Tight squeeze for lorries prompts safety concerns
CHILDREN could be risking their lives on their way to a play park in Fort William, according to worried residents.
Concerns for safety have grown as lorry drivers are using a busy shop car park and narrow road in Upper Achintore to turn and offload goods.
For more than 13 years, Peter Doherty, 63, and wife Mhairi, 59, who live across from the Spar shop on Grange road have repeatedly reported damage to their hedges, pavements, gate and concrete pillars.
Just last week, a stair railing leading from the shop’s car park up to Lundavra road was knocked out of place as a lorry reversed.
Mr Doherty, a security guard for a local timber company, said: ‘If someone was walking down those steps when that lorry knocked over the railing they could have been seriously hurt. It is a really dangerous practice that they are doing.
‘There are children coming down from the swing park at the shops too. It is concerning and lucky that no- one has been killed yet.’
The shop was previously independently owned and only changed to Spar in September 2007.
Mr Doherty has been fighting with Highland council for a solution and claims that the problem got worse when the shop was extended by a previous owner.
He said: ‘There is a loading bay, but that was cut off when the last owner put an extension on. It’s out of use and blocked with bins now, so lorry drivers just turn and reverse to the front of the shop. It’s causing the road and pavements to crumble and loosen around the shop and at my front gate.
‘Our hedge has already been damaged and our gate and step was knocked so hard that that it came away in 2011. I have contacted the roads department and other council departments but they just seem to pass the buck all the time. I feel that the council does it to try and dishearten us so that we give up. It has been so stressful over the years having to deal with the damage to our property. It really wears you down.’
It is not only Spar lorries, but other delivery companies that make dropoffs to the store. Mr Doherty said: ‘The lorry drivers are not taking care in the area and with it being a narrow road and busy car park they are putting other road users, pedestrians and homeowners at risk.’
A spokesman from Spar told the Oban Times: ‘This an issue that the company will investigate further.’
And a spokeswoman from Highland council said: ‘The council, along with various parties, has been involved in discussions regarding issues which Mr Doherty has raised.
‘The council is currently looking into these.’
CONCERN: Peter and Mhairi at the loading bay that is out of use, but still prevents
parking in the narrow and traffic congested Grange road