Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell has backed those on Mull who are protesting against the imposition of parking charges in Tobermory.
Dunoon commuters also at risk whilst lessons of Oban and Arrochar parking charges not being learnt.
Commenting, Mr Russell said
“The difficulties being experienced in Oban and in Arrochar as a result of the new parking rules set by Argyll and Bute Council should have given the council administration pause for thought. Instead they are bulldozing ahead with new restrictions for Mull and Dunoon, and both places are rightly beginning to realise that should the Traffic Orders go through it would mean bad news for residents and visitors alike.
I am particularly concerned that on Mull there has been very little thought given to Tobermory’s absolute dependence on tourism. If parking becomes difficult – and it will given the pressures on the town – people will just pass it by, or spend less time there, reducing the main source of income for the community. A slow, measured introduction of regulations and charges that assesses, and then constantly re-assesses, the impact of charging and new restrictions would be the right way forward, not this “Big Bang” which will – given what we have seen in other places – be resented and hugely detrimental.
I know that a significant petition has already been started and I am receiving a considerable volume of emails about the subject. As Councillors are receiving the same that should indicate to them that a re-think is required.
Dunoon of course already has charges but the new ones being proposed there will impact directly on commuters who park by or near the ferry piers in order to go to work across the water. The new yellow lines are already in place and unless the Council thinks again about the Traffic Order it wants then people are suddenly going to find that the cost of commenting has risen massively, as will the imposition of fines.
I have already made representations about the Oban and Arrochar charges but found no willingness to listen from the Council Administration. Given that Dunoon and Mull have, as their representatives, several members of that administration then I would urge local communities to make their voices heard to their councillors and to the Council in a last ditch attempt to get a pause whilst there are sensible discussions about a way forward.”