THIS week's Advertiser letters page includes your views on the recent Winter Olympics in Beijing – and Advertiser columnist Mike Edwards' view of them – and on Transport Scotland's plans for a long-awaited upgrade to the A82 along Loch Lomond between Tarbet and Inverarnan.

To have your say on any topic of local interest just email your views to, with 'Letter' in the subject line, by 12 noon on Monday.

You can also send your views direct to us via the Send Us Your News section of this website.

Please include your name and address. We also require a daytime contact phone number in case we need to check any details at short notice, though this will not be printed.

Happy writing!

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I’m writing to you in answer to Mike Edwards’ opinion column, ‘Six Nations and Winter Olympics leave me cold' (Advertiser, February 18), which I have read a few times now.

I am disappointed in an opportunity lost. We are living in a time when getting outdoors and playing any form sport is crucial in our overall well being.

Watching sportswomen and men at all levels, amateur or professional, can be truly inspirational to our young and I wish Mike had used this opportunity for a more positive purpose.

To call out the continued stain on our sport that takes the form of bigotry, racism and sexism and now animal cruelty, for example.

Or to call for better conditions for our young athletes to give them a safe space to train and excel and not have 15 year olds crying.

Or to call for more sports funding for our schools and clubs.

READ MORE: Ruth Wishart's Point of View: Winter Olympics triumph was a moment to savour - and not just for fans of 'the roaring game'

What message does Mike’s comments give to the younger readers of your paper?

I didn’t enjoy PE at school but I was still part of my netball team in both primary and high school until they decided to focus on football and cancel out the netball team.

I didn’t like field hockey at school but played urban hockey as an adult three times a week, not to mention softball, volleyball and tennis.

Watching the Olympics on TV is an excellent way to spend family time when the weather outside is awful. I agree that sport is not for everyone, and we as a country don’t succeed at everything, but this negative attitude towards not winning and removing medals because you came second has to change.

For Mike to say he only took an interest in the amazing 2014 Commonwealth Games because he was covering it as a journalist is a terrible thing to say when thousands applied and didn’t get a ‘free pass’ to be part of the most wonderful event Glasgow was able to hold in recent years.

I was lucky to go to three big events during the Games eight years ago, and the atmosphere was electric. Walking around the city was a joy.

READ MORE: Mum Fiona describes her joy as Shandon sailor Anna Burnet wins Olympic silver medal

So rather than pour cold water on sports and sporting events he doesn’t like, why doesn’t Mike lobby FIFA for a change in attitude and discipline? Or lobby the International Olympic Committee if he doesn’t agree with who applies to be host countries? Or lobby the Scottish government for more funding?

Finally, to dismiss volleyball and BMX biking, as just two examples of sports in which Great Britain won medals, is not nice.

I believe that Liddell, Owen and Kieno would be the first to applaud the inclusion of new and diverse sports and I am sure it is down to their efforts both on and off the sports field in the past that has gone a long way to opening doors that were closed to many over the intervening years.

I for one are grateful to them for achieving what they did, and those who continue to do so today.

Paula McIntosh, Helensburgh (via email)

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser: February 3, 2022

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I WRITE with reference to your recent coverage of proposals to upgrade the A82 road between Tarbet and Inverarnan.

In 1890 engineers decided to build the railway in that area on the hillside above the loch, rather than to try and follow the cart track along the shore.

In 2022, Transport Scotland apparently believes that the cart track is still the best option for a new road. We know they are wrong.

In your article of February 10, ‘Charity calls on transport authority to reconsider plans for trunk road upgrade’, you quote a Transport Scotland spokesperson as claiming that the organisation is following a “rigorous” assessment process.

In my view, either the spokesperson in question had not read the assessment, was not being entirely honest, or had no idea what is meant by rigorous.

READ MORE: Bonnie banks 'far too precious to sacrifice to new road' in A82 upgrade plan, says Helensburgh charity

In all aspects, except cost, the high route was found to be better. So the “rigorous assessment” came down to comparison of costs.

Surprisingly this “rigorous assessment” was not based on the geology and topography of the routes.

Instead it appears that the assessment process was based on guesses as to the amount of tunnelling and the number of viaducts needed.

I am still trying to establish if this was possible without apparently specifying the routes. Was it guesswork?

To these costs were added 60 per cent for tunnels and 35 per cent for viaducts, even though, in this case the viaducts are planned to be floated in using a new technology. Again: was this rigorous costing, or was it guesswork?

READ MORE: Access Trust urges National Park to back its 'no low road plea' for Loch Lomond A82 upgrade

The evidence we have from the completed road around Pulpit Rock is that the suggested costs for the shoreside route could be more than double the “estimates” in the “rigorous” appraisal.

The original estimate for the planned 75kph (45mph) bend at that location was £4.5 million. The cost actually turned out to be £9.2m with another probable £2m to come for a cycle path around the bend.

Amazingly those who were in charge of the Pulpit Rock works could not even get the basic engineering design correct, as the bend is now limited to 30mph.

It is extremely difficult to sit and watch as a proposal to waste millions of pounds of public money is progressed. There appears to be no malice or corruption involved; simply incompetence.

Dr Geoff Riddington, Helensburgh (via email)

READ MORE: Catch up with the latest Helensburgh and Lomond news headlines by clicking here