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Inverness miniature railway boss calls for flooding help

The miniature railway at Whin Park
The miniature railway at Whin Park

The businessman who runs Whin Park miniature railway in Inverness has asked Labour MSP David Stewart to help him over continuing flooding of the popular site.

Mr Stewart met Ian Young, of Ness Islands Railway, at the park to find out about the damage which has been caused to the railway over the past 30 years.

Mr Young, who lives in the Crown, contacted Mr Stewart after reading about the MSP’s i-petition to Preserve Our Ness Islands. He told the Highlands and Islands MSP that repairs have cost him thousands of pounds and in one year he even lost a train engine, costing £8,000, when it was affected by rising water.

“What I was really upset about was that Highland Council said that because the area does not include any housing, businesses or “notable infrastructure”, there would be no economic benefit to a flood defence for the Islands,” explained Mr Young.

“As someone who runs a business and is affected, on the opposite side of the river, I contacted Mr Stewart to add weight to his campaign and to see if the local authority would try to help with measures to stop the flooding and damage.”

Mr Stewart has written to the council asking if it would consider building up the riverbank to stop flood water pouring in. He also asked what work was being done to keep nearby culverts free of debris to allow flood water to flow freely and drain the area.

Mr Young, who rents the ground from the council, told the MSP on occasions he and his staff have cleared the culverts.

“I think most families in Inverness have at some time or other visited Whin Park and had a ride on the little train,” said Mr Stewart.

“It is a great added attraction for such a lovely park and is popular with locals and visitors alike.

“I have received a good reaction for my petition and hope the council will think more long-term about measures to help prevent flooding both at Ness Islands and Whin Park.”

The petition is at

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/preserve-our-ness-islands

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