Traf­fic plan will cause chaos on rail­way pier

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

AN ‘ILL-THOUGHT- OUT’ plan to limit the num­ber of ve­hi­cles us­ing Oban Rail­way Pier will see vans cir­cling un­til they can gain ac­cess to the only de­liv­ery area serv­ing some of the busiest out­lets in town, says an en­tre­pre­neur.

Watts fish­mon­gers, Wether­spoons, the Wa­ter­front Fishouse, Yu Wu, The Olive Gar­den, two fish take­aways and other re­tail out­lets have been ne­go­ti­at­ing with CMAL and CalMac over a one-way sys­tem on the pier for a num­ber of years - but the fi­nal out­come does not meet the ap­proval of all the par­ties in­volved.

Cal­lum MacLach­lainn, who has var­i­ous busi­ness in­ter­ests on the pier, says the one-way sys­tem for ve­hi­cles is not re­quired.

Mr MacLach­lainn said: ‘There were plans to limit traf­fic on the pier when the queues for the ferry were backed up all the way to the woollen mill.

‘CalMac said only one lorry will be al­lowed on the pier at a time as it is only pro­vid­ing one space in the de­liv­ery bay for lor­ries. Most of our de­liv­er­ies are lor­ries, and not cars or smaller ve­hi­cles.

‘But ask any­one who is reg­u­larly on the pier last year. The queues were not there any more be­cause of the hourly ferry to Mull.

‘ We have many de­liv­er­ies over the course of the day to keep our busi­nesses run­ning smoothly. Many of th­ese peo­ple are mak­ing trips from else­where to Oban and ev­ery minute counts for driv­ers to get all their work done.

‘ We’ve been told that if there is no space on the pier they will be asked to drive around town un­til there is space. I can’t imag­ine that any busi­ness will want to de­liver to any of the pier busi­nesses if that is the case.

‘We were keen to look at a so­lu­tion for the prob­lems that do ex­ist on the pier but af­ter months and months of ne­go­ti­a­tion we were given the fi­nal de­ci­sion and it sim­ply didn’t meet any­one’s needs.’

CMAL, which owns the pier, said: ‘ The Oban Traf­fic Man­age­ment Scheme is be­ing im­ple­mented by the Oban har­bour op­er­a­tor, CalMac Fer­ries Lim­ited (CFL).’

A spokes­woman for CalMac added: ‘The as­ser­tion that only one ve­hi­cle will be al­lowed on the pier at any time is com­pletely in­cor­rect. This was dis­cussed pre­vi­ously and dis­counted at a con­sul­ta­tion meet­ing with the ten­ants.

‘The new traf­fic plan in­cludes phys­i­cal al­ter­ations to cre­ate a spe­cific de­liv­ery bay, which will help to al­le­vi­ate any po­ten­tial con­flicts.

‘It is also worth not­ing that we re­gard pedes­trian and cy­clist safety as para­mount in this area, and that our plans fol­low spe­cific guid­ance is­sued by the Health and Safety Ex­ec­u­tive in this re­gard.’

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