Isle of Man Examiner letters, August 26, 2013

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Wrong time for roadworks

So here we are, at the brave new beginning of the Manx Grand Prix or, as it is now to be known, ‘The Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling’.

With the addition of the Classic TT and the return of big names for the fortnight, all of the forecasts predict increased interest and numbers of visitors this, the first of many successful years ahead.

The only worry is the famous Isle of Man weather seems to be playing up again.

It is not mist over the mountain, although that does occur, nor is it standing water past Kirk Michael, the summer sun seems to have sorted that.

No, it is the fabled Manannan’s Cloak, fabled for its ability to hide the island from invaders or, in this case, cloaking the headquarters of the Department of Infrastructure from good old common sense.

During this fortnight we will be welcoming visitors on two wheels and particularly we are hoping for enthusiasts to bring valuable vintage and classic bikes to the revival of this event.

So the DoI scheduling the top dressing of possibly the island’s busiest road is perhaps one of the silliest decisions of the decade.

I am talking about the stretch of road between Onchan and Baldrine. The white lines were removed a couple of months ago in preparation for this work and it is being done during the festival.

When the Mountain Road is closed it is the primary route to Ramsey and the north.

When it is open it is the most popular way for bikers to get from Douglas/Onchan to the Mountain Course. It is the way home for many during practice and, outside of TT, this is the route’s busiest time of year.

Top dressing is not popular with motorists because of the chips and tar that many claim damage their cars, the delays during the work and the 20mph speed limits that follow.

But I understand the necessity of the process for the maintenance of our roads.

But for motorcyclists, who are least stable at slow speeds, our guests at this time, on vintage bikes, this is the worst possible type of surface for them to be riding on.

As to the response times for our emergency services, should there be accidents, police bikes will struggle with this surface as much as others.

With 52 weeks in a year, 48 of them would have been better timing on this main route.

Let us just hope that the wind blows strong, that Manannan’s Cloak is no longer needed and that in future years, common sense and a bit of forward planning breaks out in government’s offices.

Nigel Dobson, Liverpool Arms, Baldrine.

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Rules of the road

With reference to your article ‘Park on pavements and you may face a fine’.

When I recently challenged somebody in a vehicle which was completely blocking the only pavement, I got the reply ‘can’t you see I’m on the phone, love’.

I had to walk in the road and managed to pass the vehicle. Had I been blind, pushing a pram or in a wheelchair, this would have been extremely difficult, if not impossible.

The traffic in the area was very heavy because of the Ballanard Road closure at the time. A few yards down the hill he could have parked in a cul-de-sac without causing any problem but this would have meant showing some consideration for other people which has become all too rare unfortunately.

It shouldn’t be ‘may be fined’ – we have police, a town warden and traffic wardens and the by-laws we require, but we just don’t enforce them enough.

More and more people have to be made to do the right thing. Every day I see people using their mobiles when driving and parking while blocking the pavement. When these are works or company vans, I make a mental note not to use those firms.

I’m quite certain that police officers, town councillors, town wardens, traffic wardens and MHKs also see them, so why aren’t more people being prosecuted? Or are they, and we’re just not hearing about it? I hope it’s the latter.

I don’t want this island to become a ‘somebody else’s responsibility’ society but I fear that’s where it’s heading.

In our house we call hazard lights ‘park where you like lights’ because that’s what people use them for.

I’m beginning to think that driving instructors don’t teach people how to reverse anymore.

Susan Eves, Douglas.

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Impassable

I am writing to comment on the item I read [Examiner, August 12] on the lack of pavement maintenance.

As a pavement is a highway and the Department of Infrastructure is responsible for keeping highways clear of obstructions, etc, does this mean that they are liable for any injuries to highway users such as my self, a wheelchair user who has been complaining for years about ivy making pavements impassable and having to use the roadway wheeling amongst the traffic to get from A to B.

A case in point is Braddan Road opposite Braddan School. The pavement is disappearing and I cannot use the pavement on Braddan Bridge as that is also overgrown. The road is a better option, albeit more dangerous to me.

The thing is, ivy doesn’t grow fast. How difficult a job is it to keep a highway clear of such an obstruction hazard. If I am finding it difficult to use these pavements, prams are wider so they must be using the road. Also, the Manx authorities should be ashamed of not removing such hazards.

P. Sullivan, Braddan.

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Old pen pals

I’m a Boys’ Brigade leader from Edinburgh and we had our annual camp in Peel during July 1988.

One of our boys, let’s call him David, struck up a friendship with Melanie, of 52 Douglas Street, Peel.

Once we were back home he wrote to her. She replied. He wrote again, she did not. A broken teenage heart!

It’s our 125th anniversary in a couple of weeks and we’re having a dinner to celebrate with more than 100 ex-members.

David will be there and I thought it would be fun if we could track down Melanie and find out why she never replied.

Gordon Higgs, 60 Argyle Crescent, Edinburgh.

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Medic praise

I am writing this letter to say how very impressed I was with Dr Peshin, consultant at Noble’s Hospital.

I was referred to him by my GP, Dr Bull, and within two weeks I had an appointment to see Dr Peshin at his clinic.

His mannerisms were excellent, he made me really feel at ease.

On leaving his clinic, he said to me: ‘You will feel much better by the weekend.’

Within 24 hours I was a different person.

Thank you to Dr Peshin, brilliant at his profession.

Name and address supplied.

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Thanks, Cav

Recently, holidaying in France with friends, we met up with a Belgian family who spoke quite good English.

When I said we were from the Isle of Man I expected a blank face. The father broke into a big grin and said ‘Mark Cavendish’. It seems that his country really love and admire Cavendish.

When you think of the amount of free publicity one young man has gained for the island, it is incredible. We really owe him a huge vote of thanks.

Celia Bannister, Baldrine.

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