Campaigner Doreen takes stand over parking fines
OBAN DOG WALKER SAYS IT’S TIME TO SCRAP PARKING RESTRICTIONS AT GANAVAN SANDS AS SHE TEARS UP TICKET
A CAMPAIGNER against car parking charges at an Oban beauty spot said she will not pay a £60 parking fine - and urges other people to do the same.
Doreen MacLeod, who received a ticket last week for parking her car earlier in the month at Ganavan Sands, paid the fine but then decided to cancel the cheque.
After speaking to her lawyer and taking advice from friends and family, Mrs MacLeod is determined to make a stand against the penalty.
She has been at the forefront of a campaign to challenge the legitimacy of Argyll and Bute council’s right to charge for parking at the popular beach.
Mrs MacLeod, a carer, has argued that the imposition of parking charges runs counter to the terms of the original bequest which stated that Ganavan Sands was for the use of the people of Oban.
She said: ‘I was not causing any problems, merely taking my dogs out for a walk.
‘To me, it is unbelievable that a man and a van can come out from Oban in the middle of September on a Sunday to issue a parking ticket to a car that was in a near empty area. Five hundred other cars could have parked in the Ganavan area.
‘I am a senior Oban resident and current legislation requires me, and others in a similar position, to pay £ 365 a year to walk our dogs at Ganavan.
‘If money is needed so desperately, then I would suggest the introduction of a permit with a fixed price - say £20 for six months.
‘One hundred people paying that every half year would bring
in £4,000 a year for the council. It is past the time that Oban officials got real.
‘The situation at Ganavan is a disgrace and requires an urgent, realistic review, in order that locals and visitors can enjoy this beautiful part of Oban.’
In a letter to council officers, she stated: ‘The ticket machine was out of order for a day or so, including the morning of Friday, September 11.
‘I presumed if would be Monday before the machine was fixed and therefore I did not pay the £1 for a ticket.
‘I arrived at approximately 10.25am on Sunday (13/9/15) to take my dogs for a walk, as is my custom. I returned about an hour later to find the ticket on my car.
Claiming that the information on car parking boards is either missing or incorrect at Ganavan, the former CalMac worker said: ‘ The point of contact on the board is Kilbowie House (a council office that closed more than five years ago) which is no longer appropriate.
She continued: ‘I would point out that there are numerous discrepancies at Ganavan, namely there are no parking bays in which to park. There is no monitoring of the rule that vehicles should not be occupied overnight, as has happened all summer with campervans.’
A spokesman for Argyll and Bute council said: ‘Effective traffic management is about keeping Argyll and Bute moving.
‘Parking restrictions are in force in areas with yellow lines, pay and display bays, loading and unloading areas, disabled bays, limited waiting areas and off-street parking areas.
‘If anyone is unsure they should check what is on the sign which applies to the place where they are parking.’
The council confirmed that last year it had issued 9,372 parking tickets, of which 4,009 originated in Oban. There were 868 non-payers who were reported to sheriff’s officers.
The situation at Ganavan is a disgrace and requires an urgent, realistic review
FINE MESS: Doreen MacLeod says the council has got it wrong over parking at Ganavan Sands