Skye faces crisis over ‘urgent’ parking issue
PARKING problems on Skye have been identified as an ‘urgent issue’ at the first meeting to address tourism pressures on the island.
Skye MSP Kate Forbes held the meeting at the Aros Centre, Portree, on Friday June 9 with members of the public and representatives from 60 businesses and other organisations.
The purpose was to decide how businesses, public bodies and communities could collaborate to deal with the pressures on infrastructure as the number of tourists continues to grow.
Ms Forbes said one of the urgent issues is a lack of parking but the problem is ‘no-one planned ahead 10 years ago. What is needed is money and someone or some organisation to be responsible for delivering what is necessary. We also need a plan for extra parking.
‘I asked everyone to write down their ideas so we can start to build a strategy for the years ahead,’ said Ms Forbes.
She added: ‘There are obvious, immediate challenges to do with parking and toilets but there’s also a need to plan ahead for the next few years in a way that hasn’t been done before.
‘I recognise the growing frustrations across Skye and no meeting will solve everything. Unfortunately, there is no magic wand to solve all the pressures on the island as tourism continues to grow. But one idea would be to encourage people to visit different parts of the island that are not so busy with tourists and to visit at different times of the year.’
Parking at one popular spot got so bad the community decided to fundraise to extend the car park. Richard Powell from the Fairy Pools Community Fund, which hopes to raise £250,000 to create 135 parking spaces, said some progress has been made.