Traffic plan will cause chaos on railway pier
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.’