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Spitball of Glen Muick parking

Re: Spitball of Glen Muick parking

Postby jupe1407 » Thu Jul 15, 2021 11:41 pm

Sunset tripper wrote:
jupe1407 wrote:He's got a point tbf. Being able to own/lease, run, insure and fuel a car for X amount of money then complaining that you can't afford a fiver once in a blue moon to park it for a hillwalk is nonsense. The charges in Wales are a bit mental and obviously designed to relieve tourists of money, however I don't think charges in Scotland are that unreasonable. £2 for Glen Doll for example, and £4 the last time I was at Glen Muick are hardly exhorbitant especially since both of these have facilities which need maintenance.

Are parking charges in Scotland really that big a deal? I've done nearly 400 hills including repeats, corbetts, grahams etc and i doubt I've even paid to park more than 10 times in 9 years.


That's a fair point Jupe and if it stayed like that it wouldn't be much of an issue. Arrochar car parks have started charging £9 for parking in the last couple of years. Are you happy for Glen Doll to do the same or what about £10 or even more?

The lakes down south are charging a fortune for parking, blatant profiteering which is not the way it is in the highlands. They had to bin the parking company that made £1000s out of issuing tickets. What's to stop Ben Nevis charging £40 a day like someone mentioned they do at Snowdon.
The NF car park is free at the moment. They could easily charge £10. Mountaineering Scotland have been very naive about this saying their members are happy to pay £3 or £4 a day which gives the green light for all car parks to charge. Argyll and Bute I'm sure were pleased to hear MS willing to pay £4 for parking but increased it from £1 to £9 anyway. :shock:

Keep the highlands free of these extortionate charges and don't encourage them! :D


IIRC those were imposed by Argyll and Bute Council who seems to be intent on **** off their entire potential electorate. Arrochar does seem something of an outlier in terms of parking charges in Scotland. I certainly don't think it's an indicator of some sinister increase in parking charges across the entire country.

The charge at Glen Doll has stayed at £2 since i started going there in 2012.I'll be in a box by the time that costs a tenner. I think Spittal of Glenmuick has increased by a couple of quid from 2013. I've walked in almost every other area of Scotland and I genuinely can't recall any other parking rip offs, or indeed as i posted before, hardly any situations where I've had to pay for a parking spot to walk. It's a non-issue imo.

In the unlikely event Glen Doll ever charges a tenner, i would have hoped i will finally have got bored of walking up Mayar and Driesh by then. 11 times each is almost enough :lol:
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Re: Spitball of Glen Muick parking

Postby Sgurr » Sat Jul 17, 2021 5:11 pm

I had the recollection that car parking in The Lakes was OUTRAGEOUS, but we must have gone first when you could park in most places in Scotland for under £3. £8 seems to be the maximum for all day in a Lake District National Trust car park so the year (2019) I first bought a membership of the Scottish National Trust which is supposed to (but doesn't in all) work in their machines it was worth the £60, but I got caught buying it again last year, as I still haven't done all the Wainwrights and had the overoptimistic view that the pandemic couldn't go on for ever. I think I bought it again this year too. What a fool!!!,
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Re: Spitball of Glen Muick parking

Postby prog99 » Sat Jul 17, 2021 5:17 pm

You don’t need to use the machines with nts membership in England as our car stickers have a date on them. Just make sure you have the correct sticker on your car of course.
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Re: Spitball of Glen Muick parking

Postby Alex W » Mon Jul 19, 2021 5:15 pm

I paid for parking on Saturday for the first time while walking a hill. I paid the farmer next to the Lawers Hotel £5 for a space in his/ her field. I wasn't too bothered really. There isn't a good alternative in that area and the farmer is making part of his land available. Less that £5 probably wouldn't be worth his/ her while. It's an honesty box, so if you can't afford £5 it's pretty easy to avoid.
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Re: Spitball of Glen Muick parking

Postby Giant Stoneater » Mon Jul 19, 2021 5:50 pm

Sunset tripper wrote:
jupe1407 wrote:He's got a point tbf. Being able to own/lease, run, insure and fuel a car for X amount of money then complaining that you can't afford a fiver once in a blue moon to park it for a hillwalk is nonsense. The charges in Wales are a bit mental and obviously designed to relieve tourists of money, however I don't think charges in Scotland are that unreasonable. £2 for Glen Doll for example, and £4 the last time I was at Glen Muick are hardly exhorbitant especially since both of these have facilities which need maintenance.

Are parking charges in Scotland really that big a deal? I've done nearly 400 hills including repeats, corbetts, grahams etc and i doubt I've even paid to park more than 10 times in 9 years.


That's a fair point Jupe and if it stayed like that it wouldn't be much of an issue. Arrochar car parks have started charging £9 for parking in the last couple of years. Are you happy for Glen Doll to do the same or what about £10 or even more?

