A861 road among issues discussed by Ardgour councillors in August

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At the August meeting of Ardgour Community Council, the way the A861 road is used during A82 road closures was discussed.

Council secretary Claire Bennett-Levy updated those attending on recent contact with Police Chief Inspector Nick Hough who had briefed the Linnhe Community Alliance about plans to change the way A861 is used during A82 road closures.

A very recent serious incident had increased police presence and there is a commitment to communicate with local businesses about HGV restrictions etc. Vice-chairman Michael Foxley suggested roads maintenance contractor, BEAR Scotland, should also have a presence during serious incidents on A82.

Other agenda items discussed included the following:

*Kevin Mathers of MOWI thanked the community for patience during recent works and
confirmed the agreed culvert work has been completed. MOWI has purchased two picnic tables for donation to the community, with suitable sites to be agreed with Ardgour Estate.

*Councillors Update – No Highland councillors were present, although Councillor Allan Henderson (Caol and Mallaig Ward) had sent his apologies. It meant no updates were available from the area’s local authority elected members and there followed some discussion about ‘disappointment in lack of representation and support’ from elected officials.

*Police Update – PC MacIvor had been in touch about road markings and signage at Corran Ferry. Lines are being repainted to improve traffic management. Chairperson Samantha Thomson noted that road markings at Drumsallie would be helpful and she agreed she will write to the Highland Council roads department.

*Councillor Thomson also provided an update on the situation with Corpach sawmill operator, BSW. A meeting with residents took place in June and a timetable for the works was presented. Work is planned to start on an acoustic wall in November. The community council is still awaiting results from the environmental health study which took place in April. Councillor Foxley provided an update on Boyd Brothers and the secretary is to write to Highland Council environmental health team to push for conditions of Sunday planning permission – for example,  noise assessment, revised procedures and liaison group formation.

*Dail Mhor Update – The secretary noted there was recruitment going on for Helping Hands and Community care co-ordinator and Urram development officer.

*Corran Ferry Update – Councillor Foxley provided an update on the most recent meeting. Transport Scotland will not provide funding for design work but will offer help in kind. Discussions at the meeting took place about funding mechanisms. Concerns
have been about the proposed size of the vessels and the importance of ensuring capacity is sufficient when one vessel is being serviced. Councillor Foxley highlighted the socio-economic study goes to committee in September and he will follow up. There were concerns that the socio-economic study seriously underestimated journey times if the ferry was unavailable.

Dr Michael Foxley, pictured, is vice-chairman of Ardgour Community Council. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos NO-Dr-Michael-Foxley.jpg
Dr Michael Foxley, pictured, is vice-chairman of Ardgour Community Council. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos

* New Belford – Councillor Foxley provided an update on most recent meetings and the revised plans for the hospital.

*Applications for funding – no applications for discussion. The secretary noted that, during the summer break, two applications were agreed by email. The sum of £1,000 has been pledged to the West Lochaber Highland Transport Fund and £220 was granted to provide assistance with transport for a young person. Councillor Thomson suggested adding a poster to the new noticeboards.

*Councillor Thomson advised there will be a meeting of Linnhe Community Alliance in September and asked for agenda items. Councillor Foxley asked for Corran Ferry and state of A861 to be included.

*The secretary advised there was a request for the extension of the graveyard at Ardgour Parish Church to be discussed at the next meeting.

*Date of next meeting – Thursday, September 9, 7.30pm via Zoom.