Sir, I felt compelled to reply to your headline story from last week's Dispatch.
I have been a HGV driver for over 20 years and in this time my chosen profession has, surely, became one of the most over-legislated employments in the UK, with the driving time directive dictating when and for how long I may, not only, drive, but also the overall hours I work and including the strict break-time adherence for which non-compliance could cost me fines, loss of licence and loss of livelyhood.
In effect HGV drivers work with a cap on their not excessive wages.
Mr Donald of Astute complained about HGV drivers using Orchardbank Business Park for overnight parking.
Where exactly would Mr Donald like HGV drivers to park up, bearing in mind that they can drive up to nine hours or occasionally ten hours per day and not nine hours and ten minutes, forcing us to park where we can?
Should the weather be particularly bad our options are further reduced.
Of course, the Prime Minister did extend drivers hours by one hour recently because of the severe weather, but, rest assured this was not in order for lorry drivers to earn extra money, but, was instigated to allow essential foodstuffs and fuel to reach their destinations to avoid severe shortages.
I do, wholeheartedly, agree with the Astute business owner regarding inconsiderate drivers blocking his business premises with trucks and can understand his ire at the thoughtless driver who parked a trailer adjacent to his delivery point.
This behaviour is inexcusable. However, the "I am alright Jack" attitude is not the preserve of HGV drivers.
Forfar has long been anti-HGV lorries, what with the ban on overnight parking in all of the car parks. With the exorbitant charges made by dedicated truck stops (up to 25 just to park) and the lack of facilities in Scotland, as a whole, most HGV drivers would choose to utilise business parks or industrial estates because they are well away from residents and the vast majority of truckers would have moved on well before businesses open in the morning.
Mr Donald, unfortunately, seems to have encountered a few of the drivers who show no consideration for others, but, he should not tar all drivers with the same brush.
As to the snow clearance procedure on the unadopted road outside his property has Mr Donald failed to notice that even major bus routes and roads outside schools were not cleared or is he asking for special priority treatment before residents and our most vulnerable ?
Whilst no one is sure whether we have seen the last of the horrendous weather or what new treat Mother Nature has in store it would serve us all well, lorry drivers, business owners, car drivers etc, to have more care and consideration for all and not, merely, for our own petty concerns.
A thoughtful HGV driver and Forfar resident.