IN the latest crop of your letters to the Advertiser, a Helensburgh man's account of getting a parking ticket in the town wins him little sympathy from readers.

Also featured this week are views on reducing speed limits on Helensburgh's roads, the proposed new Clyde Marine Plan, and a survey of the area's carers.

To have your say on any local issue just email your views to with 'Letter' in the subject line of your email.

Please remember to include your name and address, and to keep your contributions as brief and to-the-point as you can.

We also need a daytime contact phone number in case we need to check any details at short notice, though this will not be published.

Happy writing!

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I WRITE in response to John Humphreys’s letter regarding parking tickets (Advertiser Comment, March 28).

I read with some bemusement as it would appear to me that John simply took a gamble with parking and he lost to the traffic warden, and has then tried to justify this terrible excuse for illegally parking by saying he was donating to charity.

He also stated he had his hazard lights on! The Highway Code is very specific about their use. To save John some valuable time researching this, I have enclosed an extract from the Highway Code for his perusal.

The Highway Code says: “Hazard warning lights. These may be used when your vehicle is stationary, to warn that it is temporarily obstructing traffic. Never use them as an excuse for dangerous or illegal parking.

“You MUST NOT use hazard warning lights while driving or being towed unless you are on a motorway or unrestricted dual carriageway and you need to warn drivers behind you of a hazard or obstruction ahead. Only use them for long enough to ensure that your warning has been observed.”

I would suggest maybe in future, instead of whining about receiving a parking fine, John make better use of his time and search ‘Helensburgh Restricted Parking Zone’ on Google where he will find a very informative leaflet (the third option down on the search page) of where you can and cannot park in Helensburgh.

This, added with the extract from the Highway Code, might save him from getting his second parking ticket and it might even save him from the humiliation of being posted on a local Facebook group showcasing the worst of Helensburgh parking – and, let’s not forget, save valuable time in trying to extract a meaningful response from Argyll and Bute Council, which we all know is a fruitless exercise.

Barry Ferngrue, Ferry Road, Rosneath

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READ MORE: Advertiser Letters, March 28

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With reference to John Humphreys’ letter on his first parking ticket in Helensburgh (Advertiser Comment, March 28), rule 116 of the Highway Code states the following.

“Hazard warning lights: These may be used when your vehicle is stationary, to warn that it is temporarily obstructing traffic. Never use them as an excuse for dangerous or illegal parking.”

According to the information he supplied in his own letter, Mr Humphreys was parked illegally. He was caught, so he deserves a parking ticket.

Robert Macgregor, Sapphire Road, Bellshill

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READ MORE: Advertiser Letters, March 21

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Could I urge anyone with an interest in the Clyde to have a look at the Clyde Marine Plan, which is out for consultation until May 27?

It is not an exciting read, but what stands out is the extraordinary complacency. Every vested interest is to be satisfied and nothing is to be done.

As an example, the plan finds “some concerns” about the destruction of fish stocks. In 2017 the government published a report that showed conclusively that a re-introduction of a ban on trawling within three miles of the shore would have massive economic benefits to the community.

Most of us might have assumed this would be the recommendation of the plan. Think again.

Similarly the plan notes “some concerns” about rubbish and litter but makes no recommendations about how to deal with it, instead relying on a “culture shift” and on the efforts of volunteer groups.

Anyone familiar with our beaches at Craigendoran, Helensburgh, Rhu, Garelochhead and Arrochar knows that regular use of bulldozers to shift the gross accumulations of marine litter are essential. This can only really be organised by the local authority.

The “do nothing” culture of the Plan permeates everything. One senses that if we relied on them rather than EU directives, we would still be paddling in raw sewage.

If you are worried about the continuing destruction of our marine environment – and you do not have to be a fan of Blue Planet to have severe worries rather than “some concerns” – then it is essential you make those views known; otherwise those making the mess will continue to do so.

There is a consultation reply form on the website – – and two public meetings are being held in the area, at the Victoria Halls on Tuesday, April 23 and at the Three Villages Halls in Arrochar on Friday, May 3, both from 5-9pm.

