Park­ing poses prob­lems in Fort

The Oban Times - - News -

THE LAST week­end in April – or first in May, de­pend­ing on the year – is one of the busiest in Fort Wil­liam’s calendar as the high sea­son be­gins and crowds de­scend on the town for the Scottish Six Days Trial (SSDT).

In the days lead­ing up to the SSDT and the Pre- 65 tri­als, there is an in­flux of mo­tor­cy­cle fans all want­ing to be part of this in­ter­na­tional event, as well as the 280 rid­ers who come from all over the world, their crews, press teams and fam­i­lies.

How­ever, it would ap­pear that the High­land Coun­cil and town of­fi­cials may have taken their eye off the ball this year, lead­ing to park­ing dif­fi­cul­ties in the town cen­tre.

Two of Fort Wil­liam’s four long-stay car parks were closed to the public in the days lead­ing up to the busy week­end (April 29 and 30).

The West End car park was, as usual, be­ing used as the base for the trial, home to the mer­chan­dis­ers, crews and where the bikes are weighed in and stored; and An Aird was used as a fair­ground over the week­end.

This week Fort Wil­liam res­i­dent and busi­ness-owner Gywn Moses spoke out af­ter he re­ceived a park­ing ticket on Thurs­day (April 27).

Mr Moses, who runs the Gallery in The Fort on the High Street, told the Lochaber Times that he had trou­ble finding long- stay park­ing on Thurs­day as both the West End and An Aird 2 car parks were closed, and the town’s re­main­ing two long-stay car parks (An Aird 1 and the Trans­port Cen­tre car park) were full to ca­pac­ity.

He said be­cause of this he parked in a des­ig­nated camper­van space in An Aird 1 car park be­cause the only car parks with any spa­ces were for short-term park­ing only.

He said: ‘I would have had to pay for four hours and then rush out to move the car, which is not al­ways pos­si­ble when the shop’s busy. I parked in the camper­van space be­cause I didn’t want to take up a dis­abled or elec­tric space.’

Mr Moses ap­pealed his park­ing ticket, but quickly re­ceived a re­ply from the High­land Coun­cil say­ing that the re­spon­si­bil­ity was with him to be aware of park­ing re­stric­tions and park ap­pro­pri­ately.

‘How can the coun­cil get away with tak­ing away the two big­gest car parks in the town at the same time?’ he asked. ‘Tourists will be caught out and might be put off com­ing back. It’s not good for tourism in the area.’

A spokesper­son for the High­land Coun­cil said: ‘The de­ci­sion to close these car parks is down to lo­cal Lochaber poli­cies and de­ci­sions are taken in con­junc­tion with the po­lice and event or­gan­is­ers.’

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