Cawley family’s outrage at plans for parking meters at Duck Bay

 The lateBobby Cawley, who owned Duck Bay Marina and made the finest views in the world available to local people and visitors from all over the world.  

By Bill Heaney

Outraged visitors and local people are petitioning Argyll and Bute Council about a plan to impose car parking charges at Duck Bay on Loch Lomondside.

Bobby and Margaret Cawley opened the doors of Loch Lomond’s Duck Bay Hotel, Cottages & Marina in 1985 with dream to create a haven for Loch Lomond’s many adventurers, young and old.

Three decades on and counting, their commitment to providing a place of comfort and familiarity in warm and family friendly atmosphere on the Bonnie Banks stands strong and has been extended across our other venues at choice locations throughout the west of Scotland.

At Duck Bay Marina, you are welcome whoever you are – and the old Gaelic greeting Ceud mile Failte (one hundred thousand welcomes) is warm and sincere.

Bobby Cawley, who has sadly passed away, was one of West Dunbartonshire’s leading business persons, an entrepreneur and an entertainer.

And he and Margaret, his lovely wife, were loved by family, friends and the thousands of people enjoyed their hospitality on the Bonnie Banks over a long number of years.

The Cawley group remains a family run and oriented business, now being headed up by Bobby’s children, Alan and Margo.

“We’re very much ‘hands-on’ and can often be found front-of-house at any one of our venues – why not pop by and say hello,” invited Alan.

However, he is upset by recent news which dropped through his letterbox.

Argyll and Bute logoAlan said: “We have been made aware by Argyll & Bute Council of their intention to introduce metered parking bays along the main road at Duck Bay Marina. This will be followed by metered parking bays in the Car Park across from Duck Bay Hotel & Restaurant.

“For over 30 years parking in this area has always been free and we are absolutely outraged that the Council would try to extort money from both locals and tourists alike simply to park their cars.

“We would advise that the Council have no intention to provide any sort of facilities for people paying to park. There will be no toilets, no facilities for rubbish, no facilities to deal with sewage from the Motorhomes and so on.

“The car park in question was formerly a bog that was, in 1987, turned into a Car Park that was paid for entirely by Duck Bay Hotel and Restaurant.

“This was done after an agreement was reached with the Local Council Authority at the time, West Dunbartonshire, that in return for building the car park the Council would always ensure that the car park would be free to use for the general public.

“Due to local government boundary changes, this area now comes under Argyll & Bute Council, who do not feel that this long standing agreement should be honoured.

“Loch Lomond is an area of natural beauty that should be free for people to enjoy.

“It is an area that Scotland should rightly be proud of and something that we should look to promote and encourage with regard to tourism.

“It is not an area that should be open to extortion and exploitation by local councils who are motivated by greed and nothing else.”

There is at the moment a petition on the internet which calls on Argyll and Bute Council to scrap their plans to introduce metered parking at Duck Bay.

An Argyll and Bute Council spokesperson said: “Year on year cuts to our funding mean that, like all councils, we must make changes to how we work. When the Traffic Regulation Order for Duck Bay parking is advertised, this forms a statutory consultation, which will allow members of the public and business community to have their say on these proposals. Money raised from parking goes towards essential council services, including car park maintenance.”

One comment

  1. Absolutely disgraceful this area should be enjoyed by everyone and should be free , it is a beautiful spot to admire the scenery .

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