IN this week's Advertiser, councillor Iain Shonny Paterson discusses the parking price hike in Arrochar, the Rest and Be Thankful road closure and Remembrance Day services around Argyll and Bute.


IN September, Councillor Lorna Douglas and I brought a motion before Argyll and Bute Council objecting to the 800 per cent increase in daily charges at the Glenloin car parks in Arrochar.

We had not agreed to such a punitive price hike in the 2018 budget, believing instead that a three per cent rise would have been implemented.

Unfortunately, our motion was voted down by administration councillors, despite substantial outcry, both local and national.

There has, however, been one positive outcome: it has brought together people from Arrochar, Tarbet and further afield in common cause, galvanising them to organise a pro-active group which seeks to mitigate these draconian parking charges. It will be most interesting to see how this develops in the coming months.

For now, at least, it is extremely encouraging to see individuals with the drive and energy to seek a viable alternative to their council’s ill-advised policy.

The Rest and Be Thankful has also been a bone of contention, due to a nine-day closure last month after a landslide which was caused by extreme weather.

I requested a meeting with the agencies that have been working to put preventative measures in place and it was particularly enlightening to learn that, with the time to complete their ongoing work, this would have been entirely preventable.

Moreover, the work that has already been completed has, in fact, prevented 23 potential road closures – not to mention risk to life and limb – in the last three years alone.

Knowing what I know now, I think it would be beneficial if Transport Scotland and BEAR Scotland published the data to show how well these measures have worked prior to October’s unfortunate A83 closure.

Along with my wife, son, and daughter, I attended the remembrance service at the Arrochar and Tarbet war memorial.

We attend each year to remember those who gave their lives in both World Wars in order that we may enjoy the security and freedoms that we have today.

I also had the honour and privilege to witness my daughter Tilly (7) and her friend Erin Murney (8) lay the council wreath at the Rhu and Shandon Armistice Remembrance Day service.

I think it is important that we never forget the sacrifices that were made, and I find it particularly heartening to see the number of young people who attend these services, and the interest they show in the history of these terrible conflicts.