Comment posted Economic development strategy for the west Highlands by Robert Wakeham.
Ferryman, the idea of a link to Kerrera would likely displease those inhabitants who prize the peace and quiet and lack of traffic – and development – there, but when you look at the physical constraints on the further development of Oban there’s a case to be made for ‘opening up’ Kerrera.
There wouldn’t seem to be the same case for a tunnel as can be made between Dunoon and Gourock, unless the road approach on the Oban side would be better by tunnel, and surely a vehicle ferry like the one between Lerwick and Bressay would be adequate initially, unless development happened very fast. In the longer term a bridge might be justified, and there’d be unlikely to be the same row as has developed in Shetland, where the Lerwick harbour authority prefer a tunnel to a bridge to preserve the freedom of passage of tall oil & gas structures through the ‘north mouth’. As far as I know, nobody in Oban in their right mind envisages the need for that sort of traffic into the harbour.
Robert Wakeham also commented
- Whatever you think of Mike Russell, Ferryman, it’s twisting things to retreat from your stance that anyone mentioning tunnels is a raving loony – but then conjure up a reason to still condemn Mike Russell for mentioning them.
- Good thing you’ve yet to spot my plan for extending the railway from Gourock to Lochgilphead, but on further thought I wonder if a modest tax on increased real estate values wouldn’t go a considerable way to paying for this, or a road tunnel to Dunoon.
- Careful, Doc, or some of the usual suspects will misinterpret your comments as arguing against spending real money on sorting out the Rest & Be Thankful. By the way, on Malcolm’s subject of Gaelification of road signs, has anyone noticed how a rather ambitious wind farm developer with designs on offshore Fife has chosen to call their proposed megadevelopment Neart na Gaoithe? When did Fife fishermen converse in Gaelic?
- Do your homework Simon, control your bile, and in your rush to sneer don’t start attributing the costings to the wrong person.
Read up about Norwegian tunnels for the good of your education – I’m sure there’s plenty of info on the net, and there’s definitely a video of their first subsea tunnel, at Vardo, which goes down 88m. Yes the gradients can be steeper than those in the existing Clyde tunnel, but they’re designed to be manageable for all vehicles.
I don’t bad-mouth you for what others have said.
- You dismiss it too easily Simon – it would be likely that on both sides a tunnel would extend a considerable way under land to achieve main road connections without major demolition and damage to the local communities – and to achieve acceptable gradients. The maximum depth of the Clyde between Dunoon and the Cloch seems to be around 50 fathoms, which – at say 92 metres – is quite deep but in Norway there’s a main road undersea tunnel dipping to 250 metres, so it’s clearly feasible.
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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