Calls for action to avert town centre traffic chaos
CALLS for a bypass around Oban are being made as travel times through the town are becoming chaotic.
The clogged roads are causing concern not only to residents but also to those trying to make their way to the ferry terminal.
Some say it is the town centre works delaying vehicles, while others say it is the hourly ferry service to Mull but, whatever it is, residents on both sides of the water want the problem solved.
Mary MacLeod, a grandmother of three who lives on George Street, said that for the first time ever, the traffic during school holiday period is as bad as when her grandchildren are in school.
Mrs MacLeod said: ‘Oban is like a rat run with people trying to find quicker ways around the town.
‘Let’s face it, there are no quicker ways now. Oban is gridlocked most of the time.
‘We need a ring road. Without it Oban is just one big car park.’
At last week’s Mull Community Council there were reports from business owners that hotel guests and staff were finding it almost impossible to make it through Oban in time for the book-in period for the ferry.
A woman who did not want to be named said: ‘The congestion on Soroba Road is due to the over- development of housing along Glengallon Road and to the industrial estate beyond, as well as the new school campus, the fire station and Lorn and the Isles Hospital.
‘Congestion is also caused by the CHORD development in the town centre, the traffic lights at the high school junction and also the layout in Argyll Square.
‘Traffic coming from the south of Oban also adds to the congestion.’
Reader Bill Gray said: ‘Longterm planning?
‘What’s that? Is there ANY plan anywhere? I suggest it’s a long time past starting a plan. ASAP please.’
Another reader, who did not want to be named, said that a trip to see a seriously-ill relative last Saturday turned sour when she turned onto Alma Crescent, the nearest street to the ferry terminal.
The woman said: ‘There was a real bottleneck that made it almost impossible for me to get along the road. I don’t know what would have happened if there was an ambulance or a fire tender. I think they would have been stuck.’
‘Something needs to be done.’
A spokesperson for Argyll and Bute Council said: ‘Previously the council has said a development road is on the plans for the future development of the town.
‘However, there are no plans in place to fund the development road at present.’
MSP Humza Yousaf, the Scottish transport minister said he was mindful of the congestion in the town following a visit last week.
He told The Oban Times that he would be working closely with Argyll and Bute Council to find a long-term solution for the ‘difficult situation in the town’.