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Oban Bay proposed Harbour Authority consultation

Oban Harbour Management Group (OHMG), composed of Argyll and Bute Council (ABC), the Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB), CMAL and CalMac, have been meeting to address navigational issues in the Bay; it is felt that there is a need for improved safety particularly given the sharp increase in ferry movements following the introduction of RET.

A series of independent consultants have been commissioned by OHMG to advise on the management of the wider harbour. The first report by Fischer Associates recommended harbour control by a Trust Port with representation of all users, which could be run for the benefit of the wider community as in Tobermory. This found favour with many Stakeholders but this recommendation has not been accepted by the Management Group. CMAL now propose to seek a Harbour Revision Order which would make them the controlling authority for the majority of the Harbour from the southern limit of the Sound of Kerrera to the northern entrance to Oban Bay at Dunollie.

The CMAL proposal would delegate the running of the Harbour to CalMac Ports and Harbours who currently run both the Railway and Linkspan piers. The Harbour Board would consist of just the CMAL Board, with no local representation at all. This situation would be quite unacceptable to the WHAM Committee as well as to RYAS, RHYC and a wide variety of users. The Oban community has not been consulted hitherto.

WHAM Committee is opposed to this move on the simple grounds that the controlling authority cannot, indeed must not, also be the judge.

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