The Oban CHORD project board has agreed to release £1.8million to enable key projects to be started across the town.
The schemes will cover initial phases of all three components of the CHORD programme in Oban – traffic management, reconfiguration of the bay/harbour and improvements to the transport interchange.
The decision was welcomed by Councillor Duncan MacIntyre, chair of the Oban CHORD project board, who said it marked a ‘major milestone’ in the overall programme.
“These projects will assist economic growth and consolidate Oban’s position as the main town and harbour in the West Highlands,” he said.
“They are set in the context of the Oban Action Plan, which sets out priorities for the town over the coming years and ensures that all projects are developed and implemented in a co-ordinated and strategic way.
“Both the Action Plan and the first phases of these schemes have been subject to in-depth public consultation, and I am delighted that residents, businesses and visitors took the time to engage with that process and tell us what they thought.
“Together, these projects represent the beginning of a very exciting time in the regeneration of Oban, and I very much look forward to monitoring their progress and seeing the benefits they bring to the town in the longer term.”
The first phases of the projects – which the £1.84m will cover - include:
- Traffic management – detailed design and implementation (subject to final sign-off by the project board) of physical improvements at known ‘pinch points’ in the town; relocation of the High School access to alleviate problems on Soroba Road; parking improvements; pedestrian crossing improvements; footpath completion and widening; cycling provision. The council will work in partnership with Transport Scotland on these improvements.
- Transport interchange – detailed design and implementation (subject to final sign off by the project board) of signage improvements; provision of real time information and journey planning facilities; improvements to bus shelters; improvements to accessibility and taxi rank – all to improve the travelling experience of both residents and visitors.
- Reconfiguration of the bay/harbour area – detailed design and implementation (subject to final sign off by the project board) on pontoons at the North Pier which would provide facilities for cruise ship tenders. These would be flexible such that if/when the North Pier extension works happened, the facilities could be relocated elsewhere.
Councillor MacIntyre said: “I am delighted that the project board has agreed to release this £1.84million as phase one of the CHORD investment, which of course totals £6.9million for Oban.
“The decision needs to be ratified by the CHORD programme management board and the council’s Executive, but I am confident that they will be as impressed with the proposals as the project board was.
“These projects – both individually and together – will have a very positive impact on the town’s residents, visitors and investors, and will also align with and complement planned future investments such as the Lorn Arc project.
“We will continue to evolve the interrelated elements of Oban’s CHORD project in a phased way, and will continue to request funds in a phased manner.
“The CHORD project and the Lorn Arc together represent a tremendous opportunity for Oban and the surrounding area, and I very much look forward to seeing the benefits they will bring over the next few years.”