White Van Man

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The arrival of the summer season in Oban brings with it informative banners in George Street highlighting places of interest such as the tower, the distillery and the War and Peace Museum.

But one banner that has been forgotten about is the one saying: ‘To the ferries’, which should be hung between the Perle Hotel and the Royal Bank buildings.

While in the town last week I was in the taxi rank area and I could not believe the ongoing situation down there.

One thing that has been voiced before is the lack of parking spaces at the taxi rank for the number of taxis using the area.

Taxi operators also have to put up with traffic coming into the rank heading for the ScotRail car park.

They also have to be aware that the new one-way system on the pier allows business traffic to exit the pier through the taxi rank and to add another major problem due to inadequate information in the town many tourists do not notice the very small arrow shaped information board pointing to the ferries.

The visitors then turn into the taxi rank thinking this must be the way to get aboard the ferry. This is causing chaos – all for the want of one large banner along George Street saying: ‘This way to the ferries.’

The most dangerous situation taxi drivers face in the area is wandering tourists who seem to have forgotten any rules of the roads, especially when they are crossing the rank from all angles.

It just simply should not be like this, if you visit a builder’s yard, for example, you will come across paths painted on the yard floor that people must follow. People must keep to those paths – this is a ruling put in place by the Health and Safety Executive.

Why is it not the case on the taxi rank between McCaig’s Warehouse and the railway station?

A path indicating to people that they must only cross here, instead of people crossing between parked taxis, with vehicles entering and leaving the rank. This is an accident waiting to happen.

It is time the Health and Safety Executive took a long, hard look at the situation in Station Square before something serious happens.

This would also make drivers’ lives a little more bearable.

While on the subject of health and safety, I must mention The Oban Times campaign – Stay Alive on the A85, which is gathering momentum.

I wonder if part of this campaign could focus on a cycle path from Oban to Connel linking with the path north to Fort William. This would also be very important as regards the campaign and for the safety of cyclists.