Wogan's road tirade angers Scots village

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The Independent Online
TERRY WOGAN has fallen out with the people of Tomintoul, Scotland's highest village, after calling the local authorities slack for not keeping their road free of snow.

The A939 from Cockbridge, Aberdeenshire, to Tomintoul, 1,105ft up in the Speyside hills, is notorious, because winter weather sweeping the Cairngorms often closes it.

The Radio 2 disc jockey told listeners: "Every year, since God was a boy, the road at this time of the year gets closed due to bad weather and it always seems to come as a surprise to the authorities.

"You'd think they would say, `Well, this is a bad road, we must try and keep it open' - but no."

Yesterday, Gerry Hobbs, 41, who moved from Essex eight years ago, said: "I am amazed the authorities keep this road open as much as they do. There are steep slopes on the way to Cockbridge, over the top of a mountain. When you go down into the dips, a snow drift can block the way in minutes. When the wind gets up there is not much point in keeping it open because the road is filled in as soon as you clear it.

"We're due blizzards tonight and the road will be shut again, though there are three snowploughs and a snow blower in the village. Terry Wogan needs to live here to understand the weather."

Mr Wogan said: "Well, you know, it's fairly easy to get up the nose of a Scotsman, even by criticising his snowdrifts."

Other villagers said Mr Wogan's comments justified their battle for their secondary school, which has one pupil. It is to close in the summer.

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