Letters to the Editor

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Have your say with a letter to the editor. Send us an email at news@deesidepiper.com or write to us at Deeside Piper and Herald, 1 Scott Skinner Square, Banchory.

Letters to the Editor from January 30 2015.

Old Mill Inn - Parking Proposals

Sir - Plans have been unveiled by Digs2Go to install 132 accommodation units at the former Old Mill Inn at Maryculter, for use by workers involved in the construction of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route.

I am very alarmed by the developer’s proposals to use a field on the opposite side of the busy South Deeside Road as a car park to accommodate 270 vehicles.

Locating this across the main road from the hotel and accommodation sounds extremely hazardous, both for pedestrians and motorists, regardless of whether speed restrictions are going to be set at 30 mph – which the developers wish to see happen.

There is a huge volume of traffic uses the South Deeside Road, there is a steep and narrow brae coming down right opposite the hotel which serves the many homes in Kirkton of Maryculter and the increasingly popular Storybook Glen.

There is obviously the Old Mill Inn entrance/exit, which doesn’t give the best visibility anyway, and which also serves as access for the private homes located behind the Old Mill Inn, and for accessing Corbie Hall, where up to 100 vehicles can be attending events at any one time. Yards away there is also the entrance/exit of the Maryculter caravan site, which is hazardous enough as it is for those towing caravans to negotiate, and alarmingly, it is not unusual to see motorists heading west on the South Deeside Road start to overtake before the entrance, thus putting them on the wrong side of the road right where drivers may be exiting.

And if these are not enough reasons that a car park for 270 vehicles should not be located across the main road from the accommodation, the very busy T junction of the South Deeside Road and Milltimber Brae is only yards away, and motorists often frustrated in queues there, frequently put their foot down the moment they turn out on to the South Deeside Road.

With all these very obvious dangers, I cannot see how our planners in Aberdeenshire Council can possible permit what will be an accident waiting to happen in this location, by allowing such parking provision.

Yours etc, Judi Martin, Maryculter

Help and Support - A great big thank you

Sir - I would like to thank my local butchers, JG Ross, Morrisons of Inverurie and Vee from Enterprise at Great Northern Road, Aberdeen, for their help in my recent fundraiser, and there are not enough words to express the thanks for the help and support I have received from my friends over the past few weeks. They are exceptional people and mean the world to my son and I.

Unfortunately, the indoor carboot sale did not do as well as we had hoped and was rather disappointing to all as not many people turned up, giving a grand total of £247.90 raised on the day.

Yours etc, Lisa Moir, Alford

Campaigning hard? Conservative candidate.

Sir - Today I found in my post box a brochure featuring one who seems to be the Tory candidate for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine in the forth-coming election.

In it he seeks credit for ‘campaigning hard’ on a number of issues about which he really does appear to know astonishingly little.

For example, he claims to have been ‘campaigning hard to find solutions’ to poor mobile coverage yet seems blissfully unaware that a team from Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services is making good progress on a project with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to deliver additional masts to eliminate ‘not spots’ across Aberdeenshire.

His criticism of the Liberal Democrats over the A90 at Laurencekirk shows no understanding of the work that Nestrans and the council have been doing on this vital issue. I know the quiet determination of our officers has moved Transport Scotland from a position of intransigent refusal to contemplate a grade separated junction, to a point where this Scottish Government agency is not only part-funding the current studies and consultations but is also open to the outcome.

This groundwork is essential to build the business case needed to secure government funding for the project.

Perhaps he is too busy ‘fighting’ to be in touch with what is actually happening.

While an ‘e-petition’ could be taken as evidence of ‘campaigning hard’ on public transport in rural areas, his publication appears rather light on where the funding to support new non-commercial bus services across Aberdeenshire is to be found.

The council is already spending over £4m (net of income) supporting bus services, together with over £16m on school transport.

I would add that the council runs regular bus forums across Aberdeenshire, open to all, where people can meet staff from our Public Transport Unit and Stagecoach’s managing director, to raise any issue on bus services and infrastructure.

If this candidate really wants to find something to ‘campaign hard’ over, may I draw his attention to the simple fact that in almost eight years the SNP government has devised and commenced only one transport project in the North-east; the A96/Inveramsay Bridge improvement.

Laurencekirk station, the AWPR and A90 Balmedie/Tipperty were all inherited from the previous Scottish Executive. Other major projects are for the future.

Were he to turn his self-proclaimed talent for ‘campaigning hard’ and ‘fighting’ towards the SNP’s woeful record over a region so vital to the Scottish economy, I for one would be happy to hold his coat.

Yours etc, Cllr Peter J Argyle

This week’s Picture of the Week was taken by reader Gillian Cassie and shows Highland cattle near Ballater.