At Ran­dom Safe cross­ing is needed near shops

The Oban Times - - Districts - MARTIN LAING mlaing@oban­ Write to me at The Oban Times, Crannog Lane, Oban, PA34 4 HB, or by email to mlaing@ oban­

I MET a dis­tressed woman tourist last week in Oban.

The lady, from Lan­cashire, was us­ing a mo­bil­ity scooter and try­ing to cross Lochavullin Drive, the stretch of road that runs be­tween Home­base and Tesco in the re­tail park.

The vis­i­tor was at­tempt­ing to cross from the Home­base side to­wards Tesco’s fill­ing sta­tion.

The prob­lem was that while there was a dropped kerb on her side of the road, there wasn’t one di­rectly across on the other side.

The woman was forced to edge out into a very busy road – as it of­ten is – and turn right across the traf­fic and travel a good 10 yards or more to the next near­est dropped kerb.

Luck­ily, the cour­te­ous driv­ers who had to brake to al­low her pas­sage showed pa­tience and re­spect.

I’d like to know which dimwit de­signed that par­tic­u­lar cross­ing point.

At the very least, and as a mat­ter of ur­gency, Argyll and Bute Coun­cil should take ac­tion to put a safe cross­ing in.

A trend I loathe

AT RISK of be­ing an old cur­mud­geon, I have loathed the mod­ern de­vel­op­ment that sees chil­dren ‘grad­u­ate’ from schools – even pri­maries.

Now, how­ever, it’s be­come even worse with pre-school chil­dren ‘grad­u­at­ing’ from nurs­eries – or ‘early-years’ fa­cil­i­ties as they are un­nec­es­sar­ily dubbed.

This is be­yond the pale. It is com­pletely ridicu­lous to dress the tiny tots up in grad­u­a­tion gowns and mor­tar board hats to grad­u­ate when they have not even started school yet.

What’s more, it must be con­fus­ing for the wee ones, who will fail to un­der­stand what is go­ing on.

Nurs­ery chil­dren don’t grad­u­ate. Pri­mary and sec­ondary chil­dren don’t grad­u­ate. Univer­sity or col­lege stu­dents grad­u­ate.

And as for the ut­terly lam­en­ta­ble adop­tion of that other Amer­i­can trend for school ‘proms’ ... don’t get me started.

Too many chiefs

WE RE­PORTED last week that the num­ber of high earn­ers at Argyll and Bute Coun­cil has in­creased, as has the amount of money they are paid.

This anoma­lous sit­u­a­tion has arisen dur­ing a pe­riod of aus­ter­ity that has seen po­si­tions at lower lev­els re­main un­filled. And, ac­cord­ing to a union rep­re­sen­ta­tive, the gap in salaries be­tween the top earn­ers and lower paid work­ers is in­creas­ing.

The union rep also said that peo­ple at the bot­tom of the scale are work­ing harder than ever to cover for un­filled posts. How can this hap­pen? How can the coun­cil re­quire more man­agers to man­age fewer peo­ple?

How can the coun­cil jus­tify a rise in salary for high earn­ers dur­ing a pe­riod when it has, for in­stance, chopped the school li­brary ser­vice?

Sur­prise, sur­prise

I WAS en­joy­ing a pint or two in a busy and pop­u­lar Oban hostelry on Tues­day evening and pay­ing cur­sory at­ten­tion to a foot­ball match in­volv­ing Glasgow Rangers.

When the op­po­si­tion – a team from Lux­em­bourg, I dis­cov­ered – scored, there was much cheer­ing.

Who knew there were so many vis­i­tors here from lit­tle Lux­em­bourg?

What do you think?

The cross­ing only has a dropped kerb at one side of the road.

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