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Public transport group needed
Regarding last week’s letter entitled Minister replies, the reply was written by Transport Scotland, which is OK, as all ministers are all appearing to be so very busy.
My text relates to the part of the letter regarding the coordination between ferry and buses. The author writes: ‘… if you have any concern then you should raise them with the Arran Ferry Committee, and these will be progressed through the usual channels.’
Now, this is a funny response, as the Arran public has never voted for any of the committee members. They elect new members themselves if needed. Of course, the committee keeps to its brief, the ferries and are not really interested in any other topics.
I suggested to them a several years ago they should widen their brief and rename them to something like Arran Public Transport Group, including ferries and buses. The response was, after I had asked if I missed the answer about a month later, a simple but friendly ‘No way’. However, I was not surprised, as closed unelected entities do not volunteer to accept such fundamental changes. But to represent all people who use public transport, it needs a much wider view than just the ferries. It needs the combined ideas of all inhabitants, holiday house owners, guests and business.
So, let us have a new, publicly elected committee for the all important public transport questions to deal with the authorities and government agencies.
Just as an afterthought, public transport will get much more important when you look at the prospect of the next 20 and more years. Electric and driver-less vehicles will certainly come and this definitively needs new thinking and solutions, which we should not just leave to politicians and global business.
Day to forget
The letters page in the Arran Banner of October 13 reminded me forcibly of my experience on Tuesday May 22, when a blow-out on the Boguille the day before forced me to go up to Glasgow for the day on foot, at a time when I was walking slowly with a stick.
Going was not too bad, although I was shocked by the smallness of the lifts. Coming back was awful, especially as I was heavily laden. Although I was among the first to leave the ship, I was near the back by the time I reached the lounge, where I, wrongly, assumed I could join the lift where I had left it inside the departure lounge, but discovered I had to traverse a corridor, which brought me up against a blank wall, with no indication that I had turn right round even to find the lift (kindly pointed out by a lady with a pram).
By the time I got to the bottom, most people were already out of the building, and by the time I got out the Southend buses were revving up, and I hadn’t quite made the Northend bus when its doors began closing – fortunately the driver did see me, and I collapsed into a seat.
I will say that the driver made up for the horror of thinking I was going to be stranded, by reverting to days gone by, and dropping me right at my gate in Catacol.
I am writing to you to express my gratitude to the woman who found the car keys which had fallen from my pocket on Blackwaterfoot beach. I do not know her identity, for she handed the keys in at the clubhouse before leaving me a waterproofed message on my windscreen, but I do know that such exceptional thoughtfulness and kindness is very rare. So I should like to thank her and the staff at the Kinloch who could not have been more considerate and helpful.
A massive thank you to all members of Team Auchrannie who took part in the Great Scottish Run on September 30, whilst raising vital funds for Marie Curie. Your support is greatly appreciated by all at Marie Curie and those living with terminal illness who benefit from our services . Thanks again.
Thanks to the habitual kindness of the people of Brodick and Corrie, my family from Los Angeles were able to carry out my younger son’s dying wish, to join his father in Sannox burial ground.
Imagine, 5,000 miles and more, then to be stormbound on Arran, with the stormy weather making the sprinkling of the ashes very difficult. Many thanks to the local council, the funeral director, the Corrie Hotel and the church community. I hope I have not omitted anyone.
The journey back to Glasgow was difficult because of the storm damage, but a perfect stranger took the somewhat shattered family all the way to Glasgow, which was not in fact his destination.
I’d like to ask readers to help save one of our most loved wild animals by supporting Trees for Life in an easy and free online vote before October 21 .
Urgent action is needed to secure the future of the red squirrel in the UK. Only an estimated 138,000 survive, most in Scotland – their numbers decimated by reduction of their forest homes to isolated fragments, and by competition and lethal disease from non-native grey squirrels.
Our Reds Return project has been shortlisted for the prestigious European Outdoor Conservation Association’s awards, with more than £25,000 at stake. Winning would allow us to expand our pioneering work reintroducing red squirrels to woodlands in the northwest Highlands, where new populations can flourish in safety. This will offer hope for the reds’ long-term survival.
Please make a difference, and vote at www.treesforlife.org.uk/ voteTFL.
Trees for Life,