Letters to the editor – October 2, 2020

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Views on the Scottish Government’s 11 alternative road options to the Rest and be Thankful, unveiled last week

Bizarre and ridiculous options


The fiasco that is the A83 / Rest and be Thankful is an apt metaphor for the ineptitude of the Scottish government and its handling of issues as diverse as transport, the economy, education and health matters.
Now we have Government Minister Mr Michael Mathieson inviting us all to speak up on the proposals put forward for the corridor options for the A83.   Are these options serious?  Some appear as bizarre as they are ridiculous.  Options 2 & 3 suggest taking the route either from the bottom of the Rest or from the head of Loch Fyne through to the A82 to Arfdlui or Inverarnan a road that is narrow, dangerous and already over-burdened by traffic usage.
Why is the Scottish Government not asking what the people would really like to see replacing the 3 mile length of troublesome A83?  Where is the vision, dynamism, creativity in our elected members?  Scotland aspires to be a dynamic nation, for goodness sake offer us something inspirational and something the nation can be proud of.

R Finlay, Ardrishaig

A tunnel is the answer


With regard to your interesting article on routes into Argyll proposed by transport Scotland I see no mention of a tunnel. Surely the simplest solution would be a tunnel from Arrochar to Butterbridge, or from Ardgarten to Butterbridge. From Arrochar may be better as the route is more of a straight line.

As a former resident of Tarbert now living in Taynuilt I now live less than 10 miles from a tunnel into and below a hillside at Loch Awe, Ben Cruachan. I refer of course to the tunnel constructed in 1965 with less sophisticated tools than available now.

I have also seen an article on the building of tunnels for carrying water from Loch Katrine to Glasgow, much earlier than 1965, again using more primitive equipment. In addition to those tunnels look at the construction of the railways during the railway early years. There are examples of tunnelling all over the world where knowledge could be given to the Scottish government.

Cost should not be an issue, as it seems none is being spared at present to no avail.

Dugald McDougall, Taynuilt

Slowly turns the engine of power


Many years ago I suggested, to an MP, option seven in the list of options being considered in the list released by the Scottish Government.

I also pointed out that the bridging of the Loch Fyne narrows at Port Ann could be used to generate hydro power by incorporating hydro tunnels at the base of the crossing and thus provide income to alleviate costs, while the same time reducing travels costs for commercial and private users and consequently help the environment by reducing pollution.

I received favourable opinion from a prominent firm of civil engineers and a ‘like’ from a government official. To give that person credit, however, there were very many more pressing problems.

I also note that the simplest idea I have since offered – that of a tunnel through the saddle to connect the ends of the existing military roads below and on each side of the Rest and thereafter, upgrading the old military road to A road standard is not even considered.

This begs the question; why is  Government in such a mountainous region of Scotland so averse to tunnels?

In the time since I made such suggestions, more than enough money has been drained away in making repairs.

Capt Jim Currie, former Tarbert harbour master


Are you a military veteran?

Scotland has around 130,000 older military veterans and Age Scotland believes that many go without the assistance available to them, such as priority healthcare for conditions linked to their service, help with dental and eye care, housing and financial support.

We have launched a revamped version of our popular free ‘Veterans’ Guide to Later Life in Scotland’.

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If you are aged 65 or older, live in Scotland and have served in the armed forces, the guide will be most relevant to you. It doesn’t matter how long ago, or for how long, you served: you may have had a military career, a short period of national service, been a reservist, or even supported a military operation with the merchant navy.

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Veterans and their families can request a free paper guide by calling Age Scotland on 0800 12 44 222 or visiting www.age.scot/veteransguide. It is also available as a download.

Doug Anthoney, Age Scotland Veterans’ Project co-ordinator