Lo­cals plea: Please clear ‘scary’ short­cut

The Oban Times - - News -

A FOOT­PATH that has been left to over­grow in Fort Wil­liam has been called dan­ger­ous and un­safe by a lo­cal woman who uses it al­most ev­ery day.

Trees and bushes on the foot­path from Lun­davra road down to the back of Fort Wil­liam pri­mary school, have grown so wild that walk­ers and cy­clists have to dodge plants and branches on their way through.

Jean Sin­clair, a res­i­dent of Plan­ta­tion, works at Myr­tle Bank guest house and is keen to con­tinue to use the short­cut, but feels that ‘any­thing could be lurk­ing in the bushes’.

She said: ‘Ev­ery year I have had to re­port this same prob­lem to the High­land coun­cil and ev­ery time they say it is the ed­u­ca­tion depart­ment who is re­spon­si­ble for the up­keep of the green­ery and path­way.

‘About five years ago it was all cut back to the fences and what a dif­fer­ence it made.’

Mrs Sin­clair en­listed the help of coun­cil­lor Brian Mur­phy to sup­port her cam­paign to have the area main­tained and it is thought he was able to en­cour­age the main­te­nance a few years ago.

Now Mrs Sin­clair is con­cerned that mem­bers of the public may be avoid­ing us­ing the path be­cause it is scary at nights. She said: ‘It is get­ting darker in the morn­ings again. You just don’t know what could be in the bushes when it is dark. Peo­ple from Up­per Ach­in­tore of­ten use the path as a short­cut, but it has been get­ting worse. I am hav­ing to dodge branches and net­tles.’

Another worker at Myr­tle Bank guest house, Mar­garita Al­can­tara, said: ‘It is aw­ful. When it is dark and when it is rain­ing is when it is most un­safe. I have known a few peo­ple who have fallen and slipped when it is wet, be­cause they slip on plants that are grow­ing out on to the path.

‘It takes 15 min­utes more to walk around Ach­in­tore road to that area, when the path takes you straight there.

‘Not ev­ery­one has a car or can af­ford a taxi, so to use the path is help­ful. But it is not nice.’

The stance of High­land coun­cil re­mains un­clear, with the clo­sure of Fort Wil­liam pri­mary school just be­fore the sum­mer hol­i­day.

A spokesper­son said: ‘We are look­ing into the mat­ter.’

The chair­man of Fort Wil­liam com­mu­nity coun­cil said: ‘The area is cer­tainly used and needs cut, that in­cludes the trees on Lun­davra road. The com­mu­nity coun­cil will sup­port the cam­paign to have some­thing done.’

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Jean Sin­clair is fed up fight­ing to see the green­ery cut back on a

pop­u­lar path

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