Argyll and Bute Council has launched a consultation to gauge public opinion on draft proposals to establish a Municipal Harbour Authority in Oban that will ultimately see the local authority take responsibility for areas of the bay that are currently unmanaged.
The council is already the Harbour Authority for Oban North Pier, while CMAL/CalMac and Northern Lighthouse all have responsibilities for separate areas within the bay. This will not change, however, the approaches into and out of the bay are currently unregulated
The Oban Bay Management Group has promoted a code of practice for vessels entering and leaving Oban Bay and, while this greatly increased safety within the bay, it is only through an established Harbour Authority that the council can enforce positive safety measures.
The Council’s Policy Lead for Roads and Transport, Councillor Andrew Kain, said:
“Our priority is the safety of harbour users. We want to establish a Municipal Harbour Authority for this area so that people have safe and regulated access within the bay. People will see very little difference to operations on the face of it – Oban Municipal Harbour will simply be an extension of existing operations that work well through the systems, expertise and organisational backing that we have already established
“It is really important that people let us know their views on the proposals by taking part in the consultation. This will inform the proposals the council formally submits to Transport Scotland for a Harbour Revision Order, a piece of legislation necessary to take on the management of the rest of Oban Bay.
The consultation runs for six weeks and is hosted on the council website. Printed copies are available on request by emailing MarineConsultation@argyll-bute.gov.uk
The consultation, which includes background detail and an FAQ, as well as the draft proposals, is available here: https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/forms/oban-municipal-harbour-consultation