Sustainable parking and transport plans in motion for Snowdonia’s honeypots
The Snowdonia Society welcomes a new consultation on sustainable parking and transport for two of Snowdonia’s most popular sites, Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) and Ogwen. We urge you to contribute positively and constructively to this consultation: it could be a game-changer for Snowdonia.
The Snowdon Partnership is consulting on its draft strategy to improve access and connectivity in the Yr Wyddfa and Ogwen areas of Snowdonia National Park with the support of Transport for Wales.
It is inviting local communities and stakeholders to help shape the strategy and potential solutions to address parking issues and encourage more sustainable modes of transport such as walking, cycling and public transport.
Director of the Snowdonia Society, John Harold, said:
“Sustainable transport and parking is a key issue in Snowdonia that we – along with our members and supporters – have flagged up time and time again with the Park Authority over the years.”
“This is one of the most pressing challenges facing Snowdonia at the moment and has huge implications for the environment and the wellbeing of those who live, work and play in the National Park. We’re very supportive of the Snowdon Partnership’s plans to overhaul the situation as it stands because it’s simply not working, as we saw after the lifting of lockdown last July.”
The consultation is taking place from 1 February to 7 March 2021. As well as information and a questionnaire on the project webpage – www.snowdonpartnership.co.uk/parkingandtransport – local residents are invited to attend an online community workshop focused on the issues and potential solutions for each of the gateway communities:
- Llanberis: 6.30-8.30pm on Wednesday 24 February
- Betws-y-Coed: 6.30-8.30pm on Thursday 25 February
- Beddgelert: 6.30-8.30pm on Tuesday 2 March
- Bethesda: 6.30-8.30pm on Wednesday 3 March
You can book your place at www.snowdonpartnership.co.uk/parkingandtransport or by calling 01286 875860 by 16 February 2021.
The overall aim is to provide a world class sustainable tourism offer that allows visitors to enjoy the area in a way that protects the landscape and contributes positively to communities and the local economy. Visitors will be provided with high quality, affordable and accessible, low carbon transport services, and quality information that will enhance their visit whilst reducing their impact on the protected landscape. This will encourage them to stay longer and explore more widely, taking pressure off ‘honeypot’ sites.
Communities should benefit by seeing a reduction in car parking and traffic pressure, an improvement in transport services and investment in community facilities. The local economy and tourism businesses could also benefit by capturing more visitor spend in the area, with visitors staying longer and increasing visitor numbers in the months between high and low season, together with a more diverse visitor base.
The strategy is based on recommendations made in the Parking and Transport Review carried out by Martin Higgitt Associates in 2020, which identifies potential solutions to the parking, traffic congestion, pollution and noise issues in the most sensitive inner area of Snowdonia National Park. The review, together with feedback from preliminary consultations, showed a clear consensus that ‘doing nothing is not an option’.
Catrin Glyn, Partneriaeth Yr Wyddfa Officer said:
“Current over-reliance on cars to access popular sites within the heart of Snowdonia and chronic parking problems at busy times of year is hampering the National Park’s core purposes of protecting the landscape, promoting understanding and enjoyment of the area, and supporting the economic and social wellbeing of local communities.
“The Yr Wyddfa Partnership is committed to protecting the mountain and the surrounding area, whilst making the special landscape more accessible to non-car-based visitors and enabling people arriving by car to access the area and its attractions by alternative means. We hope local communities and stakeholders will take part in the consultation and help us shape the strategy and inform the sustainable parking and transport plans being developed.”
The Yr Wyddfa and Ogwen Parking and Transport Review identifies opportunities for Yr Wyddfa and Ogwen, and Snowdonia/North Wales in general, to become a sustainable tourism exemplar and proposes an ambitious new sustainable tourism approach that begins by addressing the overreliance on cars and the parking problems. The report also identifies significant roles and requirements for the four gateway communities concerning parking provision, the operation of a shuttle bus network and the development of additional visitor facilities.
Lee Robinson, North Wales Development Director for Transport for Wales, said:
“We’re delighted to support Snowdonia National Park as it is essential that we establish a sustainable approach that provides integrated opportunities for people to explore the area further by foot, bike or public transport. At Transport for Wales, we’re committed to delivering public investment with a social purpose and we’re delivering projects that are making a real difference to the people, businesses and communities of Wales.”