Scoraig Community Association
Minutes of a meeting held on 14.8.1
Present: Paul Betts, Jan Betts, Dale Nicholson, Martha Kerr, Mark Fletcher, Marey Fletcher, Aggie Brudenell, Cathy Dagg, Laurence Glass, Winnie, Malcolm Alston, Jo, Nigel Rushforth
Apologies: Ewan Bush, Lisa Burstall
- Road maintenance: use of recycled road planings:
Correspondence: Laurence had requested further information from Douglas Miles, HC Roads dept, but he is on holiday.
Ewan Bush e-mailed his concerns, which were summarised by Cathy
The meeting referred to copies of the SEPA document, available online: https://www.sepa.org.uk/media/154246/road_planings_guidance.pdf
Arguments For: Paul Betts spoke in favour. The material is free. His opinion is that as the material had been laid for many years, any leaching of toxins would already have happened. HC are unlikely to do anything that would make them liable for environmental damage. The possible negative visual effect can be covered with sand. Some of the materials we are already using, eg lime, also leach into the environment.
Arguments against: Ewan Bush sent an e-mail. Cathy forgot to bring it to the meeting but summarised its contents. The full text is as follows:
- There is no guarantee that the material being offered is of non hazardous origin (without carrying out tests on individual deliveries) It is the road contractors responsibility to determine the classification of the material before it is removed from the road surface by taking core samples etc. Tar planings from older roads
may contain tar derived from coal which is classed as hazardous waste by Sepa.
- There is no mention in Sepa’s guidance of other known hazardous substances that accumulate over the years on road surfaces such as heavy metals, oils, rubber from tires etc. I called Sepa in Dingwall and they did say it is possible that heavy metals would be present.
- If material comes from a Council Depo It is possible that invasive plants may be present and seeds may find there way onto scoraig. These storage sites are often contaminated with Hogweed etc. If planings are heat treated and come straight from road works then this is less of a problem.
- The planings may be very suitable on inclines where the Scoraig track is subject to heavy erosion. It should bind together if laid to adequate depth. It is arguably not suitable as a surface material for flatter sections of the road where rain water lies as it will inhibit surface water from draining through substrate.
- Scoraig is still a relatively pristine environment and it is easy to take this for granted. Please consider the long term effects of importing man made materials, cars and vehicles and the effect it may have on our environment. I am all for the planings being recycled into new and existing roads but why take the risk on the Scoraig track when suitable virgin aggregate is readily available at relatively low cost.
Other points raised:
Laurence is in favour of selected use of road planings in certain areas. It is 3-4 years since the material was first offered to Scoraig by HC and there may now be none available anyway. The proposal is to take an initial small amount for experiment
Malcolm pointed out that over the years pebbles off the shore have proven not to settle in well enough, scalping from Chris Latham’s rock crusher came too slowly in small quantities and cost quite a lot. He feels some areas of the track will be suitable for, and benefit from, use of road planings and feels that HC would not knowingly distribute harmful material. HC, as we know, are cash-strapped and our future road mending budget is not guaranteed. It would not be politic to refuse the offer of free material
It was noted that many years ago Tommy laid the same material along a section of the east end of the footpath at Badrallach. This has held together very well.
Jonah (not present at the meeting) had mentioned he’d be happy to see the material used at the top of the pier where the pebbles are eroding down.
Vote: For: 9 Against: 0 present but two expressions of against from people not able to be present
It was agreed that a proviso for use would be that it would only be laid on any particular section of track after discussion with, and approval of, people whose land/house/garden lies below the track.
- Other Road Matters:
Road Finances: There is £700 left after SCA has taken its 10%. £300 will be held back to pay Ian for work on the footpath this coming winter. The culvert work has cost an unexpected £200 but some compensation may be forthcoming from HC Education Dept who commissioned the drill rig.
Culvert repairs: This is now almost up to full height and road will re-open to normal traffic Monday morning. Crushed ditch below Kenny’s may need repair work
Other road priorities: Water on track between Michel’s gate and Betts’ gate, above Beavitts and just east of Lisa’s pond
Vegetation should really be cleared back from the road, particularly as this prevents pedestrians and cyclists from being able to step out of the way of vehicles. This could be done by volunteers taking the section below their crofts. Paul offered to cut with a finger mower if anyone can lend him one
- Minutes of last meeting approved and signed
Matters arising: Paul has reduced the height of the boulder on the track going down to the pier and will try to reduce it more.
- Highland Council Harbour Dues: Cathy will write to Len Campbell suggesting compromise.
- AOB Jan Betts representing other people objected to the proposed cycle track, based on Hugh’s route options raised at the last meeting. One particular objection is that people would find themselves liable if a track user were injured. However, at this stage the idea had been put forward as a subject for debate rather than a firm proposal, and safety for all road users was the major intent.
- Next Meeting is AGM on 18th September at 4pm in SSS. All welcome, bring a £.
Note: The minutes for most SCA meetings are archived here at the Document Download page.