Members of the North Glendale township have met Na h-Eileanan an Iar MSP Alasdair Allan to discuss the state of their unadopted main road.
The South Uist crofting township is one of the last villages in the Western Isles to not have a paved access road to the township maintained by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.
Before a local authority will adopt a private road, it must be improved to a certain standard. But with no public fund available for such work, residents are left trying to maintain their road each year using private funds, crofting grants and the occasional council donation of excess chips.
With 11 properties, including the recently renovated thatched cottage where Margaret Fay Shaw spent ten years collecting material for the seminal publication Folk-song and Folklore of South Uist, North Glendale is home to several families, including the elderly and infirm who require regular health visits. The only road access to the village is over a stone bridge, first built by crofters in the 1930s, which is itself gradually deteriorating.
After years struggling to maintain their only viable connection to the wider community, the township is seeking a permanent solution.
Alasdair Allan MSP has called upon the Comhairle to consider allocating a portion of the recently received Crown Estate revenues for this project £97,500 in capital funding has been earmarked per ward for infrastructure work through the investment. “North Glendale has demonstrated an extreme fortitude and perseverance in trying to seek a resolution to this issue.
“This is a serious issue. If an isolated resident required emergency services, the place is difficult to get into as it is. If the bridge were to collapse in a storm, things would become impossible.
“Although no township seems to have a right to a road, I believe that this case is deserving of exceptional expenditure to help bring the road up to the standard required for council adoption.”