Call for bus to be allowed to stop at Pennyfuir

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Calls for an area at Pennyfuir cemetery to be turned into a layby for buses was endorsed by Oban Community Council on Monday evening.

At present bus drivers are finding it increasingly difficult to stop safely in the area and will not pull over if the circumstances are too dangerous to do so.

Oban Community Council heard that West Coast Motors’ buses had been in talks with the council’s road network adviser and Transport Scotland to discuss concerns it has about the road at the tight corner at the cemetery.

While it was suggested that only a few people request a stop at the cemetery, the area is on a tight bend and makes halting safely ‘almost impossible’.

Asked if it would be possible for the bus to pull onto the slip road by the entrance to the cemetery, a West Coast Motors spokesman said: ‘We have ceased stopping going out the way as it is too close to the corner. We simply don’t want to take any risks on the road at all. We have spoken to the local authority and Transport Scotland about this.’

Duncan Martin, community council vice-chairman, said: ‘If the bit of land at the entrance to the cemetery could be brought back into use as a layby then surely it would be simpler for buses to stop and let off passengers at this point.’

The community council agreed that this was a suggestion that should be pursued.

The community council was then told that if any changes to the area were to be made it would be Transport Scotland and not the council that would have to agree as the area was a trunk road.

Asked if changes would be made to the section of the road to make it safer, community council secretary Andrew Vennard directed members to a letter he had received from Transport Scotland.

The government organisation told Mr Vennard there was an ongoing study for the section of road between Oban and Connel.

The community council had suggested to Transport Scotland that there was a huge concern about the speed on the road between Oban and Connel.

Kenny MacLennan, a member of public at the meeting, said: ‘You’d be hard pushed to find a road with more accidents than the road between Oban and Connel. If they’ve not got concerns, then we have.’

The letter from Transport Scotland stated: ‘Electronic pedestrian warning signs are being upgraded at Pennyfuir.’

But it also confirmed that there would be no reduction in speed being recommended for the road at the present time. The letter said that an assessment of the road in 2012 had concluded that ‘the speed limit was appropriate and should remain the same’.

Calls for extra white lines to stop overtaking on the stretch of road were also dismissed by Transport Scotland. The letter said: ‘Funding available is prioritised to those locations that offer the possibility of delivering the greatest accident savings.’

The A85 between Oban and Connel was not considered to be one of the priority roads.