Should I thank him?

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

one of many potholes in the road where I live. Should a local volunteer fill it in or the council?

I am not sure whether to praise Mr Mark Armstrong or criticise him.

According to the BBC,  Mr Armstrong, runs an engineering company in Alness, a small town near Invergordon in the highlands of Scotland. Up until Mr Armstrong made the news, the town’s chief claim to fame was that there were two distilleries in Alness making the town an attraction as tourists came to the visitor centre of one of them.

Many use the roads to get to the town, the heritage centre, the distillery visitor centre and the golf course that is there. Like the rest of us they will have noticed a rise in the number of potholes especially after the winter just gone.

The local council, Highland, covers about a third of all Scotland which means it has a considerable number of road miles to look after. As with most councils it claimed lack of funds to fill in the potholes so Mr Armstrong, having suffered vehicle damage due to unrepaired potholes, has taken it upon himself to fill them in. Not all of them but enough to make a difference in Alness. Using unused tar from other projects he fills them in saving the council money and pleasing both locals and tourists.

But should he and here is my dilemma? We pay council taxes for our roads to be maintained. If councils can find local worthies like Mr Armstrong, they may reach the view that money can be spent elsewhere. On the other hand, without Mr Armstrong, potholes may not get filled at all making it more of a misery for locals and visitors.

Will other councils around our countries seek out local Mr Armstrongs in the hope that some of their work can be done for them? And should we be pleased if they do or worry that councils are abrogating their responsibilities?

If you are holidaying in the USA ad had planned on visiting any of the national parks then you should be aware that admission prices will rise from June 1st.  At the most popular parks – examples are Yellowstone and Yosemite – the increase will be $5 making it $35 per vehicle. About two-thirds of the parks will still be free but check first if where you plan to visit charges.

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