At random with Martin Laing

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Sensible decision

I was delighted to see an outbreak of common sense last week when Argyll and Bute Council was told in no uncertain terms to take a running jump after pursuing a driver for an unpaid parking ticket.

The problem was that the driver had tried to pay for parking but the meters at the time did not take the new £1 coins. Furthermore, the woman had left an explanatory note on her dashboard – along with the coins she had attempted to use – but was still given a ticket.

She appealed against it but the council insisted she had to pay. The lady then went to the parking adjudicator in Edinburgh who, unsurprisingly, backed her by ruling that the meters were not fit for purpose.

What has this cost the council? How much money has been squandered in trying to chase an innocent motorist who did her best to pay but was thwarted by council incompetence?

And while I’m on about parking, I’m hearing more and more complaints from Oban people whose residential streets – many of them narrow – are being crowded or blocked by long-stay parked cars.

One was highlighted last week on the Information Oban Facebook page because a householder had been forced to trim his hedge round a car that had been parked outside his home for weeks. The householder had no idea whose vehicle it was.

This has arisen, of course, by a lack of long-stay parking options since the new charging regime was introduced. People coming into Oban for work or visitors heading out to the islands have been forced to abandon their vehicles in residential areas because there is nowhere else for them to park.

As I said a couple of weeks ago, the new system is a shambles. Sadly, it does not look like there will be a solution any time soon.

Let me know if have been affected.

What do you think?

Write to me at or The Oban Times, Crannog Lane, Oban, PA34 4HB, or call 01631 568021.