GOING THE extra mile can often bring benefits beyond the actual effort expended.

That would certainly be the case for the 33 residents of the island of Kerrera, off Oban. In this case, it is a mile of road that would make a huge difference to their lives.

Argyll and Bute Council is preparing a funding bid to the Treasury's Coastal Communities Fund for a road that will link the two ends of the island for the first time.

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There is no vehicle road link between the north and middle of Kerrera. In effect this results in two separate communities, divided between the north and south of the island. About half of the 33 residents live at the north end of the island, where Oban Marina is located. The other half of the population is in the south, served by the nation's smallest car ferry, with the capacity for just one vehicle.

Residents view the provision of the road as a lifeline link due to concerns over access for emergency services and medical staff.

The planned route will require the permission of four landowners, and all have indicated their support. Such unity is commendable. It is to be hoped it will soon take on a more tangible form.