Trans­port hub to be im­proved

The Oban Times - - News -

OBAN’S trans­port hub is to be re­de­vel­oped to be­come a more wel­com­ing ar­rival point for vis­i­tors to the town.

High­lands and Is­lands Trans­port Part­ner­ship (HITRANS) man­ager Frank Roach de­scribed the ex­ist­ing rail­way sta­tion as look­ing like a prison, with its mesh fenc­ing and less than ap­peal­ing build­ing, dur­ing a pre­sen­ta­tion to the Oban, Lorn and the Isles Area Com­mit­tee last Wed­nes­day (June 8).

The cur­rent lay­out of the trans­port hub, which in­cludes the sta­tion and CalMac ferry ter­mi­nal, is also to be­come more ef­fi­cient in or­der to cope with in­creas­ing pas­sen­ger flow.

Due to the in­tro­duc­tion of road equiv­a­lent tar­iffs (RET), the num­ber of fer­ries us­ing the pier are to double and there is a pos­si­bil­ity of the Serco Cale­do­nian Sleeper ser­vice com­ing to Oban, mean­ing the hub will be­come even busier.

Mr Roach said: ‘ The busi­nesses on the lane be­tween the sta­tion and pier are now open­ing up onto the rail­way line’, adding that th­ese would be in con­flict with the new trans­port fa­cil­i­ties.

He also raised ques­tions about whether there needed to be so much space set aside for the rail­way sid­ings and said that the freight- car­ry­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties on this line in the fu­ture are quite small.

Dis­cus­sions have al­ready been tak­ing place be­tween Oban and Lorn coun­cil­lors, Abel­lio ScotRail, Na­tional Rail and CMAL (Cale­do­nian Mar­itime As­sets Ltd) about the re­de­vel­op­ment.

Scans in 3-D of the area have been taken by Pro­fes­sor Richard Laing, of Aberdeen’s Robert Gor­don Univer­sity, to aid with the plan­ning and th­ese will be used to il­lus­trate plans dur­ing the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion phase of this pro­ject, which is ex­pected to hap­pen in the au­tumn.

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