Res­i­dents de­mand ac­tion on night­mare con­ges­tion

The Oban Times - - News - SANDY NEIL sneil@oban­

‘NIGHT­MARE’ con­ges­tion on Oban’s Soroba Road could be eased if Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil re­moves bol­lards and boul­ders block­ing a con­nec­tion be­tween Glen­shel­lach and McKelvie roads, lo­cal res­i­dents and busi­ness own­ers have ar­gued.

To drive into Oban town cen­tre, res­i­dents of the hous­ing es­tates on McKelvie and Glen­gal­lan roads must merge with ve­hi­cles from Lorn and Is­lands District Gen­eral Hospi­tal at the round­about on Soroba Road, which dur­ing rush hour is grid­locked with heavy traf­fic go­ing to or from work and school.

One res­i­dent, who wished to re­main anony­mous, told The

Oban Times: ‘They’ve closed off a pre­cious road that we need. We need all the roads avail­able.’

Con­ges­tion has in­creased, res­i­dents and busi­ness own­ers said, by the build­ing of many new houses on McKelvie and Glen­gal­lan roads, and with more on the way, it may only get worse.

A so­lu­tion, they ar­gue, would be to re­open the mile-long route into town along Glen­shel­lach Road, much of which is lined with res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties, and per­haps widen it or im­pose a one-way sys­tem.

Hol­i­day­mak­ers also use Glen­gal­lan and McKelvie roads to ac­cess the area’s two car­a­van and mo­bile home parks, de­spite the al­ter­na­tive route via Gal­lanach Road. Gal­lanach­more Farm ad­vises on its web­site: ‘Please don’t use sat­nav to find us us­ing our post­code, as it will take you the wrong way along a road which is blocked.’

Michael Tye, owner of Ro­se­view Car­a­van Park on Glen­shel­lach Road, told us his cus­tomers are ‘al­ways say­ing it’s an ab­so­lute dis­grace, and ask­ing why it’s been shut off’.

Re- open­ing Glen­shel­lach Road, Mr Tye ar­gued, ‘ would make a hell of a dif­fer­ence’, and he called for a one-way sys­tem.

He added: ‘I was told there was no way that road would open. [ The coun­cil] said it wouldn’t take the traf­fic, and we all had to go down this new route. We’ve done all we can, but the coun­cil don’t seem in­ter­ested, and there was no re­sponse ex­cept “Put your own signs up”.’

Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil re­sponded: ‘This is part of the hous­ing devel­op­ment plan – Glen­shel­lach Road is sin­gle track, whereas the new McKelvie Road is more suit­able for the level [of] traf­fic aris­ing from the new hous­ing devel­op­ment. It fea­tures in the Lo­cal Devel­op­ment Plan and the rel­e­vant or­der was ad­ver­tised in the lo­cal press in early April 2015. The route re­mains a pub­lic right of way for cy­clists, etc.’

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