Cameron House access

Balloch resident claims neglected burn is ‘a major hazard to pedestrians’

By Bill Heaney

A Balloch resident has alerted the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park planning authority to a perceived danger to life at a burn on Old Luss Road.

Kenneth Gibson, pictured above, has objected to the erection of temporary lodge visitor reception and upgrading of existing southern access road to fire-ravaged Cameron House Hotel on the banks of Loch Lomond.

The hotel also wants to install lighting to facilitate the temporary use of the road as the principal public access to the “resort”.

Mr Gibson, who has already lodged an objection, says this new one contains further information regarding pedestrian safety in the area of Old Luss Road.

He said: “A recent article produced by Parkswatchscotland regarding the tragic death of an overseas visitor, which is possibly linked to dredging work carried out at Drumkinnon Bay in order to stage the open water swim for the upcoming European Championships raises similar concerns here, albeit on a smaller scale, about excavation work carried out by West Dunbartonshire Council on 12th July at the unnamed watercourse on Old Luss Road.”

He added: “On the 14th July, SEPA were informed of the excavation works carried out by WDC and I am now bringing it directly to the attention of WDC and LLTNP.

“This work has created a major hazard to pedestrians in this area where the only form of protection for pedestrians walking this footpath is a wooden fence, which is in a total state of disrepair, and there are no warning signs of any description for this hazard.

“The excavation work at the culvert outlets was carried out as a mitigation for the flooding in Old Luss Road in order to satisfy a flawed planning application without assessing the consequential risks of their actions.

“The excavation works carried out are a very short term fix and is NOT a mitigation for the many problems that exist.

“The correct approach to partly solving the road flooding issue here is to excavate the bed of the burn …”

He alleged: “West Dunbartonshire Council refuse to do this. Lowering the bed of the burn in this way would not only remove the hazard they’ve created but provide a long term solution to one of the road flooding problems.”

Mr Gibson sent the Park Authority pictures – “to highlight the hazard created by WDC, I have included an email with photos which I sent to SEPA and photos of a group of foreign schoolchildren walking the John Muir Way oblivious to the danger.

“A review of the planning application documentation, shows a total disregard by the authorities for the current pedestrian safety and usage of this road.”

However, all public submissions have identified the SAFETY issues, Mr Gibson claimed.

He added: “One submission promotes Cameron House keeping the status quo and manually managing the traffic for 50m of road at the main gate up to their first junction.

“Construction traffic can easily flow right, taking it away from their customers, and customer traffic can go left, taking it well away from construction traffic and along the Lochside to their destination.

“This not only seems logical but far safer.

“There is very little, if any, pedestrian footfall at this 50 metre stretch of road, and for what little there is, an easy solution could no doubt be found.

“For example, directing them to the north gate at the Duck Bay Hotel as suggested.

“This solution will not have any detrimental time effect on the Cameron House rebuild.

“However, this approach, will off course drastically reduce the risk to pedestrians, locals and visitors alike, which is the most important issue.”

A spokesperson for Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park said: “We have received Mr Gibson’s representation relative to the application for the temporary access to Cameron House which will be taken into consideration during the decision-making process.”

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