware that when a child or other pedestrian steps into the road and is hit by a car travelling at speeds near to 40mph, he or she is likely to be killed, but if the vehicle is travelling at close to 20mph there is only a one in 20 chance of death.

They also know the speed limit is the absolute maximum speed allowed for the road. Surely no driver wants to be responsible for a death, particularly that of a child. Drivers, please slow down!
Jenny Ford, Corpach.

Traffic signs

It was very sad to see the damage done to the sculptures in the garden at the Atlantis Playpark the other week.

In case readers are unaware of the origin of this garden I would like to explain that the Millennium Rhododendron Garden, as it was named, was planted to commemorate the Millennium and to be a peaceful place where residents of Oban could sit and enjoy the plants. The garden was the brainchild of the late Mervyn Kessel, principal horticultural services officer at Argyll and Bute Council at the time and principal of the Scottish Rhododendron Society, a chapter of the American Rhododendron Society.

Maybe I could quote from the obituary written by his fellow members: ‘More recently he proposed that the Scottish Chapter construct a Millennium Rhododendron Garden for the local community to enjoy at the Atlantis Leisure Centre in Oban.

‘It proved to be a daunting task for a chapter with a thinly spread membership and for Mervyn himself. He produced the design work, successfully requested grant funding towards the cost, obtained much of the materials as sponsorship donations, acted as ringleader to draw in helpers to assist with construction, landscaping, fencing and planting, and as the project was reaching completion he arranged for the garden to be opened by Ray Michie, the local MP.’

Many of Argyll’s gardeners donated plants for the garden and it proved to be a great success.

Sadly Mervyn did not live to enjoy his garden as he passed away on December 8, 2001, aged only 54.

He was a good man and should be remembered for his encouragement and support of horticulture in Argyll and Bute.
Maurice Wilkins, Oban.