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Challenge to 800 per cent parking increase at Arrochar

Tuesday 25th September 2018, 11:57am

A fresh bid to overturn a massive 800 per cent increase in car parking charges at Arrochar will take place this week.

Two councillors have lodged a motion to be debated at Thursday’s full meeting of the Argyll & Bute Council calling for a £3 cap on parking charges at the two Glen Loin car parks, currently the favoured parking option for walkers and climbers heading for The Cobbler or the other Arrochar Alps.

We reported back in July how hillwalkers and many local people have been outraged by the Council’s proposals to increase the daily charge from £1 to £9.

Now Councillors Iain Paterson and Lorna Douglas have lodged a motion under standing orders, which recognises the importance of tourism to the local economy and notes that the increases will make the two Glen Loin car parks amongst the most expensive in Scotland, contrasting with Ben Nevis at £4, Ben Lomond at £3 and Cairngorm at £2.

The motion also notes the level of opposition to the 800 per cent increase in charges, with a petition calling for a rethink currently standing at over 4000 signatures and rising.

And it asks the Council to agree to an amendment to the parking charges at Glen Loin to £1 per hour for the first three hours, with the rate capped at £3 for any length of stay beyond three hours.

Councillor Iain Paterson, who lives locally and is a member of the local mountain rescue team, said: “I have been inundated with emails and calls about this. It’s an outrageous charge.”

He said that quite apart from the level of charge being unreasonable there were safety issues, with the possibility of people being delayed on the hill and then hurrying to get back in time to avoid a penalty for over-running their time.

And he added that the question of people parking overnight while wild camping in the hills was also something that needed to be addressed.

While news of the motion is welcome, hopes of a reversal of the charging increase should not be raised too much. While Councillors Paterson and Douglas are members of the 11-strong SNP group on the council, the majority is held by a 21-strong LibDem/Conservative/Independent coalition.

The Cobbler, a popular destination from the Arrochar car parks.