Fuelling debate

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Confession: I have only been following the COP26 gathering of the world’s leaders in Glasgow superficially.

However, I realise the crucial nature of the debate.

On that front, I was intrigued by the news Oban is trialling a hydrogen bus this month as part of a joint initiative.

I think the idea of hydrogen-fuelled public transport – emitting zero CO2 – is a splendid development and is obviously a significant step to improving air quality and reducing pollution.

It is also being linked to Oban’s bid for city status, on which I have voiced my doubts previously. If that ambition is to be successful and bring about the economic development suggested by its supporters, I’d offer that the most important change in the area’s transport infrastructure should be sweeping improvements to the road links between Oban and the central belt.

Now, I’m sanguine enough to know we are not going to get motorways built between Oban and Stirling but at least some dual carriageway stretches could be developed to allow more safe overtaking and faster links. That would be my personal priority, although the hydrogen bus is a promising start to improving transport in the West Highlands.

Helping hands

I have never been to the Men’s Shed in Oban and have had no involvement with the organisation but I have friends who have been part of it and who vouch for the excellent work it achieves.

I was, therefore, interested to hear of its need to find new premises after being told the Salvation Army building it uses in Stevenson Street is up for sale.

The Men’s Shed is a country-wide movement which offers peer support to men by encouraging social interaction and engagement in constructive projects. It is, by all accounts, an excellent group in the town and one which deserves support. I’d appeal to anyone out there with potential premises to consider helping out. I’m told they can be contacted on Facebook at Men’s Shed Oban.

What do you think? Send your comments to editor@obantimes.co.uk