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COUNCILLOR IN THE DRINK

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A COWAL Councillor  became a victim of weather conditions this morning (Monday) as his car plunged into Loch Eck, near Dunoon.


En route to a council meeting at Kilmory, Cllr Ron Simon's vehicle left the road near the Coylet Inn. He says that he is fine, if a little bruised, wet and shaken.

Cllr Simon told the Standard: "I'm a bit shaky but feel that I was lucky. I left in the rain and, within 10 minutes, there was heavy snow.
"Snow ploughs were out and a couple passed as I climbed ashore. They are making a heroic effort and I can't say a bad word in that respect. Its almost an impossible task, gritting doesn't stop the falling snow from lying – especially when its so heavy like this morning.
"I was doing about 15 mph and looking to turn back, lost the back end – and now you could say there's water in the carb."

The A815, Argyll and Bute Council’s only ‘priority’ gritting route in Cowal, had not been gritted overnight or this morning despite forecasts of heavy snow. A reader reported that a plough did clear surface snow, only to reveal the ice below. Although full of grit, the plough was not spreading, despite the treacherous road conditions.

We asked the council why the road was not treated, and a spokeswoman said: "Our crews were out on the A815 from about 5am this morning. However, the conditions were such that it was virtually impossible to effectively treat the road.

“The road was gritted yesterday. This morning it was raining first thing, and gritting is not carried out in the rain as it simply washes away. However, the road temperature was such that the rain was freezing on the road, after which it started snowing.

"These conditions are widespread across Scotland and are currently causing similar - and, in many cases, worse - problems across the country.

"All our staff who can be out are out, doing whatever they can in the current conditions. We will continue to treat the roads in the most appropriate way in a bid to keep Argyll and Bute moving.”

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