Councillor raises barrier idea for Ganavan

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A night time barrier is needed to block motorhomes from illegally parking up at Ganavan.

Oban councillor Roddy McCuish says the town has had enough of badly behaved campervanners and motorhome owners taking liberties and showing no respect at the beauty spot.

Last week Dugie Graham who runs a snack bar at the beach was forced to remain closed for a day after his water supply feed was snapped off from its source.

Mr McCuish said: ‘Someone decided they wanted water and did whatever it took to get it. We can’t say for definite it was someone with a campervan, but it most probably was. We are taking £150 a week off Dugie, we have to give him some kind of protection for that.

‘It’s just getting aggressive now. There’s no respect. I’m all for giving people a fair shake but this has gone too far now.

‘There are still campervans emptying their toilets in the public toilets when they’ve been told not to.

‘Ganavan is all over freeloading websites with campervans telling other people it’s okay to come and park up for the night. There are signs saying this is not allowed but they are just ignoring it.’

Councillor McCuish added: ‘I’ll be calling for a 2m barrier to go up at night now after the last bus comes and goes again at 5.30pm. We can give a key to the emergency services and to Scottish Water who have a small pumping station there. Cars will still be able to get under it.’

Councillor Elaine Robertson, who chairs Oban, Lorn and The Isles Area Committee, agrees something has to be done to monitor the car park.

‘We are still having a big problem getting people to use official campsites. We are looking at all sorts of solutions for Ganavan at the moment. We are trying to get some means of monitoring what’s going on and keeping tabs on what’s happening.’

She added: ‘It’s such a shame that a few irresponsible and reckless people are spoiling things for others but this is just not on. It’s not everyone, just a handful who are not behaving considerately.’

Oban Community Council chairwoman Marri Malloy said: ‘I think a barrier would be a great idea. Something has to be done.’

Dugie described the invasion of big campervans and motorhomes ‘with attitude’ as ‘a pandemic’, saying this year is the worst it has ever been with large vehicles coming in their hordes and taking up multiple spaces, depriving daytrippers of parking spaces.

‘They are not all bad but ones I’ve experienced are extremely aggressive and have the attitude that they are entitled to free facilities. They come round the back of my van looking for a hose and to dump their waste. They are ignoring signs, the council might as well put new ones up saying, “Welcome to camp here, get your free water here, come and dump your waste in our toilets, help yourself to all the toilet rolls and Oban will support you”.

‘This year is the worst I’ve ever seen it. The bins are left overflowing. I go round with a litter pick, some of the paper I pick up is crusted with excrement.

‘I’m worried about leaving my snack van here overnight. They’ve vandalised my water source, smashed a light before, what will be next?

‘It’s a pandemic. It’s beyond the realms of fantasy that these people driving £100,000 motorhomes can’t pay to stay at an official campsite – they won’t pay. To say there are no facilities for them in Oban is nonsense, there are three in the town and more on the outskirts looking for their business.’

Concerns have been reported to the police and to the council’s environmental health.

There have also been reports of campervans going into Pennyfuir Cemetery to fill up on water.