I WRITE in reference to the article in the September 23 issue of the Advertiser about a business in Luss and the parking permits in the village.

I live opposite the Coach House Coffee Shop in Luss. I am absolutely disgusted and frankly astounded by the claims made by the owner to members of the Helensburgh and Lomond area committee.

Firstly the problems with traffic and parking that the residents of Luss have endured for many years is almost legendary now, so for Ms Ferguson to say that her staff parked on Church Road with no issues is absolutely absurd.

Perhaps they had no issues blocking limited spaces that residents with nowhere else to park could use, or no issues parking on “ keep clear” signs and blocking garages, or no issues taking spaces the moment residents moved their cars.

These are residents who, on returning home with shopping or after collecting elderly relatives from hospital appointments, found the street to be blocked with the cars of the coffee shop’s staff and patrons.

So Ms Ferguson may have had no issues but I can assure her that the people who live here – and who have done so long before her unwanted coffee shop appeared – had huge parking issues impacting on their quality of life.

READ MORE: Luss traffic order plans spark furious row over 'conduct' complaint

For many years I was on Luss and Arden Community Council, whose members fought tirelessly for the whole time I was a member to find a solution to the horrendous traffic and parking issues Luss faced.

It was not an easy task bringing together all stakeholders and everyone’s concerns. However, always, and in all stakeholders’ minds, the residents of the village had to come first when aiming for a solution.

The fact Ms Ferguson cannot understand the justice of this is proof of her lack of empathy for the community and the situation.

We have now reached a stage where we have permit parking. That is far from an ideal solution, for many reasons, but from a resident’s point of view, the something we have now is better than the nothing we had before.

That’s how awful the situation was becoming – and it was one exacerbated by hot weather and the popularity of Luss as a ‘staycation’ destination during the Covid restrictions.

The myth that some of these businesses in Luss – owned by people who do not live here – “support the local economy” is frankly wearing thin, as they do no such thing. They make huge amounts of personal income from a small village and cause huge disruption into the bargain.

READ MORE: Luss cafe owner - 'My staff could be forced to pay £500 a year just to park outside their work'

Also, in the case of this particular business, in my opinion they give nothing back to the community.

Why, therefore, does this particular business owner think it’s her right to have as many parking spaces as she wants on an already congested road?

The selfishness of such a proposal is absolutely unbelievable. Especially when taken into consideration that this business already has two off street parking spaces, and the permit they are afforded by Argyll and Bute council, so three in total.

In conclusion, I would like to point out that rarely nowadays do people get free parking directly outside their place of work on a public road. Especially when that road has limited parking spaces and is first and foremost a residential street.

Many people, in all walks of life, have to pay for parking to be able to work. I don’t see why this person thinks she is any different to any other business.

When this business was trying to get planning permission, there were lots of objections from residents. However one of the stipulations made by planners when it eventually was approved – bizarrely, though that is another story altogether – was that they would have their staff park in the main car park in the village, and indeed would encourage customers to do so also.

Apart from the fact they did the complete opposite, it is really quite incredulous that they feel in a position to even broach this subject. Unless of course she thinks no one remembers such a promise. She most certainly will deny it.

Alyson Walker

Church Road, Luss

READ MORE: Huge spike in Helensburgh and Lomond parking fines - but car park income below target

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NO matter your place of work or the size of your organisation, Marie Curie can help you handle grief better at work.

In a recent Marie Curie survey of 1,000 bereaved employees nearly half (49 per cent) said that they couldn’t afford to stay off work, returning before they were ready, and a further 58 per cent felt their performance was affected by grief in the months after the bereavement.

It can be hard to know what to say when a colleague is grieving, but a lack of support can add to the isolation and struggles many of us face when experiencing life changing loss.

Part of creating a healthy environment around grief at work is about enabling and supporting each other to talk.

We invite your readers, organisations and their colleagues to visit Mariecurie.org.uk/grief-at-work to get started.

If you have been affected by dying, death and bereavement and need support, please contact Marie Curie free on 0800 090 2309 or visit Mariecurie.org.uk/support to chat online or find out other ways we can help you.

Andrew Reeves

Principal Social Worker, Marie Curie

READ MORE: Your letters to the Helensburgh Advertiser: September 2, 2021

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DIABETES Scotland’s Month of Miles is a new fundraising challenge which is all about you, as you choose your start date and how far to go.

Those taking part are invited to run one of four distances – either eight miles, 13.1 miles, 20 miles or the full marathon distance of 26.2 miles. You have a month to complete your chosen distance – you can start any time you like, and you can go at whatever pace you are comfortable with.

It’s a month of putting yourself first, but with the heart-warming feeling you’ll get from being part of something bigger.

Because by getting sponsored for every mile you run, you’ll be helping us transform the lives of people affected by diabetes.

It’s your month, your miles, and your body. And we’re here to support you all the way to the finish line.

It is free to register for Month of Miles and, after signing up, you will receive a downloadable welcome pack featuring advice about preparing for your challenge, fundraising tips, a running schedule, and a sponsorship form.

Month of Miles really is a great way to keep active, get some miles in and help a great cause. So, please, sign up by visiting monthofmiles.diabetes.org.uk.

If you have any questions, email monthofmiles@diabetes.org.uk or call on 0345 123 2399.

Angela Mitchell

Director, Diabetes Scotland

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