Transport woes need minister’s help to get moving

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Community councillors in Oban are calling for top level transport talks.

Flights, ferries, rail links and roads are all causing concern for the town and outlying areas (also see page two).

The community council now plans to write to MSP Michael Russell to involve the transport minister in a discussion about infrastructure and the importance of having connectivity.

A representative from Oban Community Harbour Development Association also updated the meeting on its business. The association is now at a stage were it wants to engage the public more to get a sense of what they want out of their harbour.

It was suggested the association might come up with a plan to benefit from a  new £50million town centre fund coming from the Scottish Government – Argyll and Bute Council is getting a £1.2m share.

The idea is that the funding will be used to help boost economic growth and help town centres become more diverse and sustainable.

The state of Oban’s crumbling police station was also brought up for discussion. PC Jeremy Thorpe told community councillors he was embarrassed at the state of it and reports of its mess had not been exaggerated in the media.

‘I find it cripplingly embarrassing when I have to take members of the public in,’ he said.

The empty post office premises in the same street was touched on as a possible alternative building.

Community councillors also quizzed PC Moore about police staffing levels in the town. ‘The boss would say we manage but we could always do with more. It’s quite hard to get people to work here, they don’t want to work in Argyll. I would like us doing more proactive things,’ he said.

Flytipping was also flagged up as a problem in the town.

Bins on Dungallon Road meant for people on boats have been filled by other people – dumped waste included an ironing board.

Community councillor also heard a complaint that bins were not being taken off the streets after being emptied and were causing obstructions, especially in the town’s William Street.

Another street highlighted at the meeting was Rockfield Road which is being used as ‘a racetrack, a rat run and a parking lot.’