Arran Banner letters – week 08

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Can you use heading quite big: Forget the Winter Olympics try Arran pothole slalom 

Sir,

I am certain that viewers of the Winter Olympics have, like me, been impressed with the courage and skill of the competitors. But their chosen sports are nothing when compared with Arran pothole slalom – a year long challenge.

This sport has three levels: entry, intermediate and expert.

Entry level is simply a ‘dodge the pothole’ game of skill, testing the ability to use the basic slalom skills of steering and weaving. Marks are awarded for minor suspension damage the number of shaken dental fillings.

Level Two is more challenging – dodging water filled potholes – the challenge being to anticipate what is actually a pothole. Marks are awarded for correct pothole identification, tyre damage and some dental fillings shaken out.

Level Three is for experts. Pothole slalom in the face of oncoming traffic. The challenge is in the dilemma of whether to avoid the oncoming vehicle and hit the pothole or hit the oncoming vehicle. Marks are awarded for the amount of damage caused and dental fillings shaken free – and, as a bonus, no compensation will be paid to complainants by North Ayrshire Council.

Good fun, Eh ?!

Yours,

Brian Grindall

Shiskine

Held to account

Sir,

This winter has seriously damaged Arran’s roads and I understand that many Arran people are complaining to NAC about the shocking state of some stretches which are crumbling along with deep potholes.

NAC is, according to my MP,entirely responsible for the Arran’s roads. This is true but is not the only reason for the state of Arran’s roads. It is true that NAC will need to take a long look at priorities and the allocation of more resources to improve our roads.

However, the truth is that the funding of local authorities has been decimated by national governments for the past 10 years to the extent that that they are simply not able to fulfill their purposes as they would wish to do. They may want to improve the roads but have not the money to do so, and patching up is washed away and major improvements are unaffordable.

In Arran, you have the scenario of deteriorating infrastructure combined with dreams of cruise ships docking at the new multi-million pound terminal and their passengers being driven over third world roads.There is something wrong with prioritisation there -and it has nothing to do with NAC.

The Scottish and Westminster governments are more responsible for the state of Scottish roads than the local authorities and should be held to account. Write to your MP and MSP.

Yours,

John Cruickshank

Whiting Bay

Taken to task

Sir,
I read with interest your article in the Banner of February 17 regarding North Ayrshire Council’s reaction to the spoof video regarding road repair.

The council should hang their heads in shame at the awful state of the islands roads.  I have visited Arran regularly and on my recent visit last week was shocked at the deterioration of the roads, in particular at the south end of the island.

In addition to some significant potholes there are any number of stretches where the whole top surface has disappeared resulting in an uneven and rutted road surface. In other instances the edges of the road have crumbled with often just a cone to warn motorists. I noticed on my travels that motorists seem to have taken to travelling down the centre of the road to avoid the crumbled and potted edges, with resultant risks to road safety.

In Lamlash village I was concerned walking my two year old grandson at the amount of stones being thrown up from potholed roads by passing cars at his eye height such that I felt compelled to carry him to minimise the risk. How anyone can contemplate riding a bicycle or motorcycle on the island is beyond me, they are, in my opinion, taking their lives in their hands. In my opinion NAC are failing in their statutory duty to maintain the highway and need to be taken to task.

Arran itself was a good as ever and I will be back soon perhaps swapping my car for an all terrain vehicle.

Yours,

Michael Smith

North Shields

Established use?

Sir,

Wow. At last a government report which lays the blame for the depletion of Brodick beach directly at the ill-advised removed of sand from the beach in the 1970s and 1980s. (See last week’s Arran Banner).

Removal of sand during these years was permitted following the issue of an established use certificiate. This certificate was issued on evidence provided by Arran Estates that removal of at least 6,000 tons of sand per year had happened on average over a prolonged period of years, thus establishing established use.

Brodick Golf Club questioned these figures, but were never allowed to scrutinize the documentation used to back up the historical 6,000 ton figure. Rapid deterioration of the beach became apparent shortly after the large scale removal of sand commenced in the 1970s.

We (Brodick Golf Club) contested the continual removal of sand by appealing to Cunninghame District Council and calling in the ombudsman. We were brushed off by CDC and the ombudsman said we could do nothing owing to CDC’s hands being tied by the condition of the established use certificate.

It was made clear to us that when an established use certificate with supporting evidence of historical use was applied for, CDC were in difficult position not to grant the certificate. In hindsight we should have insisted the ombudsman questioned the historical figure of 6,000 tons which was used as grounds for the issue of the established use certificate.

There is no way 6,000 tons of sand had been removed over a prolonged period prior to the issuing of the established use certificate.

Here’s hoping something can be done to protect what remains of Brodick beach before it is too late.

Yours,

Kerr Robertson

Brodick

Burn responsibly

Sir,
Could I appeal to anyone who burns waste to instead dispose of it responsibly. Waste is being burned regularly with pungent smoke spreading over Lamlash.

This practice affects the whole of Lamlash including the waste burners and their families, the medical centre, the school, and the hospital. I am sure the waste burners want to be good neighbours really.

Yours,

Carl Bush

Lamlash

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