With the recent announcement from the First Minister on easing of travel restrictions (from tomorrow) the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs area is gearing up to welcome visitors back with new measures in place to cope more effectively with the anticipated influx of visitors.
James Fraser, Chair of Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs said: ‘’We are looking forward to welcoming visitors back to the National Park to enjoy the great outdoors after a prolonged period of lockdown but we are anxious to ensure visitors act responsibly by following the guidance issued by public agencies on topics such as parking, littering and toileting to avoid the chaos that occurred when lockdown restrictions were eased last year.’’
Thankfully all the public toilets and car parks are open this time around and steps have been taken by the public agencies to extend opening hours and supplement provision at key sites around Loch Lomond with additional temporary toilets. This should help but visitors need to be aware that most tourism business are still closed and they should come prepared simply to enjoy the outdoors in safe and responsible ways.
One of the most significant challenges is coping with the large number of visitors arriving by car and the current infrastructure is in adequate to cope. Disappointingly, little in the way of additional car parking provision is in place at this stage although the Steamship Trust at Loch Katrine and Forestry & Land Scotland have both recently received planning consent for much need car park extensions below Ben A’an and at Trossachs and Stronachlachar Piers.’’
Meanwhile, the Friends have progressed phase 1 of a refresh of the Trossachs Trail with signs around the 40 mile trail receiving a makeover in the past couple of weeks to assist visitors to find their way around the area.
This has been augmented with the creation of a new website www.trossachstrail.co.uk which is packed with useful information on walks, cycle routes and points of interest in the Trossachs.
New information panels have also been designed and will be erected at key locations around the Trail shortly to help visitors get the most out of their time in the area.