Letters to the editor – July 3, 2020

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A83 blighted by bikers


Communities on the A83 are blighted by the noise of bikers, many with illegal exhausts.

Inveraray is the gathering point for motorcyclists and on a recent Saturday during lockdown around 40 were gathered, not two metre social distancing, and failing to adhere to the maximum eight in a group guidance.

This has become the norm throughout the summer, and it seems lockdown guidance does not apply to bikers as they have been a constant feature on the roads, even in phase one.

The unofficial Argyll TT goes past our homes most weekends over the spring and summer months.

I have a bike licence and understand the feeling of freedom, but three-figure speeds past residential entrances, many of them hidden, is completely unacceptable.

As a resident you begin to dread the weekend and sunny days. The noise is constant and intrusive for 12 – 15 hours in a day, the decibel level in excess of 100 dB where sounds above 85 dB are harmful to hearing.

This is a serious issue for residents who cannot open their doors and windows, cannot use their gardens, pets are terrified, it is often impossible to have a conversation, or a phone call. The noise from hundreds of bikes is explosive and destructive.

The speeds are terrifying, they travel in intimidating packs, the noise is threatening and the bikers have no respect for the communities they are speeding through. They pass multiple residential entrances with limited sight lines with no care for risk. The offensive noise seems to come from two actions; modifying motorbike exhausts and extreme acceleration in legal bikes.

If a car made a similar noise, spewed out the same polluting omissions, or did the same ridiculous speeds they would be pulled over by the police, but bikers appear above the law.

As technology reduces the noise pollution of cars, planes and other forms of transport, it seems motorbikes are exempt. Bikers claim ‘loud pipes save lives’ but is safety really the motivation for deliberately creating excessive noise?

Noise counts as a statutory nuisance (covered by Part III of the Environmental Protection Act 1990) if it either unreasaonably and substantially interferes with the user or enjoyment of a home or other premises; or is likely to injure health.

The problem on A83 is known to all the statutory agencies, but nothing is done.

If this is a national problem, what action needs to be taken?

Concerned Loch Fyne-side resident (name and address supplied)

‘Xenophobic and elitist’ government


I am not qualified to judge economic competence, but considering the party he represents, I think that Councillor Redman might find it advisable to be wary of the phrase ‘colossal mismanagement’ (Argyllshire Advertiser letters page, June 26).

For my part, I would consider a degree of incompetence to be preferable to the great damage caused over the last decade to 99 per cent of the UK’s people, as well as to its institutions and its reputation by the cruel, self-serving, xenophobic, elitist, dishonest (and incompetent!) regime currently in Westminster.

Name supplied, Lochgilphead

Sight loss support


Our charity’s support for blind and partially sighted people affected by the coronavirus lockdown has received a £11,500 boost from the Scottish Government’s Wellbeing Fund.

With this extra funding we will be able to support an additional 20 people and respond to the increased demand for more in-depth, one-to-one emotional support.

The practical and psychological effects of losing your sight can have a significant impact on people’s well-being, and this current situation has exacerbated the anxiety and isolation felt by many.

Access to essential services such as food and medicines is more difficult as is social distancing, vital information on staying safe isn’t always in accessible formats, and many of our older members aren’t always confident about using new technology to stay in touch with others.

Everyone accessing RNIB’s confidential counselling service will receive eight weekly sessions with an accredited counsellor, delivered via telephone and online, with each session normally lasting an hour.

The funding will enable us to reduce the waiting list for emergency mental health sessions and also let existing clients access additional sessions.

The RNIB helpline is available on 0303 123 9999.

James Adams, RNIB Scotland director

Freedom for beer


Every pub across Scotland should be allowed to stock and sell beer from local independent brewers, to help them recover post-lockdown.

CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale has launched the ‘Cheers for Choice’ campaign.
Current beer ties mean that most pub tenants are restricted in what they can sell in their pubs and are often banned from putting on the products they know their customers want to drink.

The campaign wants these arrangements to be relaxed, and MSPs are also being urged to support the Tied Pubs Bill being put forward in the Scottish Parliament by Labour MSP Neil Bibby. The legislation would give tied pub tenants protections in law, including a right to be able to sell guest beers in their pubs.

Allowing small and independent brewers to sell into all pubs will also improve consumer choice and allow pub-goers to support local brewing businesses.

It also makes business sense, with 68 per cent of pub-goers saying they would be less likely to go back to a pub if it doesn’t have a range of brews from small and independent producers.

Sarah Crawford, CAMRA Director for Scotland, Kirkcaldy