By Yon Bonnie bogs on yon bonnie banks of Loch Lomond
By Laura Dennett
Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority is investing over half a million pounds to upgrade and improve facilities at key visitor sites on West Loch Lomond.
Following a successful bid to Visit Scotland’s Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund, the National Park Authority will be upgrading visitor facilities at three of the most popular locations on West Loch Lomond in the latter part of the summer.
Luss, Tarbet and Inveruglus will all benefit from the investment with facilities such as toilets, parking and bins being upgraded and modernised. A motorhome toilet disposal point at Tarbet is also being introduced as well as 24 hour access toilets at both Tarbet and Inveruglas.
The work will deliver multiple benefits to the area, responding to changing visitor needs, including increasing accessibility, lowering the carbon footprint, improving the parking facilities at Inveruglas and reducing litter.
As this is a significant programme of improvements, closures or partial closure of the facilities are unavoidable however work will be phased to ensure that only one facility is affected at a time. There will be signage on site to make people aware of the work and updates on how the project is progressing will be available on the National Park Authority’s social media.
Gordon Watson, Chief Executive Officer at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, said: “Loch Lomond is an iconic visitor destination attracting millions of visitors each year. While people primarily visit for the scenery and recreation opportunities on offer, things like high quality toilets, parking, campervan facilities and bins can make a huge difference to a visitor’s overall experience.
“Over the last four years we’ve seen a 50% increase in visitors using our toilet facilities around Loch Lomond. The current facilities, built over 20 years ago, were not built to cope with this volume so improving them is a key priority for us.
“We recognise that closures during the latter half of the summer season are not ideal, but in order to maximise the external funding available for this project, all work requires to be carried out within this timeframe.
“Modernising facilities at these key sites will help to provide a world class experience that matches the expectations of people coming to Scotland’s first National Park.”
The work will begin at Tarbet toilets later this month and will not only improve visitor experience and relieve pressures but will also ensure the future sustainability of the facilities.
Detailed information about work on the toilets are that the building in Tarbet will be closed from 22nd July until late August. The car park will remain open but coaches will not be able to access the pier road via the National Park Authority’s car park.
The North car park and building in Inveruglus will be closed from 2nd September until late October. The whole site will be closed from 23rd September until late October
Dates for the work in Luss are still to be confirmed but work is likely to start in October and will only involve a short closure period.
The project is part funded through Visit Scotland’s Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund.
The National Park Partnership Plan 2018-23 sets out 13 key outcomes that the Park Authority and its partners aim to address over the next five years.
This includes Outcome 8 – Visitor Management: The most popular parts of the National Park which experience pressures are managed to ensure that the quality of the environment, visitor experience and community life are protected and enhanced.
Pictures by Bill Heaney
To read the National Park Partnership Plan 2018-2023 in full go to www.lochlomond-trossachs.org/PartnershipPlan
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