Letters to the editor – June 25, 2021

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Tunnel should be explored

Sir,

I tend to agree with Mr Moodie’s view (Argyllshire Advertiser letters, June 18) that the best option at the Rest may be a new surface alignment up the south western side of Glen Croe.

A tunnel, however, remains a possibility which should be properly investigated.              The inclined tunnel proposed by [Transport Scotland consultants] Jacobs would have increased emissions from climbing vehicles and runaway hazards from descending ones, and so should be viewed with some scepticism.

Mr Moodie mentions the need for escape exits, but I would point out that the Laerdal Tunnel doesn’t have these, and neither do the Norwegian and Faeroe undersea road tunnels.

They do have well-thought-out provisions for emergencies which include 24/7 remote monitoring and control of turn-back arrangements.

The point is that if we are seeing relevant experience in mountain road tunnels we won’t find it around south east England.

Jacobs dismissed the south west side of the glen as having ‘much the same slip risks as the existing alignment’. This is patently not the case.

The slopes of Ben Luibhean have far more run-off gullies than on the south west side, which suggests unusually high rain impact on them.

On the other hand a walk over the two forestry roads on the opposite side of the glen reveals only one small flash flood site on the lower road, and none at all on the higher one.

The slopes above the higher forest road also tend to ease somewhat, particularly those in the eastern corrie of Ben Donich.

I haven’t ploughed through the tree cover, but any significant flash flood events in recent decades would have left their marks on these roads, and I didn’t find any.

The whole argument for that side of the glen turns on its reduced exposure to these risks, and not on the details of road construction there.

These in any case do not appear to be insuperable, after all the forestry lads made a road there with a lot fewer resources than Transport Scotland.

Arthur Blue, Ardrishaig

Safe for 500 years

Sir,

I write in response to the story in the June 18 edition of the Argyllshire Advertiser on the potential for sea level rise to flood the main road in Tighnabruaich.

This is a typical example of much of the disinformation on climate change dispensed by groups like Extinction Rebellion which is intended to cause fear and alarm, rather than to accurately inform.

According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, sea levels have been rising continually at between 1.8mm and 3.8mm per annum since they were first determined in the 1880s. Sea levels are currently estimated to be rising at a rate of 3.2mm per annum with no indication of that rate increasing, even with the increase in global temperatures.

Based on this rate, sea levels will rise by 9.3cm (3.7 inches) by 2050. Given that the main road in Tighnabruaich is some two metres above the high tide mark, there is no prospect of the road being under water by 2050; in fact it should be safe for the next 500 years!

Donald McCallum, Strathaven, Lanarkshire

Grateful for support

Sir,

Since April last year, our trained Childline counsellors have delivered more than 73,000 counselling sessions with young people who were struggling with their mental and emotional health.

More than 5,000 of these counselling sessions were with children aged 11 or under, an increase of nearly a third when compared to the year before.

However, as a charity that receives 90 per cent of our income from the public, we know this is something we have not achieved alone, and we are hugely grateful for the dedication and commitment of our supporters.

One way that the public can support us is through the People’s Postcode Lottery, and since 2018 players have provided crucial funding to the sum of almost £6 million to the NSPCC to help the charity keep children safe and well.

The funds have been used to support our vital services across Scotland. This includes our schools service programme; helping primary school children speak out and stay safe from abuse, and our service centre in Govan, providing therapeutic services to families.

And, of course, Childline, which provides free and confidential counselling to children and young people in need of support.

Childline is a lifeline for many children and over the past year thousands of young people have needed it more than ever due to the challenges they have faced during the pandemic.

Local lockdowns, school closures, isolation and the impact of being separated from family and friends led many children to get in touch with the service over the phone or online.

We can only make a difference for children together, and we simply couldn’t continue to run services like Childline without the public’s support.

To find out more about how you could help us be there for children through fundraising, get in touch at ScotlandFundraisingTeam@nspcc.org.uk

Paul Cockram, head of fundraising, NSPCC Scotland