ANNOUNCED BY IAN BLACKFORD MP THIS MORNING:
STROMEFERRY BYPASS ROAD CLOSURE:
I am delighted to learn that following constructive talks, adjustments to operations at the site of the closure look likely to go ahead, in the expectation that this will ease the dreadful waiting times that we have consistently seen at the site.
Network Rail and the Office of Rail and Road, have agreed a new operations document for an alternative signalling system.
Installation of fixed signals and a magnet warning system is scheduled to begin in the next week barring any last minute hitches.
The new system will require trains to stop at a point adjacent to the site (points to be agreed). The train driver will communicate with the signaller who will then contact the site controller of site safety (coss). Trains will then proceed through the works when the signaller instructs the train.
The road rail bypass can then re-open when agreed by the coss/ signaller .
This will allow longer opening times based on the train schedule rather than the existing long token section.
This has the potential to be great news and work now must be put in place to make these plans a reality. I would like to put on record my gratitude to Network Rail for listening to concerns.
I am also aware, from the work that I have been involved in on this, that these changes would not be possible without the intervention of the Scottish Government's Transport Secretary, Michael Matheson MSP. I hope now that we can move forward from what has been an extremely trying situation for local communities.
⚠️ WEATHER WARNING: RAIN ⚠️
The Met Office have issued a YELLOW weather warning for rain and flooding from 1000 Sunday until Wednesday. Strong winds are also forecast for this week.
We are in for a very wet and windy couple of days..!
The Highland Council have been successful in their application to the new Scottish Government Rural Infrastructure fund for 5 new and enhanced viewpoint spaces with parking for motorhomes on the Bealach na Ba between Tornapress and Applecross.
The council have been awarded £129,325.
The Screen Machine is in Lochcarron in two weeks time.
Films being shown are:
> Wednesday 17th October - Mamma Mia 2
> Thursday 18th October - Hotel Transylvania (U) and The Children Act (12A).
More info at https://www.screenmachine.co.uk
Chaidh innse do Chomhairle na Gàidhealtachd nach cur a' choimhearnsachd suas ri leithid a shuidheachadh a-rithist - 's iad a' faireachdainn buaidh an na h-obrach air seach-rathad an t-Sròim.
Bho'n a thòisich an obair aig toiseach na mìos - a' dèanamh na creige os cionn an rathaid sàbhailte - tha maill mhòr air trafaig.
Tha aig na càraichean ris an rèile a chleachdadh - ach chan urrain dhaibh sin a dhèanamh nuair a tha trèana air an loidhne.
Cus maill air seach-rathad an t-Sròim http://www.bbc.co.uk/naidheachdan/45687233
From BBC News:
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is keeping two of its 10 closure-threatened Scottish branches open following a review.
Biggar in South Lanarkshire and Castlebay in Barra, in the Western Isles, will remain open.
Branches in Comrie, Beauly, Douglas, Gretna, Inveraray, Kyle, Tongue and Melrose are to be shut.
RBS' commissioning of the review of usage followed public and political opposition to the planned closures.
The 10 branches were among 62 across Scotland earmarked closure, but kept open during the review.
The union, Unite, which has criticised the closures, said the branches that have not been saved are expected to be closed on or around 11 January next year.
RBS said it will continue to work with the affected communities and customers to ensure they "understand the changes and the alternative ways to bank available to them".
On the Biggar and Barra decisions, Simon Watson, of RBS, said: "These branches were selected because, unlike the other branches that were closed, they were nearly all the last bank in town and more than nine miles to the nearest alternative Royal Bank branch."
He said RBS had accepted the recommendations in Johnston Carmichael's review in full.
Mr Watson added: "We know branches are important to many communities, but equally we know that fewer and fewer people are using them as more people bank online.
"In every case of a branch closing we are committed to providing the best possible range of banking alternatives, including mobile branches, banking in the local post office, community bankers and remote services such as telephone banking."
RBS said it will make no further reviews of its branch network "until at least 2020".
'Victory for common sense'
Unite, which has members among RBS' workforce, has criticised the bank's decision to save just two of the branches.
Regional officer Lyn Turner said: "This is obviously good news for RBS customers and communities in Castlebay and Biggar."
But she added: "Sixty communities out of an original sixty-two earmarked for closure will now be marginalised by this so-called review."
Western Isles SNP MP, Angus MacNeil, who made repeated calls for RBS to keep Castlebay open, described the retention of that branch as "a victory for common sense".
He added: "A cloud has been lifted from the island economy and now visitors and locals alike will keep proper bank services on Barra."
Scottish Labour's deputy leader Lesley Laird said the handling of the branch closure programme had been "a shambles and communities across Scotland will be devastated by this news".
Scottish Conservative MP John Lamont said the recommendations to close the other branches were a "slap in the face" for the communities involved.
Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross Lib Dem MP, Jamie Stone, urged RBS to "think again" and halt the closure of the Highlands branches, such as Tongue.
The Kishorn Playing Field Club once again hosted the golf club feed station this year, for the Bealach Mòr cycle race. We are very grateful for the continued support and donation from the organisers.
From BBC News Highlands and Islands.
About 140 homes in Wester Ross are to go from one of the UK's worst broadband speeds to the fastest in the next few months.
Low connection speeds have been a source of significant frustration in the area between Achnasheen, Garve and Aultguish.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise and a wind farm community benefit fund is covering the cost of new fibre cables.
Community group Garve and District Broadband has been driving the project.
The voluntary body's Steve Jones said many residents were currently experiencing "very slow speeds capped at 0.5Mbps".
He said: "It has been an interrupted service which has made sending basic emails or doing basic internet searching very difficult.
"But with fibre we are going from the worst broadband to the best in one leap.
"So it's bye bye to that buffering blue circle that goes round and round in the centre of the screen."
Mr Jones added: "We will be able to email very easily, we will be able to actually see people on Skype, and be able to watch a YouTube video or watch that a film that has been downloaded or is live streaming."
Updated timetables have been issued for the Stromeferry Bypass closure - this comes into effect on the 3rd September.