One-way pavement plan for Oban

Parking and one-way pavement consultation is under way

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On-street parking could be removed from parts of Oban’s town centre – temporarily at least – in a bid to make social distancing easier, under proposals by Argyll and Bute Council.

The authority has begun a survey to gauge views from residents and businesses on implementing one-way pavements on Dunollie Road and on George Street from Breadalbane Street to Stafford Street, with people walking in different directions on each side of the road.

The council has also proposed pedestrian lane markings on George Street from Stafford Street to Argyll Square, and a one-way system on the Corran Esplanade, from Stafford Street to the Corran Halls.

The survey also asks those taking part to consent to agreement being sought with Transport Scotland for the removal of on-street parking on the affected roads.

The proposals have been made after the council received £315,000 from the Spaces for People programme to deliver temporary infrastructure to enable safer access for people who are walking, cycling or on wheels during the Covid pandemic.

The council said: ‘Oban is our busiest town for visitors and tourists, and we expect visitor numbers to rise as our tourism industry reopens.

‘Our focus has been to identify temporary options to enable residents and visitors to safely maintain social distancing and therefore feel safe when visiting Oban town centre.

‘We have identified these for a number of the key streets in Oban and would like to understand your preferred options.

‘On the A85 Dunollie Road there is only a narrow footway on the west side of the road.  We are proposing an advisory pedestrian one-way route on this footway.

‘On the A85 George Street from Breadalbane Street (near the Phoenix Cinema) to Stafford Street (Oban Distillery) we propose to introduce an advisory pedestrian one-way system on the footways, with pedestrians asked to walk towards the town centre on one side of the road and away from the town centre on the other side of the road.

‘On the A85 George Street from Stafford Street (Oban Distillery) to the Argyll Square, we propose to introduce pedestrian lane markings on the inland footway to create two pedestrian ‘lanes’ to enable two-way use of the footway along front of shops.

‘On the A85 Corran Esplanade from Stafford Street to the Corran Halls we propose to introduce an advisory pedestrian one-way system on the continuous seaward footway.

‘An additional option to temporarily create additional space for pedestrians to social distance would be to remove some of the on-street parking in Oban.

‘As the A85 is a trunk road, the road including the on-street parking is controlled by Transport Scotland.’

The Spaces for People programme is funded by Transport Scotland and administered by Sustrans.

Councillor Alastair Redman, the council’s policy lead for economic growth, said: ‘We have some initial ideas on how we help reopen our towns. Before putting anything in place, we want to consult with local businesses and residents first to find out what they think.

‘We need to create more space for people to move around safely and use our local businesses as they open up.

‘Consultations will be online and will be done quickly as it is vital people are given the opportunity to start getting out and making use of our town centres again as safely as possible.

‘I would urge everyone to give us your views.’

The survey can be accessed at the council website at www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/consultations/spaces-people-engagement-survey

The consultation is open until Sunday July 26.

A similar consultation is under way for Tobermory where the idea is that parking facilities are temporarily removed from part of Tobermory’s Main Street to enable people to socially distance better.

The authority has begun a survey to gauge views from residents and businesses on the plans for the stretch of the street between the Ledaig car park and the Back Brae.