Councillors have backed plans to roll out an unpopular parking charge that will hit islanders making essential journeys to the mainland.
Members of Lorn and the Isles area committee agreed to introduce the £9-a-day charge on Mull, which will include parking for ferries to Oban and Iona – something thousands of islanders objected to.
It was a tight vote, with the chairwoman using her casting vote to pass the order.
Thousands of people had signed a petition against the traffic regulation order.
Campaigner Brian Swinbanks, chairman of Tobermory Harbour Association, said: “We lost, to a group of councillors who were not prepared to look at the big picture and who only saw pound signs. I am incredibly sorry.
“We worked on a plan for all of Tobermory – and for all of Mull and Iona. We worked not to oppose traffic regulation but to ensure that the impact of the proposed charging was fully considered for an island community.”
“Councillor Mary-Jean Devon was fantastic, and the two SNP councillors Julie McKenzie and Jim Lynch were totally on our side and tried to move an amendment.
“We lost three to four and I am so sorry and so sad that the majority of councillors could not work with us and see a better future..
“The effect on tourist and the knock on effect on businesses will be considerable. Our idea of a park at the top of the town was totally ignored.
“The one piece of good news access to the harbour which would have been restricted to cars only will now be changed.
“On the down side, coaches – but not service busses will be charged at Ledaig which again will effect the cruise liner and visitor experience business.”
A spokeswoman for Argyll and Bute Council said they were unable to comment.