Skye faces cri­sis over ‘ur­gent’ park­ing is­sue

The Oban Times - - News -

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.

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