If you have an interest in the future of the Clyde, please attend and make those behind the plan justify their complacency.

Dr Geoff Riddington, Helensburgh

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READ MORE: Advertiser Letters, March 14

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I FIND it difficult to imagine how reducing the speed limit to 20 miles per hour outside Hermitage Academy (Advertiser, March 28) would in any way improve pupil safety, since it appears that most motorists completely ignore the existing limits.

This happens not only on the dual carriageway by the Academy but all around Helensburgh.

Both West and East Princes Street are prime examples, but even more worrying are the speeding motorists along the narrower roads like West Argyle Street, alongside which many youngsters attending Hermitage Primary and Lomond School walk.

David Peck, Helensburgh

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As a driver, you are in charge of a lethal weapon. Lose control and it can kill you and innocent bystanders.

It is up to you, the nut behind the wheel, to make sure that does not happen.

Surrounded by air bags and other devices designed to protect modern drivers from themselves; driving within any designated speed limit; your job is to get from A to B safely.

Do something stupid and the air bags may not save you. Drive too fast for the conditions and being under the speed limit will not save you.

You will die, a victim of your own stupidity. A posthumous verdict of manslaughter will be cold comfort for the relatives of those who died with you.

Driving is a serious business. I spent ten years of my life learning how to drive fast on two and four wheels. I have a silver replica from the 1970 Junior TT on the Isle of Man to show that I have some understanding of the challenges involved. I have survived many miles on two and four wheels on public roads in the UK, Europe, Canada and America. Public roads are much more dangerous than a race track.

On the latter, you have some assurance that others are paying attention to the job on hand. On public roads, you can have no such confidence. You must treat every other driver as an idiot to survive.

Assume nothing. You have momentary control over the piece of road your vehicle occupies. You don’t own the road immediately in front of your vehicle.

Your speed is dictated by what you see in front of you. You must be prepared to stop within your sight lines. If not, you are driving too fast. The posted speed limit is irrelevant.

The authorities have the delusion that road safety can be set by the imposition of arbitrary speed limits. Vast sums of public money are spent by Police Scotland enforcing these limits.

This is self defeating. Scotland is a police state. Drivers constantly check the speedometer. This removes focus from the view in front.

Nothing you see on the speedometer will save you in the event of an accident. The view in front may.

Look for the young child on the pavement. Look for the car in front uncertain of directions. Look for the unusual. And be prepared to slow down or stop.

At the last Helensburgh and Lomond area committee meeting, reported in the Advertiser’s March 28 edition, Inspector Roddy MacNeill and Councillor Ellen Morton supported a 20 miles per hour speed limit on the dual carriageway near the Hermitage Academy.

They have no evidence that this will improve road safety in the area.

At school lunch breaks, the kids routinely play chicken with road traffic crossing the busy roadway to buy lunch at Waitrose. The light controlled crossing is in the wrong place.

The attention of the school authorities, Helensburgh police and the council should be directed to this problem.

John Black, Beau Vallon, The Seychelles

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More than 750,000 people in Scotland are caring unpaid for a loved one who is older, disabled, or seriously ill.

Whether it’s round-the-clock or for a few hours a week, in their own home or for someone at the other end of a motorway – caring can have a huge impact on people’s lives.

Unpaid carers are holding families together and enabling loved ones to get the most out of life. They make an enormous contribution to society and together save the UK economy £132 billion a year.

Yet many find themselves stretched to the limit; often financially, without access to support or unable to take a break.

Carers in Scotland deserve to have their say on what affects them and their ability to care – what is working well and what needs to change.

By filling in Carers UK’s State of Caring survey at, they can help inform Scotland’s most comprehensive research into experiences of looking after a loved one.

The survey answers will help the charity make life better for carers – giving us the evidence to push carers up the agenda for policy makers and politicians and campaign for support and change.

It has never been more important for unpaid carers to share their experiences.

Simon Hodgson, Director of Carers Scotland