SEND HGVs THE LONG WAY
Dear Ed, — The prominence given to Jack McClanaghan's so called solution to Lanark's traffic problems (Lanark Gazette, May 27) is worrying on several levels.
Lanark is an ancient Scottish town, perched on a hilltop site chosen for reasons of defence and with a largely medieval street layout at its centre.
The stark facts of its topography make any bypass scheme not involving the mass destruction of property or desecration of precious countryside impractical in the extreme.
Working within these restraints do we really want to sacrifice what makes our town unique to facilitate the faster movement of motor vehicles?
Would it not be better to regard the road narrowing at the foot of the town as an historically gifted traffic calming measure?
With a few notable exceptions, such as Atholl House and the Police Office, Lanark has, by and large, been spared the worst excesses of the type of execrable architecture which has so disfigured other historic towns in Scotland.
One has only to look as far as Linlithgow to see what happens when improvement is wrought by planners. All very rational and common-sensical no doubt but what is left when an attractive and varied streetscape is destroyed to provide a drag strip for motor vehicles?
Would it not be preferable to ban entirely the monstrous juggernauts which, for the most part, are merely using the town as the shortest route and send them round the long way?
Another idea which does not require demolition or much expense would be to pedestrianise Bannatyne Street between the top cross and Woodstock Road, remove the traffic lights and circulate traffic via St Leonard Street and a new link created in the empty space at the side of the Post Office and the Woodstock Road Dental Practice.
I, too, am a motorist and suffer the frustrations of Lanark's traffic congestion, often caused by roadworks it has to be said.
But surely we have moved on from the idea that the car is king and all the other considerations which make a town worth living in should take second place? — Yours etc.,
Dear Ed, — I read the article in the Lanark Gazette (May 27) about a possible solution to Lanark's traffic problems but, like the Church and the council, I do not think that it would be helpful in resolving the current problems.
Rerouting some of the traffic that does not need to come through Lanark is the real solution. That could be done by the simple solution of keeping lorries out of the town centre — apart from the few that are required to deliver to stores such as Lidl's — thus helping to improve the air quality for the people living in Lanark.
What about the proposals themselves? The first problem with any proposal that would involve the demolition of any buildings in the historic core of Lanark is that it is included in the buffer zone of a World Heritage site, namely New Lanark.
Should this happen then New Lanark will lose its World Heritage status — this has happened already to Dresden.
But of more concern is that it is unacceptable to have a church stuck on a roundabout as it would take away the dignity that goes with a church, in this case the conducting of services, funerals and weddings.
Apart from that it would create problems for the Lanimer celebrations which would not be a popular move.
Businesses too would suffer and I would not imagine that any of the shopkeepers in the area of St Nicholas would greet this proposal with any enthusiasm.
The same could be said for the proposals at the top end of the High Street. Again there would be a major problem for the Lanimer lorries and access to Oxfam would be fraught with danger.
Finally, any proposals that would speed up the traffic have implications for the safety of pedestrians and, as a member of the Scottish Road Accident Prevention Council, I would not support these ideas.
Having said that, I would say that Jack's proposals have served a very
useful purpose in that they do make people think about a very important issue and that is the future of our town centre. — Yours etc.,
THANK YOU FOR AID
Dear Ed, — I would like to thank everyone who came to my aid when I fell outside the RBS on May 21.
A special thanks to the woman who stayed with me and took me home.
I didn't get her name but thank you so much for looking after me that day. — Yours etc.,
11 Russell Road,
HOT DOGS NOT COOL
Dear Ed, — With the recent bout of hot weather, remember that animals suffer and die when temperatures soar.
Dogs die very quickly in hot cars and they should not be left inside them even for short periods.
Other animals suffer, too. Rabbits must not be left in a hutch in the glaring sun or inside a sweltering garage or shed.
They need a cool, shady place where the air circulates.
A hot rabbit can be kept cool by applying cold water gently to his ears. Should your rabbit become listless, or start breathing hard through an open mouth or go limp, get him to a vet immediately.
Rabbits must also be checked daily throughout summer months for flystrike.
Hamsters, rats and gerbils, can be kept cool by opening windows and closing curtains, using a fan (but not pointing it directly at them), refreshing water and providing a frozen water bottle, wrapped in a towel. — Yours etc.,
Head of Campaigns,
The Old Chapel,