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Saturday 23rd January 1999
Fuel for thought
The Council of Voluntary Services is to approach the oil companies to ask why we pay so much for petrol on Arran. At least that is the implication in a survey which they prepared on Arran petrol prices. It concludes that it is not right to blame local garages for us having to pay the highest prices in Scotland. Mike Lunan who prepared the survey spoke to Blackwaterfoot Garage who gave their price of unleaded as 78.6 per litre. Ribbecks petrol costs 76.9 per litre. The survey says that Arran’s oil is supplied by Scottish Oils to both BP and Shell garages. Murray Small of Arran Oils explained that many garages pay from the same scale of charges as those on the mainland. The problem is that the amounts bought by Arran garages are so small that they pay the top price. An island allowance of 0.8 per litre for Arran hardly sets the balance right and one can hardly blame people for filling up their tanks on the mainland where many suppliers are hovering around the 60.9 per litre price.
The Arran Banner frequently hears of stories which, while fascinating, have no further detail to shed any light on the matter. One such story is from a reader Jean Sutton who while perusing a book called The Makers of English History, discovered a picture of Churchill, Asquith and Lloyd George visiting the Isle of Arran in 1913. They are all seated with an un-named woman behind a Keep off the Grass sign with a timber and thatch building behind them. Jean wondered if the picture was taken in the grounds of Brodick Castle and if the building was the one that is located near the gates. It is certainly a fascinating bit of history and we too wonder what the purpose of visiting the island was for, for such an illustrious trio. Was it a holiday for the politicians or a summit meeting ?
That Arran’s roads are a mess is generally agreed. Long a cause for complaint, the recent gales and torrential rain have taken further toll on them, leaving some in a terrible state with gaping potholes and other completely unusable. The closure between Kilpatrick and Corriecravie might now be the straw to break the camels back. It will be closed for a period of up to two weeks, and for some, will alter a 12 mile journey to work into a massive 60 mile journey. Outrage is also being expressed about damage to wheels and tyres by potholes; the sudden closure of the A841 road without notice, and insufficient repairs being undertaken on damaged sections of road.