This week’s letters to The Buteman

Send your letters to The Buteman to news@buteman.com by Monday at 5pm.
Send your letters to The Buteman to news@buteman.com by Monday at 5pm.

Each week we publish a selection of letters sent to The Buteman - to see your views appear in print or online, write to us at news@buteman.com.

Common sense solution found

Sir, – Now that the West Kirk site is clear, may I through your columns thank George Hanson, Ambrisbeg Ltd, and Billy Dickson of Argyll and Bute Council’s building control department for arranging a meeting.

This allowed discussion and arrival at a common sense solution whereby the Argyle Street entrance to the car park was opened several weeks sooner than it might have been, and allowing arrangements for removal of the rubble without further disruption to the car park use.

I am sure I am not alone in appreciating the early opening of the car park with the consequent return to normal for businesses and residents in the area.– Yours, etc.,

Duncan MacIntyre

(via email)

Is 48 hours really necessary?

Sir, – I write regarding the article published in last week’s Buteman in which I brought to your attention the fact that CalMac is now demanding 48-hour prior booking from anyone wishing to remain on deck, and in their car whilst making passage between Rothesay and Wemyss Bay.

Throughout this entire debacle CalMac has insisted the situation has been brought about by the introduction of new rules and regulations relating to the carrying of passengers and dangerous goods.

When asked for the definition of dangerous goods, calor and butane gas was the reply.

I said there wasn’t much call for the export of calor and butane gas and what would be the situation if having booked passage on the ferry a vehicle carrying gas arrived.

“They wouldn’t be allowed on,” I was told.

In a subsequent call I later received from a CalMac representative I was read, chapter and verse, the rules and regulations relative to dangerous goods terminating in a very brusque, ‘Alright’.

Questions arising:

Do the same rules apply to visitors arriving at Wemyss Bay?

Do they apply to police on escort duty, or ambulance and passengers? Are they expected to give 48 hours notice?

There are several options open to CalMac. If booking passage is required would an early morning call be suffice, or even the night prior to sailing? Forty eight hours seems so unreasonable.

My wife and I did sail on Saturday having booked passage on Wednesday. I was then told I would have to nominate a boat for the return journey. I hastily selected the 4.45pm. My day was ruined by having to constantly check the time and to plan ahead in order to ensure safe passage home.

I am sure CalMac would have accommodated me had I been late, but I really didn’t feel like another song and dance with the staff.

With reference to the statement made by the CalMac spokesman, he refers to passengers who require additional help and specific needs and without prior knowledge it might not be able to accommodate them.

Very commendable.

But having escorted my wife for the last 25 years I have not received, or requested, additional help. Which prompts the question, if I don’t require additional help why then am I required to give 48 hours notice of intended passage?

I also notice in the spokesman’s reply there was no mention of the Dangerous Goods Act which has been so heavily emphasised over the past few weeks, preferring to speak of accommodation and additional help.

Hopefully, common sense might prevail in the end, status quo being perfectly acceptable. – Yours, etc.,

Danny Kay

Cullin Taigh

Craigmore

Inconsistent rules on routes

Sir, – Regarding last week’s article on Cal Mac’s boarding procedures for disabled vehicle passengers, I would contend that the Equality Act 2010 has been breached.

Mrs Kay has not been treated fairly due to Calmac insisting on a 48-hour notice for her to travel to Wemyss Bay with her husband.

Why is it only on the Rothesay to Wemyss Bay route that this applies?

Why does it not apply on Brodick to Ardrossan or Craignure to Oban routes?

CalMac is discriminating against disabled passengers by this practice; it should study the Equality Act with reference to transport and it would reveal the error of the company’s ways. – Yours, etc.,

Cllr Robert Macintyre

Dunallan Farm

Isle of Bute