Bid to manage Ganavan’s overnighters

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Banning overnight caravans, campervans and works vehicles along Ganavan Road and providing a tap and waste disposal facility at the beach car park is part of a motion due to be heard by Oban and Lorn councillors this week.

The motion was to be proposed by Councillor Julie McKenzie and seconded by Councillor Kieron Green at yesterday’s (September 9) Oban Lorn & The Isles Area Committee.

It reads: ‘The OLI Area Committee recognises that Ganavan is an area of natural beauty and importance in our local community, attracting local people and visitors from near and far.

‘In recent months, as a direct consequence of the coronavirus pandemic and the UK and Scottish Government recommendation for staycations, there has been a marked increase in the number of campervans visiting the area and seeking to park overnight.

‘As the current Ganavan car park restrictions prohibit this; campervan visitors are being displaced along the Ganavan Road in even greater numbers than previously; which has led to issues of public health and road safety, causing considerable distress to residents.

‘The provision of a warm welcome and fit for purpose, managed and chargeable facilities for campervans at Ganavan, in partnership with the introduction of overnight parking restrictions on the Ganavan Road would serve to enhance the area in terms of amenity and safety whilst also providing economic benefit.’

If the motion is passed it would ask the council’s roads and infrastructure service to consider the feasibility of introducing  traffic regulations banning campervans, caravans and commercial vehicles from parking overnight, beginning on the section of road directly in front of The Lancaster Hotel and covering all of the Ganavan Road right up to the entrance of Ganavan car park.

Officers would also be asked to investigate and figure out the costs of work needed to provide basic services for overnight campervans at Ganavan. Those services would include a cold water tap, general and chemical waste disposal, designated campervan bays and a place to pay.

So the matter can be dealt with as a matter of urgency for decision, officers would also be asked to bring a report and recommendations to a special area committee to be held on October 14 this year.

The motion says the officers’ report should also outline steps on how consultation on the proposals can be carried out urgently with local residents and the wider community before any of the work is approved by the Area Committee.

The issue of some overnighters flouting council rules as well as leaving rubbish and human waste at Ganavan was discussed at last week’s Oban Community Council meeting on Zoom.

OLI Area Committee chairperson Councillor Elaine Robertson who was at that meeting asked the community council to write direct to Argyll and Bute operations and traffic management bosses to say the Ganavan problems were ‘a real issue’ for Oban.