The Oban Times - - NEWS -

THE ar­rival of the sum­mer sea­son in Oban brings with it in­for­ma­tive ban­ners in Ge­orge Street high­light­ing places of in­ter­est such as the tower, the dis­tillery and the War and Peace Mu­seum.

But one ban­ner that has been for­got­ten about is the one say­ing: ‘To the fer­ries’, which should be hung be­tween the Perle Ho­tel and the Royal Bank build­ings.

While in the town last week I was in the taxi rank area and I could not be­lieve the on­go­ing sit­u­a­tion down there.

One thing that has been voiced be­fore is the lack of park­ing spa­ces at the taxi rank for the num­ber of taxis us­ing the area.

Taxi oper­a­tors also have to put up with traf­fic com­ing into the rank head­ing for the Sco­tRail car park.

They also have to be aware that the new one-way sys­tem on the pier al­lows busi­ness traf­fic to exit the pier through the taxi rank and to add an­other ma­jor prob­lem due to in­ad­e­quate in­for­ma­tion in the town many tourists do not no­tice the very small ar­row shaped in­for­ma­tion board point­ing to the fer­ries.

The vis­i­tors then turn into the taxi rank think­ing this must be the way to get aboard the ferry. This is caus­ing chaos – all for the want of one large ban­ner along Ge­orge Street say­ing: ‘This way to the fer­ries.’

The most dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tion taxi driv­ers face in the area is wan­der­ing tourists who seem to have for­got­ten any rules of the roads, es­pe­cially when they are cross­ing the rank from all an­gles.

It just sim­ply should not be like this, if you visit a builder’s yard, for ex­am­ple, you will come across paths painted on the yard floor that peo­ple must fol­low. Peo­ple must keep to those paths – this is a rul­ing put in place by the Health and Safety Ex­ec­u­tive.

Why is it not the case on the taxi rank be­tween McCaig’s Ware­house and the rail­way sta­tion?

A path in­di­cat­ing to peo­ple that they must only cross here, in­stead of peo­ple cross­ing be­tween parked taxis, with ve­hi­cles en­ter­ing and leav­ing the rank.

This is an ac­ci­dent wait­ing to hap­pen.

It is time the Health and Safety Ex­ec­u­tive took a long, hard look at the sit­u­a­tion in Sta­tion Square be­fore some­thing se­ri­ous hap­pens.

This would also make driv­ers’ lives a lit­tle more bear­able.

While on the sub­ject of health and safety, I must men­tion The Oban Times cam­paign Stay Alive on the A85, which is gath­er­ing mo­men­tum.

I won­der if part of this cam­paign could fo­cus on a cy­cle path from Oban to Con­nel link­ing with the path north to Fort Wil­liam.

This would also be very im­por­tant as re­gards the cam­paign and for the safety of cy­clists.

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