Calls for ac­tion to avert town cen­tre traf­fic chaos

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

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’.

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