Park­ing ‘may­hem’

The Oban Times - - DISTRICT NEWS - MARTIN LAING mlaing@oban­

I make no apol­ogy for re­turn­ing to the thorny old is­sue of park­ing. It is, af­ter all, a drum I have beaten be­fore.

How­ever, the prob­lem has now ex­panded beyond Oban to en­gulf the isle of Mull. In­deed, as we re­port this week, so up­set are the is­landers that there is to be a pub­lic meet­ing at Craignure to­mor­row (Fri­day).

I am tempted to say this is beyond a joke but it is most cer­tainly no laugh­ing mat­ter and never has been.

Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil has got this park­ing is­sue se­ri­ously wrong but ap­pears to be too pig-headed even to con­tem­plate the pos­si­bil­ity of ad­mit­ting it.

As we re­ported in last week’s Oban Times, there has been a tor­rent of com­plaints this year from vis­i­tors to Oban, the busi­ness com­mu­nity in the town and res­i­dents. Worse still was the level of con­cern ex­pressed by peo­ple at Oban Live.

Now the good folk of Mull are poised to have an un­work­able sys­tem im­posed on them. They are, quite rightly, up in arms. Neil Mor­ri­son, an islander who started a pe­ti­tion against the year-round, all-week pro­posed park­ing charges, says it will cause ‘may­hem’. He is right.

Many parts of Ar­gyll have no park­ing fees at all, while Oban is hit with a dis­as­trous sys­tem that has ef­fec­tively scrapped any long-term park­ing pro­vi­sion and pe­nalises any­one who has to drive into town to work. And that does not even touch on vis­i­tors who travel here be­cause it is the ‘Gate­way to the Isles’.

The coun­cil re­ally must re­think this mess.

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