New coun­cil plan would ditch road by­pass­ing town cen­tre

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The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands) - - LOCAL NEWS - BY RITA CAMP­BELL

Ditch­ing pro­pos­als for a de­vel­op­ment road which would by­pass Oban town cen­tre is just one of the ideas sug­gested by Argyll and Bute Coun­cil for the next Lo­cal De­vel­op­ment Plan.

The au­thor­ity is also con­sid­er­ing ex­plor­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of cre­at­ing a new na­tional park on Argyll’s west coast and is­lands, pro­mot­ing tourism, seafood and marine-re­lated in­dus­tries.

Im­prov­ing traf­fic man­age­ment and park­ing in Oban is an­other is­sue to be tack­led in the plan, which will be in place from 2020-30.

Mem­bers of the pub­lic were con­sulted on the pro­pos­als for the Oban area at an event in the Cor­ran Halls last night.

Many did not agree with the idea of drop­ping the Oban De­vel­op­ment Road from the plan or cre­at­ing a new na­tional park.

The coun­cil’s lo­cal de­vel­op­ment plan main is­sues re­port states: “Oban ex­pe­ri­ences sig­nif­i­cant traf­fic and park­ing is­sues and there has been no progress in de­liv­er­ing iden­ti­fied strate­gic trans­port im­prove­ments.

“There is a need for de­tailed anal­y­sis to re­view strate­gic trans­port pro­pos­als, such as the Oban De­vel­op­ment Road, which are not pro­gress­ing and con­sider other op­por­tu­ni­ties and po­ten­tial to im­prove re­la­tion­ships be­tween land uses within the town.”

It con­tin­ues: “The Oban De­vel­op­ment Road (ODR) was pro­posed to de­liver ad­di­tional de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in the Oban area and re­lieve the grow­ing traf­fic man­age­ment is­sues in the cen­tre.

“Land ad­ja­cent to the in­ner Oban De­vel­op­ment Road has been re­assessed and is not considered suit­able for de­vel­op­ment. The need for and ben­e­fit of, both arms of the ODR re­quire more work to fully jus­tify re­tain­ing them as an as­pi­ra­tion. Cur­rent traf­fic man­age­ment and ca­pac­ity is­sues (in­clud­ing traf­fic flow and park­ing) in Oban town cen­tre re­quire com­pre­hen­sive as­sess­ment and ex­plo­ration of so­lu­tions in­clud­ing if and how they might re­late to the ODR.

“How­ever, there has been lit­tle progress with “I don’t see the need for the de­vel­op­ment road. It is pretty ob­vi­ous they don’t need it for a de­vel­op­ment of any scale to go on. I can’t see peo­ple want­ing to by­pass Oban to go to Lochgilp­head.”

Ian Dougall, 61, re­tired, Oban “They do need to do some­thing about the traf­fic con­ges­tion prob­lems in the town cen­tre.

“But if they don’t have the money avail­able for the project, then they have to take it out.”

Daniel Guy, 43, fish­er­man, Oban

this pro­posal to date and there is cur­rently no fund­ing iden­ti­fied to de­liver the pro­posal so it is considered in­ap­pro­pri­ate to main­tain it as an as­pi­ra­tional pro­posal.”

Peo­ple were asked a “Dis­ap­point­ing. Any­one who lives in Oban knows we have to find a method by which peo­ple can get out of town from the south end with­out with­out hav­ing to go through the town cen­tre.” Dun­can Martin, 72, re­tired, Oban

“Lan­dad­ja­cent tothein­nerOban De­vel­op­ment Road­has­been re­assessed”

“Let’s have a bit of am­bi­tion, keep the de­vel­op­ment road in and it might work. The silent ma­jor­ity want it to hap­pen. It would al­le­vi­ate the traf­fic flow through Oban.”

Camp­bell Cameron, 58, busi­ness owner, Ben­der­loch

se­ries of ques­tions about spe­cific as­pects of the plan and in­vited to put a sticker un­der “yes” or “no”.

When asked: “Do you agree with the coun­cil’s pre­ferred op­tion to re­move the de­vel­op­ment

road from the plan as it is a long term as­pi­ra­tion un­likely to be re­alised dur­ing the plan pe­riod (2020 – 2030), and does not re­lease suit­able de­vel­op­ment land,” five peo­ple had an­swered no, with no one agree­ing.

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