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New pontoons in Oban - what's that all about?
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Author:  NickB [ Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:00 pm ]
Post subject:  New pontoons in Oban - what's that all about?

A bizarre story in this week's Oban Times raises more questions than it answers.

A triumphal headline announcing new pontoons is followed by a story that is completely devoid of information (so nothing unusual for the Oban Times there). It seems the council have, without consulting Oban Bay Marine, decided to purchase six pontoons and install them 'by May' so that cruise ships arriving for their seasonal visits will not think that nothing is happening! Roddy McCuish commented :

It is important we look as though we are making progress

Oban Bay Marine, the group responsible for the never-endingly delayed proposal for the transit marina, commented

OBM is still in discussion with the council vis-à-vis longer term proposals for a marina in Oban Bay. But until such time as it has details of the temporary proposal that can be shared with OBM, we can't make any comment'

So the people who have been engaged in planning pontoon facilities in Oban for the last six years were not even consulted and know nothing about this new proposal.

(Full planning consent permission for the OBM proposal for a 50 berth town centre transit marina was granted in 2008. Since then a small fortune has been spent on 'consultancy' and nothing has been achieved. A familiar story when it comes to Argyll and Bute Council. Meanwhile the much-heralded CHORD money remains unspent, the waterfront remains unchanged. Contrast this with the incredible progress made and continuing to be made by Tobermory Harbour Association in the same period)

Author:  Bill McDicken [ Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New pontoons in Oban - what's that all about?

Sounds like the Council is adopting the "Portree model" for Oban.
i.e. install a pontoon or two for the sole use of the big cruise liners and chase all the boat/yachts away by placing a security barrier across the entrance to the pier. It should be noted that these cruise passengers don't spend much as all their food/drink needs are met on board, they just wander aimlessly around Portree and buy the occasional trinket. ( they can be identified by the labels stuck to their lapels )

As Nick pointed out, Tobermory on the other hand actively attracts boat/yacht folk (and the liners) by providing plenty pontoons and moorings, you'll have trouble finding somewhere to eat in the summer, the pubs are full, there are no empty shops and the Co-op is always packed with folk stocking up. The place is thriving. ( as is Stornoway since they installed a 70 berth marina )

It's time A&B Council and OBM had their collective heads banged together as the lack of progress can't go on, nor can the endless waste of money, sorry 'consultation', continue.

Oban has too many empty shops and struggling eateries and pubs, the planned short stay pontoons can only increase the prospects for these businesses.
A look at OBM's website gives an idea of the paper shuffling that's gone on since 2007.

Author:  NickB [ Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New pontoons in Oban - what's that all about?

I have indeed just read on another forum that these pontoons are to be along the NW face of the North Pier, with a ramp to street level, and that they will be for the exclusive use of cruise liner passengers.

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