Letters, December 10 2021

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East Kintyre road cannot be allowed to crumble again

Residents of East Kintyre will remember the traffic chaos caused by Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) when it built the Crossaig substation in 2014 and 2015.

The B842 between Claonaig and Carradale disintegrated under the pounding from its heavy lorries and eventually a heavy crane collapsed the roadside embankment at Cour and overturned.

This disruption was only alleviated when SSE built an alternative access track, running parallel to the road which links the substation to the cross-Kintyre haul route.

With work starting on the pylon line north of Crossaig, residents at Cour tell me that the chaos is about to start all over again.

SSE is moving stone along the access track but it plans to extract all the timber via the B842.

SSE’s excuse is that its access track is not fit-for-purpose, which is surprising when it built it and is using it to move stone.

Apparently there is a very short stretch of the track which is one degree steeper than the recommended guidelines for timber routes.

Rather than improving the track or finding an alternative route, SSE is prepared to repeat all the mistakes of five years ago and destroy the B842 which is not only a life-line access for Carradale and the surrounding communities but also a nationally profiled tourist route, the Kintyre66.

I personally find this all unacceptable.

SSE needs to remember its responsibilities to the local area, its fragile infrastructure and come up with a better plan.

For the communities of and visitors to East Kintyre, Argyll and Bute Council needs to make sure that it does.

I can be contacted on Messenger under the name Tòmas Mac a’Phearsain.

Tommy Macpherson, East Kintyre Community Councillor.

SNP must prioritise vaccine booster programme

The SNP’s continuing obsession with independence is causing the Scottish Government to lose focus on the vaccine booster programme.

It was incredible that Nicola Sturgeon chose to intensify her rhetoric about independence and division at the recent SNP conference.

SNP ministers should be concentrating on rallying the country around the vaccine booster programme rather than debating what an independent Scottish currency should look like.

Due to these distractions, we now have a situation where Nicola Sturgeon and Health Secretary Humza Yousaf can’t even agree on what is holding up the reopening of mass vaccination centres in Scotland.

They need to re-focus and prioritise the vaccine booster programme which is the best way of tackling new Covid variants such as Omicron.

Donald Cameron, Highlands and Islands MSP.