Tight squeeze for lor­ries prompts safety con­cerns

The Oban Times - - News 3 - AMANDA CRAW­FORD fort@oban­times.co.uk

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

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