Comment posted A83 landslide closure updates by newsroom.
From Avril Lockhart: I’ve just checked your website (6.45pm Friday) and was pleased to find out up to date info about the road closure and the fact it would be open tomorrow. 5 minutes previously I looked at Traffic Scotland, which is usually reliable, but there was no mention of the road being opened on Saturday during daylight hours. This is very disappointing as I would have trusted Traffic Scotland and would have altered my traffic plans, but a friend told me to look at For Argyll and luckily you had the correct information. Traffic Scotland needs to be updated regularly.
newsroom also commented
- For jake: A suggestion – why don’t you and Crazy She-Bat get down to some script writing?
- For Avril: we have drawn Scotland Transerv’s attention to the various problems with signage.
- For thorn in the flesh: Yes.
- For Bob Chicken: We published the material as supplementary contextual material to the A83 situation because we thought that was pertinent.
But we are aware that there were other ways of making it public.
We’ll happily also publish it as a separate news piece.
- From Bob Chicken:
On 28.November the Chair of Tarbert and Skipness CC ,Brian Mearns, sent the attached letter to Keith Brown, Minister for Transport and Housing, calling for an independent enquiry into the way in which Transport Scotland has treated the community served by the A83 trunk road in Tarbert.
The A83 in Tarbert is characterised by its steepness; narrowness (two trucks cannot pass unless one goes onto the sole , narrow pavement); lack of adequate pavements; sharp bend and complex junction at the bottom of the hill into the village opposite a Post Office and Co-op (the largest shop in the village). Increasingly Heavy HGV usage has led this stretch of road to become, in our opinion, a real hazard to the lives and limbs of pedestrians and road users alike.
Over the years, In order to try and reduce the risks to pedestrians and road users, we have asked Transport Scotland to consider the following solutions:-
· To restrict a short section of the road to a single wide lane controlled by traffic lights at either end (as at Minard) thus allowing a wide, safe footpath;
· A pedestrian crossing opposite the Co-op or Post Office;
· Flashing speed signs at the beginning of the narrow stretch of road;
Whilst acknowledging that this stretch of road falls below the standard expected of Scotland’s trunk road network the answer has always been a resounding “NO!”
In order to try and reduce the increasing volume of HGVs passing through the village we have worked with the Timber Transport Group and Argyll and Bute Council to provide a by pass for HGVS. More than 50,000 tonnes of timber passes through Tarbert every year. Last year the bypass was completed. However, we found that various mapping agencies (inc Google maps) now showed the bypass as the main route through Tarbert for ALL traffic. This has had obvious effects of the economy of the village as tourist traffic bypassed us. The solution to this was to be a sign pointing out that Tarbert was a Historic Fishing Port and showing the facilities here. Transport Scotland again said “NO!”. This time their reason was “Tarbert is not a tourist destination facility or attraction ……… it is a place.”
We are very grateful to our MSP Michael Russell, Regional MSPs and Kintyre and the Islands councillors for their support in this matter.
Transport Scotland is Scotland’s expert organisation on road safety yet they only seem able to say “NO!”. They never seem to offer solutions, they can only offer refusals. We have seen other communities, with less apparent case for traffic calming measures, get them installed. For this reason we believe that we have reached the end of the road with Transport Scotland and call upon the Minister to appoint an independent person or body to look into Transport Scotland’s response to our road safety and signage concerns.
Chair, Roads and Transport,
Tarbert and Skipness Community Council.
Recent comments by newsroom
- Perfect fit in new partnership marketing initiative for Cowal’s Creggans Inn
Had a grin at your imagineering of ‘a sobering run to Dunoon by HM finest’.
This sort of occasion is obviously about staying overnight and we had expected that this was central to the marketing strategy – but we will inquire.
- Gigha community ownership on brink of failure
[Updated below] A sentence in the opening section of this article has been removed:
‘Wightman was also allowed personally and unacknowledged, to write a major section of the final report of the Land Reform Review Group [immediately identifiable by its style] – although that was the formal responsibility of others.’
Mr Wightman has simply said to us:
‘This statement is untrue. Please remove it.’
So of course we have removed it.
However, the sentence is actually a multiple statement so, for the record because one issue is important – we have asked Mr Wightman to clarify which of its internal statements is incorrect – or if all of them are:
‘Did you write any section or sections or parts of any section or sections of the final LRRG report?
‘Is it incorrect to suggest that you were ‘allowed’ to write an element or elements of the report, where, for instance, you may have seen this as a right?
‘Is is incorrect to suggest that your authorship of elements of the report was ‘unacknowledged’ where we may have failed to notice such an acknowledgement?
‘Is it incorrect that the writing of the report was ‘the formal responsibility of others?’
For Argyll is aware that sections of the final report of the Land Reform Review Group were indeed written by Advisers to the Review Group rather than, as one is entitled to expect – by the topline membership [albeit a regularly shifting one] of the Review Group itself.
Our analysis of the language style and content analysis of major elements of the report as being both distinctively different from other sections of the report and arguably authored by Mr Wightman, who was an Adviser to the Review Group.
The passage on ‘ Statutory limitation on land ownership’ seemed a particularly attributable; and the passage ‘Inheritance rights changed to break up established landholdings’ scored a possible similar authorship.
These analysis may well have come to the wrong conclusions – and if Mr Wightman assures us that he was not the author of any of the main text of the final LRRG report, we will be glad to accept that without equivocation.
In our article of May 2014 on that report [http://forargyll.com/2014/05/final-land-reform-report-substantial-challenging-provocative-not-final/], we said:
‘The lack of philosophical, conceptual and tonal strategic unity weakens the report. It demonstrates the impact of specific influences pulling aspects of it in different directions – sometimes asymmetrically. There is no evidence of any kind of the necessary final editorship. Responsibility for this must lie with the Group’s chair since its inception, Dr Alison Elliot, former moderator of the Church of Scotland.’
Mr Wightman has refused to clarify his position on any of the questions which, as above, we o]put to him, saying: ‘I have no intention of responding to the range of bizarre and unsubstantiated allegations that you make below.’
- Gigha community ownership on brink of failure
There is no dishonour in an honourable attempt which fails.
The Gigha buy out has always been an honourable attempt, whether it succeeds or fails.
There is also no shame in failure – so much in life is down to the luck of the draw.
One community buy out may succeed where another may fail.
Problems arise, though, where the possibility of failure is not factored in to the thinking and where failure is disguised.
Amongst other aspects of this, where failure is acknowledged lessons may be learned from it that may protect other initiatives from failing.
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This was always a puff. Gordon Brown never had any position from which to act as such a guarantor.
- Hazard warning lights on A83 for Rest and Be Thankful
And, as a hazard warning at the entrance to the Scottish Parliament, it could replicate the warning at the entrance to Dante’s Inferno.
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