Comment posted Transport Minister reveals ‘potential for a far larger landslip’ on A83 by Robert Wakeham.
Party political chatter, while all perhaps very entertaining (when not verging on the tedious) brings to mind the vision of Nero fiddling while Rome burned, in the context of the A83 (and the A82, for that matter).
Robert Wakeham also commented
- The discovery of ‘substantial tension cracks’ raises the question of whether Transport Scotland has risk-assessed the current policy of holding traffic at lights in this area – the occupants can hardly jump out of the way in the event of extensive rockfalls or mudslides. This spells more trouble for the road users, and increases the urgency of identifying answers to the geological problems. I can’t help thinking that, in the past, there might have been reluctance to face up to the cost implications – this is surely the reason behind the lack of adequate improvement of the A82 nearby between Tarbet and Ardlui.
- Some years ago the then factor for Argyll Estates told me he had a drawer full of plans for an ‘Inveraray bypass’ – which, if I understood correctly, would go behind the town and the castle, to remove through traffic from Main Street, Shore Street, the arch and the stretch of the shore road past the Aray Bridge that’s sometimes flooded by high tides.
- Grant – the present landslide trouble at Lochcarron is apparently at a different location, and while it may well now be proving to have been a false economy not to build a concrete gallery here as well, this doesn’t detract from the effectiveness of the existing one,
- barmore2: it can and should (as already protecting the A890 and Kyle railway at Attadale on Lochcarron), together with rockfall mesh nets and maybe banks and ditches to divert storm flows away from vulnerable spots to areas where adequate culverts can be provided – but this latest news of ‘substantial tension cracks’ might dictate a reroute, or some real tunneling, or both.
- Webcraft: it’s apparently budgeted at £1.6bn, including associated infrastructure (i.e. approach roads & connections to existing roads), design and legal costs etc.
Recent comments by Robert Wakeham
- McGrigor supports small scale hydro schemes but is concerned about lack of grid connectivity
If not ‘bitter’, then how about ‘negative’, ‘petty’, or just plain miserable?
Effective ways of providing energy for this country is an increasingly fraught subject, with government commitment to ‘green’ power leading to the perception that our politicians are swimming with sharks, and a proliferation of wind farms that are good for some sectors of the local economy but which are a major cause of price inflation.
And the Kintyre / Arran power emergency this spring served to highlight the fact that large scale wind generated electricity can be likened to a rough single malt – no use unless it’s blended with other spirit to make it palatable.
I live in hope that SSE’s Sound of Islay tidestream power project will prove more user-friendly – as are the hydro power plants described by Jamie McGrigor, as far as I can gather.
Here in mid Argyll we’re being shown the next windfarm proposal – 25 turbines for Electricite de France above Brenfield, which would form a backdrop to Ardrishaig, and would be so close to the recently unveiled proposals by E.ON for up to 24 turbines above Inverneill as to be semi-detached.
That’s up to 49MW plus up to 90MW, that would all presumably have to be ‘blended’ with power from elsewhere to make it digestible, and if anyone thought that ‘fast breeder’ only referred to a type of nuclear reactor, just look at the emerging cluster of wind farms south of Ardrishaig.
- Argyll Flyer spotted going into Ardmaleish yard on Bute this afternoon
Doesn’t the SPTE have a remit to co-ordinate public transport provision here? – maybe I’m imagining it, or maybe they’re just pretending, or maybe they’re only really interested in Strathclyde bus services and the Glasgow subway (on the basis that only a tiny proportion of voters use the Gourock ferries, and politics is all)
- 31 hour shout Tobermory Lifeboat’s longest ever, ending in joint operation with Oban lifeboat
The Oban Times reported on 6th June on the MAIB report on a similar incident last July when a small container ship rammed the Isle of Bute, and apparently legal action is ongoing.
- Refloated cargo ship MV Fri Ocean escorted to Lynn of Lorne – and on into Oban
Not being a mariner, I wonder why – in this day and age of almost universal use of radar (and GPS?) for navigation – ships don’t seem to be equipped with a proximity alarm, a bloody great klaxon fit to waken the dead, that is triggered if the boat closes with an identifiable hazard.
It would have to be capable of deactivation in harbour areas and, eg, places like the Corran Narrows – but would surely be invaluable, especially at night.
Maybe it would be seen as a dangerous threat to the need for proper watch keeping.
- Auchindrain in crisis: facing paying off its two permanent staff
Considering how all the wind farm developers are so keen (and can clearly afford) to provide substantial funding to help local community ventures, this is surely a prime example of an exceptionally good local cause with national significance.
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