Canary in the coal mine

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The earnest plea from the highly regarded and well respected ArCaS provides a damning picture of the state that island residents find themselves in.

When Arran’s most vulnerable and seriously ill cancer patients are unable to attend life- saving appointments because of ferry infrastructure and equipment failures – and with no solutions on the horizon – the outlook for islanders remains bleak.

Both politicians and the organisations responsible share the concerns of ArCaS and some admit that the situation is untenable, but there appears to be a lack of impetus to remedy the situation or to find long-term solutions. Frustration among Arran’s population is once again building up, as it tends to do over winter, but this latest reality check is a wake up call for everyone who lives on Arran.

It has to be said that island living will inevitably have drawbacks, with ferry transport being subject to the vagaries of the weather. We accept this, as we wholeheartedly accept that blaming ticket sellers or the port assistants at the pier as futile and misguided, but do we have to accept aging vessels that frequently break down? Do we have to accept that poor port infrastructure on both sides of the water can mean travel cancellations?

It is has become commonplace to accept these ‘inconveniences’, but how would your opinion change when this ‘inconvenience’ could mean the difference between adding or reducing years to your life? Sobering thoughts, and a situation that we can only hope now receives the attention that it deserves.