Transport hub to be improved
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.