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RGU teams up with HITRANS to kick start design debate


Experts at Robert Gordon University (RGU) are using laser scanning to help a regional transport partnership kick start a debate about the reactivation of one of its hubs.

Dr Marianthi Leon and Prof. Richard LaingProfessor Richard Laing, Dr Marianthi Leon and Professor David Gray have developed 3D laser scans of Oban railway station and ferry terminal. The work has been undertaken in collaboration with Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership (HITRANS), and forms part of discussions aimed at modernising and re-energising the area as a major transport hub and gateway to the Highlands.

The plans have come in response to growing passenger numbers on all modes of transport at the site and will see 3D visualisation models produced of the transport hub, which is located at the seafront.

The research team will present the results of the laser scanning to members of the local community and a wider group of stakeholders, to help stimulate and develop design proposals for the area.

Prof. Laing said: “We have been using laser scanning in studies looking at building conservation and land surveying, and it has been fantastic to see the technology applied as part of a live design process.

“The scanning outputs are exciting, as they record a very accurate model and pictures of the scene, but also allow us to then look at the area from unexpected angles, and remove or add buildings and other objects. We have found that this can in itself start to raise unexpected and interesting ideas, and the experience of working with HITRANS in Oban has been very positive.”

Frank Roach, HITRANS Partnership Manager, said: “2016 will see more rail and ferry services than ever before and recently a £2m Oban contract was let by Argyll and Bute Council for public realm improvements in Oban Waterfront area including Station Square. 

“There are potential conflicts between pedestrians and vehicles on the pier, and the environment is devoid of heritage interest. The station offers limited waiting facilities, and there are areas of unused and sterilised ground that could be brought back into for transport and other purposes.

“HITRANS is delighted to have the help of RGU in planning for the future at Oban Hub - a true West Coast rail, bus and ferry interchange. We have the chance to plan for seamless connectivity.”

View a video of the scans

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Jenny RushCommunications Officer | Design and Technology