Cam­paigner Doreen takes stand over park­ing fines


The Oban Times - - News - LOUISE GLEN lglen@oban­

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 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.

FINE MESS: Doreen MacLeod says the coun­cil has got it wrong over park­ing at Gana­van Sands

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