De­bate rages over bus stops

The Oban Times - - News -

PLANS to re­move signs ban­ning coach tours drop­ping off hol­i­day-mak­ers at bus stops close to Fort Wil­liam High Street are be­ing op­posed by some coun­cil­lors less than a month be­fore they stand down.

The signs, which say ‘ No stop­ping ex­cept lo­cal buses’ have been in place on bus stops in Mid­dle Street since Oc­to­ber last year af­ter a de­ci­sion made in In­ver­ness with­out con­sult­ing lo­cal coun­cil­lors or any of the busi­nesses on the High Street which ben­e­fit from hav­ing vis­i­tors be­ing dropped- off close to their premises.

A High­land Coun­cil spokesper­son said the signs are reg­u­la­tory, traf­fic en­force­ment signs and are part of the coun­cil tak­ing over park­ing en­force­ment.

Fort Wil­liam and Ard­na­mur­chan coun­cil­lor An­drew Bax­ter has been in dis­cus­sions with lo­cal busi­ness own­ers and the coun­cil’s traf­fic man­age­ment team, re­sult­ing in what he be­lieved to be an agree­ment to have the signs re­moved. Coun­cil­lor Bax­ter said: ‘I thought we had agreed they would be re­moved/ amended but it seems my fel­low coun­cil­lors think it will cause prob­lems for reg­u­lar bus routes and made it sound like chaos will fall upon Fort Wil­liam town cen­tre.

‘I will ask the coun­cil to sus­pend or cover the signs for the mo­ment so we can con­sult with busi­ness own­ers, bus com­pa­nies and coach op­er­a­tors to see if we can find a way for­ward. It’s im­por­tant not send out a mes­sage to coach com­pa­nies not to come here.’

Drew Pur­don, owner of the House of Clan Jam­frie said: ‘For 25 years, there have been around 20 coaches a day drop­ping peo­ple off at these stops. Why stop them now?

‘The fu­ture of the town is be­ing de­cided by three coun­cil­lors who won’t be here in three weeks time. What a legacy to leave.’

Coun­cil­lor Bren Gorm­ley said ‘It’s fine for the stops to be used oc­ca­sion­ally by coaches but there are a num­ber of si­t­u­a­tions, more of­ten when they are pick­ing up, that they sit for an ex­tended pe­riod at the stop, and at these times ser­vice buses can’t get in and have to sit in the mid­dle of the road which is haz­ardous.’

Coun­cil­lor Brian Mur­phy said he was push­ing to have a meet­ing be­tween coun­cil­lors to find a so­lu­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.