No stopping order on A82 to combat tailbacks caused by tourist photographs on scenic road through Glencoe
It’s a road of many a hastily stopped car as the stunning scenery swings into view.
(C) The A82 through Glencoe, a hugely popular tourist route where stopping your car is now illegal. PIC:…
Now, a long stretch of the A82 – including the pass through Glencoe – is being covered by a new traffic order which will make stopping on one of Scotland’s most glorious roads illegal.
Stopping the car, such as to take a quick photograph or find a starting point for a walk in the hills, is now outlawed with drivers now facing a fixed penalty fine. The order covers around 35 miles of the A82 between Tyndrum and North Ballachulish in a bid to ease congestion on the famous route. Transport Scotland said it has brought in the order to manage high volumes of traffic in the area with around 2 million journeys made through Glencoe every year.
A spokesman for Transport Scotland said: “There is a high volume of traffic in this area every year and there have been instances where motorists have parked their vehicles on the A82 and subsequently caused tail backs and congestion.
“This Order prevents that and ensures all stopping is in the proper marked parking places, allowing free flow of traffic through Glencoe at all times.” The order has been brought in as lockdown eases, with high volumes of domestic tourists expected to head north this summer. It comes as hundreds of thousands of pounds are spent on the Glencoe and Glen Etive area to help reduce pressure on local communities – as well as make life easier for visitors – as post-pandemic travel picks up this summer.
National Trust for Scotland, which owns Glencoe National Nature Reserve and has cared for the glen since the 1930s, welcomed the order. A spokeswoman for the conservation charity said: “Around two million vehicles travel through the Glens on the A82 each year and this places pressure on the environment and local people. “We’re committed to making the community and landscape more resilient to rising visitor numbers and welcome the action taken by Transport Scotland as it is intended to ensure the safety of visitors, volunteers, staff and local residents alike.”
Councillor Niall McLean (SNP) member for Fort William and Ardnamurchan on Highland Council, said the order was unfortunate but necessary given issues with parking on the road. Councillor McLean said: “This is the result of irresponsible parking on the road network. It’s unfortunate that this will likely affect people who do apply common sense when parking.
“We need clear rules that are easy to enforce so I support the order. I really don’t want to see measures such as this being necessary, but unfortunately they are.” Around GBP375,000 is being made available to Glencoe and Glen Etive from the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund to support the local community and tourists as the season picks up.
Money will be spent on upgrading Glencoe’s busiest parking areas beside the A82 at the Three Sisters viewpoint, a busy stop-off for photographers and those accessing the popular Coire Gabhail or Hidden Valley walks. A survey carried out in Glencoe and Glen Etive after last summer led 70 % of respondents to say that the area’s natural beauty was being negatively impacted by popularity. Almost half of the 3,000 respondents said they had felt unsafe or inconvenienced by the parking and driving they experienced.
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