At random with Martin Laing – week 33

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Why no buses?

I strolled out to Ganavan beach the Sunday before last on what was a warm afternoon.

My good lady and I had discussed returning by bus but that did not happen for the very simple reason that there is no Sunday service.

Why not?

It was perfectly okay for us to walk there and back – and thank you to the courteous drivers who displayed care on the stretches where there are no pavements – but there must be other people for whom it is not.

What about families with young children living at, for instance, Soroba? It would be quite a hike from that end of town, and could be a bit hair-raising on those aforementioned parts of the road where there are no footpaths.

While at Ganavan, I blethered with the ever genial Dougie Graham, who operates the snack van there. He was of the opinion that it is a missed opportunity.

There must be many people who would love to visit the beach on a summer Sunday but are denied the chance because of the absence of a bus service.

Parking mess continues

The huge reaction to the parking shambles in Oban just keeps on coming.

There were dozens of comments on the Information Oban Facebook page after a visitor placed a note on their car windscreen saying: ‘We tried to pay for the whole day but max two hours is no use to anyone … Not being from round here I doubt we’ll be back.’

That is as clear a statement as you could wish for that the new system is damaging to Oban’s interests, especially the hospitality sector.

Councillor Roddy McCuish called for a parking summit this autumn, but that is not good enough. The damage is being done right now so a talking shop weeks along the line – and long after the majority of scunnered tourists have departed – is too little, too late.

The council should set aside its new system immediately and then scrutinise what went wrong and how to fix it.

What do you think?

Write to me at mlaing@obantimes.co.uk or The Oban Times, Crannog Lane, Oban, PA34 4HB, or call 01631 568021.