So­lu­tions needed to park­ing prob­lem

The Oban Times - - Districts -

THERE is un­de­ni­ably a prob­lem with traf­fic con­ges­tion in Oban.

Yet it is a cu­ri­ous co­nun­drum that the busier the town gets, the more pros­per­ous it be­comes.

Some of us who live in the town are re­peat of­fend­ers when it comes to bump­ing our gums about the vol­ume of cars, car­a­vans, cam­per­vans, vans and lor­ries clog­ging the streets and the in­ad­e­quate pro­vi­sion of park­ing.

But we all ben­e­fit from the in­flux of vis­i­tors, whether di­rectly or in­di­rectly.

Tourism is ab­so­lutely boom­ing in this area, with count­less tourists from across the world throng­ing our streets. The sheer di­ver­sity of peo­ple choos­ing to come here is bril­liant, and makes for a fes­tive at­mos­phere around the town. And the money they spend helps to keep lo­cal peo­ple in de­cent jobs.

How­ever, as a town centre res­i­dent, I find it frus­trat­ing that I of­ten can­not find a park­ing space any­where near to where I live.

I paid Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil £85 last year for a res­i­dent’s park­ing per­mit for zone A, which in­cludes my street and few oth­ers in the area. I have to say, I be­lieve it rep­re­sents pretty good value for money most of the year, though it doesn’t seem like it right now.

There is also the added prob­lem that ‘it can­not be used out­with the rel­e­vant sub-zone or in off-street car parks even if all park­ing bays in the sub-zone are full’.

Why can’t the per­mit be used in car parks? Af­ter all, I’m pay­ing up front and in ad­vance as a good­will ges­ture for the right to park near where I live.

The is­sue of park­ing is an emo­tive one. Ev­ery time we post a mes­sage on our Face­book page on the sub­ject, there is an im­me­di­ate and sig­nif­i­cant en­gage­ment, with peo­ple al­ways de­mand­ing a multi-storey car park to be built.

A post last week drew a num­ber of com­ments from peo­ple ask­ing why the yacht­ing fra­ter­nity has been pro­vided with new tran­sit berths at the Es­planade when there’s such a short­age of park­ing spa­ces for cars.

The ob­vi­ous re­sponse, of course, is that draw­ing such an equiv­a­lence is like com­par­ing ap­ples with or­anges. I know a num­ber of peo­ple with boats who are hugely en­thu­si­as­tic about the new pon­toons.

The North Pier berths will bring eco­nomic ben­e­fits to the lo­cal econ­omy as well as ad­di­tional rev­enue to Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil, which man­ages the pon­toons, so that is a win-win sit­u­a­tion.

There are two things the coun­cil can and should do, one in the short term and one for the long-term, and touched upon here al­ready. The first is to al­low per­mit-hold­ers to use off-street car parks and the other is in­deed to build a multi-storey, prob­a­bly be­side Tesco at the free-to-use at Lochavullin car park.

Traf­fic con­ges­tion and a lack of park­ing are a prob­lem in Oban.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.