CLARITY has been sought on the continued delay to parking charges being implemented at Duck Bay which has left Argyll and Bute Council short of its income target.

Councillor George Freeman branded a review of the traffic regulation order (TRO) process “a total waste of time” amid frustration at Luss car park providing most of the money made from parking in Helensburgh and Lomond by the authority.

Plans to introduce charges at Duck Bay were delayed due to a legal challenge to a TRO on the island of Mull.

The Duck Bay proposals were met with a furious reaction in May 2019, including the launch of an online petition.

READ MORE: Duck Bay parking charge fury sparks petition launch

A report for Helensburgh and Lomond area committee revealed that the parking income target for the area was missed by over £130,000 from October to December 2019.

The figure was also almost £100,000 short of its goal from July to September 2019, with blame again being attributed to the TRO process not being finalised.

Councillor Freeman said at the area committee meeting on Thursday, March 19: “It is no surprise to see that most of the income comes from Luss as usual.

“The report refers to the ongoing TRO process as being part of the reasons.

“I commented at the audit and scrutiny committee (on Tuesday, March 17) that I couldn’t believe that one mistake with one TRO got us where we are.

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“We have got into this process and the cost of carrying out the review must have been substantial. It has been a total waste of time and has held up other TROs.

“But that aside, I don’t see what impact the TRO process has had on income in the Helensburgh and Lomond area.”

Council leader Aileen Morton responded: “Duck Bay was profiled as being taken forward, and delays in the TRO have stopped it from being moved on.”

Councillor Freeman then said: “My understanding was that Duck Bay was taken out of the system and the only one outstanding was Luss, which has gone on for years.”

That prompted Councillor Morton to answer: “The budget decision taken in February 2018, and factored into income generation, was that each TRO went forward.

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“Any that did not go forward resulted in a shortfall, and Duck Bay has been delayed.”

Councillor Freeman then said: “With no officer here, I am only guessing, but maybe they could explain the rationale behind the TRO process, and quantify the difference that would make?”

A short report accompanying the figures for October to December said: “There is a significant shortfall of approximately £130,030 due to the TRO process not being finalised.

“Argyll and Bute Council are carrying out a full review of the TRO process to address previous issues with specifically the Mull TRO which was legally challenged.

“This has delayed Duck Bay TRO ultimately reducing anticipated income.”

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