Letter to the Lochaber Times, 17th November 2023
Question Time at Lochaber Ideas Week had a star-studded panel who tackled issues such as the shortage of affordable housing, poor infrastructure to support our buoyant tourism sector, and the shortage of skills. Special frustration was saved for our transportation network of course, the Calmac and Corran ferries, but the state of the A82 caused everyone to speak up.
Ali Ferguson committed to get the Transport Minister Fiona Hyslop into a Ferguson lorry cab and bring her along Loch Lomond, so she could see the reversing to let other trucks past and the broken wing mirrors that are a common occurrence.
Stuart Black, Chief Executive of public body Highlands and Islands Enterprise told of the immaculate roads and tunnels connecting hamlets throughout Norway, while we have only one tunnel going under the Clyde.
MP Ian Blackford, rarely short of words, was relatively silent throughout, looking suitably abashed.
Transport Scotland was said to be the worst public body across the whole of Britain, while my remark that their £3.3 billion annual budget, of which 10% is reserved for ‘active travel’, could be far better used, drew loud applause.
Everyone agreed that the West Highlands deserves far better in terms of infrastructure spend.
Highlands Liberal Democrat Councillor and Westminster Candidate