At random with Martin Laing week 45

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Parking ‘mayhem’

I make no apology for returning to the thorny old issue of parking. It is, after all, a drum I have beaten before.

However, the problem has now expanded beyond Oban to engulf the isle of Mull. Indeed, as we report this week, so upset are the islanders that there is to be a public meeting at Craignure tomorrow (Friday).

I am tempted to say this is beyond a joke but it is most certainly no laughing matter and never has been.

Argyll and Bute Council has got this parking issue seriously wrong but appears to be too pig-headed even to contemplate the possibility of admitting it.

As we reported in last week’s Oban Times, there has been a torrent of complaints this year from visitors to Oban, the business community in the town and residents.

Now the good folk of Mull are poised to have an unworkable system imposed of them. They are, quite rightly, up in arms. Neil Morrison, an islander who started a petition against the year-round, all-week proposed parking charges, says it will cause ‘mayhem’. He is right.

Many parts of Argyll have no parking fees at all, while Oban is hit with a disastrous system that has effectively scrapped any long-term parking provision and penalises anyone who has to drive into town to work. And that does not even touch on visitors who travel here because it is the ‘gateway to the Isles’.

The council really must rethink this mess.

Acts of remembrance

This weekend – Sunday November 11 – sees the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that finally brought the First World War to an end.

All over Argyll and further afield, there will be dignified services of remembrance and commemoration. Quite rightly, as happens every year.

I would urge everyone who can to attend a service and to respect the silence that will take place. The sacrifice was huge and we must never forget.

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.