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Community / Road resurfacing to limit access to Burra’s east isle

However the SIC will now allow traffic through the road between 1pm and 1.30pm during the work

The road leading north out of the east isle. Photo © Google 2022

THE ONLY road out of Burra’s east isle will be closed for large periods of the day in the second half of July for essential resurfacing – leading to concern over the impact on the community.

The road between North House and the Baptist Church was originally going to be closed between 9.30am and 4pm, Monday to Friday, between 18 and 29 July.

But Shetland Islands Council’s roads manager Dave Coupe has now confirmed the local authority will now allow traffic to pass along the road each day between 1pm and 1.30pm. On Fridays work is due to stop at 1pm.

During the work the public bus will be unable to serve Houss at the south end of the isle, so it will start and terminate in Papil.

Coupe said there is no other option than to close the road during resurfacing when bitmac is being laid.

But he stressed that emergency services would be allowed through if needs be.

Local resident Cheryl Manson, however, felt that to undertake the work during the school holidays was “awful timing”, especially for parents taking their children out for activities.

She said she understood the work was essential and welcomed the addition of a break during the day.

But Manson said it could have been advertised better, or sooner, as she “wouldn’t have booked so much bits and pieces to go to in the holidays”.

“My son has ASD [autism spectrum disorder] and has regular holiday clubs to attend and for him to be ‘stuck’ at home all day for days on end would be a lot less than ideal,” she said. “Also being stuck ‘out’ all day isn’t ideal either.

“I worry about elderly neighbours that receive support at home and meals on wheels, and social visits from carers.”

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One of the businesses operating in the isle is Scottish Sea Farms, which has a shore base at the south end, but its staff should not be affected by the resurfacing and the company will schedule any essential deliveries outwith the roadwork hours.

Meanwhile back in 2016 residents of Vidlin criticised the council’s communication of the closure of the only road into the village for essential maintenance.

SIC admits communication mistakes

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