The Oban, Lorn and the Isles Area Committee yesterday (Wednesday 10th June) agreed a set of parking proposals to go forward for public consultation.
Argyll and Bute Council took on the responsibility for enforcing parking restrictions across the area in May last year, meaning traffic can be managed effectively and parking turnover is maintained within busy town centres.
Following a reasonable period to allow these changes to bed in a review was planned to highlight any issues and to make changes in order to address these as far as possible. This is the process which the council is currently going through.
The proposed changes in the parking arrangements in Oban, Tobermory and Fionnphort include:
- Altering the on-street charging structure to make it possible to pay in 15 minute increments rather than hourly
- Reverse Sunday charging, making on-street parking chargeable and off-street free up to 12 noon.
- Changing the Lochavullin car park from its current 24hour free parking arrangement to a 4hour free, no return structure. Charging in this car park will also be considered as part of the consultation.
- Time limiting the car park at Atlantis Leisure
- Begin charging in the off-street car parks in Tobermory and Fionnphort
- Extend the Fionnphort car park
Across the Oban, Lorn and the Isles area:
- Issue parking permits for district nurses and carers
Chair of the area committee, Councillor Roddy McCuish, explained the rationale behind the proposals, saying: ‘’What we as a council are trying to do is improve the Oban, Lorn and the Isles area for both residents and visitors; these proposals represent what we think is, within reason, a fair reflection of what people want. At this stage they are just a starting point though; we are eager to get constructive feedback which is why we will be holding public drop-in events, requesting comments from community councils and hosting an online consultation on the council website.
‘’The feedback on the proposals currently on the table will then be used to inform the final plans which are set to be considered by the area committee in October. If they are agreed, subject to approval by the full council if necessary, we will move forward with changing the road traffic orders as needed. This involves a statutory consultation process in which people will be able to have their say if they disagree with any of the changes.
‘’The suggested change to 15 minute increments is self-explanatory – people should not have to pay for say two hours if they will only be an hour and a half going about their business. The new Sunday arrangements would let people go into town on a Saturday night and go for dinner or to the cinema then pick up the car mid-morning on the Sunday, not incurring parking costs.
‘’We want to time limit the Atlantis Leisure and Lochavullin car parks to restrict medium to long term parking, creating a good turnover of spaces, rather than people leaving their cars there all day while they are at work. We will also consider charging in the Lochavullin.
‘’On Mull, with the introduction of the road equivalent tariff making it cheaper for visitors to go over on the ferry, we need to introduce a system to manage this increased traffic and ensure new visitors to the island park responsibly. We are also hoping to extend the car park at Fionnphort, creating more spaces which we think will be needed.
‘’More details of the public consultation will follow and I would encourage people to give us their views. They will be listened to and will be used to inform the final proposals. I cannot emphasise enough that this is simply the start of the process; the feedback we get will be vital in constructing the final plans to which we hope everyone will contribute.’’