Letters to the editor – 11.11.21

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Covid jag fiasco

My 91-year-old mother was on of the ‘uninvited’ who you report attended the Corran Halls vaccine clinic on October 27.

We were there because my mother was 28 weeks past her second vaccine doze and every time we turned on the TV we were exhorted by politicians and health experts to get a booster shot as soo as we were eligible.

We tried to find out when that might be but the NHS Highland website held no clues and the Vaccination Enquiry Hub took nearly an hour to answer and was unable to give definitive information.

Having had no blue envelope and becoming increasingly anxious, when a friend told us that the Corran Halls clinic was giving booster jabs, we set off because we thought it might be her only chance to get a booster.

If the appointment letters had come out in a timely fashion we would have been happy to wait patiently for a jab.

I wonder what would have happened to the vaccine doses unused if those uninvited people had not turned up?
K Davidson, Ardfern.

War memorial omission

It is a historical oddity that no First World War Mercantile Marine casualties appear on the Oban war memorial, possibly due to then prevailing social attitudes.

Their names are commemorated in bronze letters at the Memorial at Tower Hill in London, but I wondered if they are remembered anywhere within the town.

Two probable local men were Second Officer John McNeil whose mother lived at Airds Crescent and Trimmer Donald Stewart, born in Oban. Further afield are Neil Campbell of Easdale, Barra men Donald McNeil and John MacDonald, Neil Cameron from Mull, John MacMillan Tiree and John MacLean Coll.

Their memory deserves to be respected with honour.

The contribution of civilian seamen to the war effort was recognised by the King granting the title “Merchant Navy” after the peace was won.
Norman Martin, by email.

Royal Mail woes

I was interested to find out that the people of Oban are having issues with Royal Mail deliveries. The people of Oban are not alone.

I am a postal subscriber to the Oban Times, and I live in central Edinburgh. For a period of 11 days I had no Royal Mail deliveries whatsoever. In effect, some important mail I was expecting had gone missing. While things have subsequently, to an extent, settled down, confidence in the Royal Mail has diminished considerably.

At the time, I put a complaint in writing to the relevant Edinburgh sorting office, and have not had as much as an acknowledgement. Having spoken to Royal Mail staff locally, it seems, as in Oban, there is a serious lack of delivery staff.

This sort of thing tends to be looked upon as a local issue, though my suspicion is that the issue is much more widespread. I haven’t seen anything in the national press, or on the BBC, though their involvement may not be at all inappropriate.
George Knight, Edinburgh.

Achnacloich Bridge

Clearly there are significant concerns over the (relatively) new road markings at Achnacloich Bridge. On 16 August, I wrote to Mr Hugh Gillies, director of Roads at Transport Scotland, imploring him to take immediate steps to rectify the situation.

Within a few days I received a reply (signed by MiCase?!) giving me a reference number and telling me a response would be provided within the timescale stated on the gov.scot website, or at least, that was their aim.

The stated timescale lapsed on September 5 but I waited until October 28 before I chased things up. A few days later I received a reply (signed by MiCase – again!). It was exactly the same letter, the only change being a different reference number!

On October 29 I wrote to Ms Jenni Minto MSP, with a copy to Brendan O’Hara, and forwarded copies of both replies from Transport Scotland. I asked her to investigate and let me know what the outcome was (assuming she got a reply).

It’s now November 5 and so far there has been nothing from the MSP or MP, and not surprisingly, nothing from Transport Scotland.

It’s little wonder that people can’t be bothered to complain.
Les Stewart, Connel.

Road markings do not comply

Further to my wife, Annie’s letter to you regarding the road markings at Achnacloich, I read the article in the Oban Times (Oct 28) with interest.

Contrary to Mr Ross’s assertion that the markings comply with the Traffic Signs Manual, the markings at Achnacloich Bridge do not include the important centre line which separates the two lanes of normal road traffic as specified in Section 11.3 of the manual. (This may be confirmed by Googling traffic signs manual gov.uk chapter five and turning to Section 11.3.)

That said, it is clear to me that this system of markings is far more suited to an urban environment with slow moving vehicles. Frankly, on a fast trunk road, its use beggars belief.

Most modern car safety systems such as Lane Assist automatically de-activate below 10mph so would be unlikely to try to steer the vehicle into the “High Vehicle Lane” in towns but, at anything over that speed, drivers would need to be quite alert to keep their cars from steering themselves directly into a head-on collision.

However, many of these safety systems (which can cost up to £2,000 as an optional extra on new cars) can be de-activated by the driver so perhaps Bear should erect ‘De-

Activate Lane Assist’ signs well before the bridge to prevent too many head-on collisions.

For a region that used to emphasise the well-meaning (if ungrammatical) slogan ‘Drive Safe’, this would seem like a somewhat ridiculous, backward step though.
Jackson F Wheeler, Dingwall.