The lakes down south are charging a fortune for parking, blatant profiteering which is not the way it is in the highlands. They had to bin the parking company that made £1000s out of issuing tickets. What's to stop Ben Nevis charging £40 a day like someone mentioned they do at Snowdon.
The NF car park is free at the moment. They could easily charge £10. Mountaineering Scotland have been very naive about this saying their members are happy to pay £3 or £4 a day which gives the green light for all car parks to charge. Argyll and Bute I'm sure were pleased to hear MS willing to pay £4 for parking but increased it from £1 to £9 anyway. :shock:

Keep the highlands free of these extortionate charges and don't encourage them! :D


Arrochar car park is £1hr up to a maximum of £9 for 12 hrs I think,though I think the prices did go up or were in the pipeline to increase.
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Re: Spitball of Glen Muick parking

Postby Sunset tripper » Thu Jul 22, 2021 8:48 pm

Sgurr wrote:I had the recollection that car parking in The Lakes was OUTRAGEOUS


You were right, it is outrageous.
The lakes had to bin the previous parking regime who were basically just printing money for themselves.

https://www.thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk/news/10103794.lake-district-national-park-authority-ditches-parking-eye-at-car-parks/

Parking in Cornwall and parts of Wales is a bigger rip off in my experience. I get the point that some folk think if you can afford to go and enjoy these places you should pay for parking also, but the charges will price people out of certain places. I think that is the whole point in the overcrowded places down south, along with making an easy buck.

Now £6 at Glen Nevis for the ben, which is a registered charity by the council I believe, and apparantly the money goes into the maintenance of paths etc which maybe appears reasonable. Nothing to stop them charging £20 which would be a bargain - half the price of Snowdon for a far more prestigious hill - they could say.

It's a mindset, possibly a cultural thing that has made charging widespread elsewhere.

A shame it is spreading to the highlands and especially that it is most prevalent in the LLT national park. :roll:
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Re: Spitball of Glen Muick parking

Postby al78 » Fri Jul 23, 2021 12:33 pm

Surely this comes down to an individual's judgement of what is and isn't an acceptable price to pay to park your car. I don't think it is reasonable to expect it to be free given that provision and maintenance of car parks is a cost that has to be paid, and some of these car parks are equipped with toilet facilities. The sheer number of people going to honeypot sites to take the easiest route up a hill with a nice view ultimately externalises costs on others through pollution, congestion and danger, so it could be argued that car park fees are a blunt way of internalising some of these costs back on the motorists. In the most popular places you are not going to be able to provide sufficient parking for everyone, even if there was the space, it would risk ruining the very scenery/environment the visitors are going there to experience, so charging is used as a way of encouraging people to find a less frequented spot to visit. The Pen-Y-Pass car park is always rammed full unless you get there at silly-o-clock in the morning, but the Watkin path is a lovely alternative way up Snowdon not that far away, and I don't remember having a parking problem at the start although it was a couple of decades ago when I walked that route. It is a fuindamental property of capitalism and business that someone who owns a finite limited resource in high demand will charge a price which optimises the income. We pay more for holidays at peak times of year, peak time trains, accommodation, house prices, fuel if production drops and demand increases, so charging for car parking can be thought of as a similar principle, charging a premium for a finite limited resource in high demand which exceeds supply.

Ideally places like Snowdonia and the Scottish Highlands would have public transport which makes it easy to get to the start of popular hill routes without a car, but I don't see that happening any time soon. Public transport is optimal for transporting a high number of people from one place to another (e.g. London and its commuter towns), it is highly sub-optimal for transporting a handful of people at a time (it costs money to move fresh air around on a bus or train). This is why public transport in less populated areas has always been heavily subidised, which inevitably leads to the question of who pays for those subsidies? It is clear in the UK that people do not like tax increases to fund things they personally don't use for the sake of some social good, which is why we have been led by right wing governments so frequently over the last half century.
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Re: Spitball of Glen Muick parking

Postby davekeiller » Fri Jul 23, 2021 6:22 pm

There's some truth in what you say.
However, I think a large part of the objection is the fact that car parks which were previously free have suddenly started charging, with no obvious justification in the form of spending on facilities. In other cases, car parks where a relatively low fee was charged have raised the fee significantly, again with little obvious justification beyond the fact that the car park is popular enough that it will be essentially full all day regardless of the charges.
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Re: Spitball of Glen Muick parking

Postby Sunset tripper » Fri Jul 23, 2021 10:08 pm

al78 wrote:It is clear in the UK that people do not like tax increases to fund things they personally don't use for the sake of some social good, which is why we have been led by right wing governments so frequently over the last half century.


Al, You have hit the nail square on the head there.

The issue I see is that the people who live in Scotland don't generally vote for the right wing government of the south (though they did by default :roll: ) and it is a problem for many that the scottish government is supporting or turning a blind eye to stuff like this.
ie. parking charges that are out of place in the highlands though possibly more acceptable around the central belt. :(

They could easily double the charges at the Glen Nevis car park and also charge £5 or £10 at the North Face car park ( which is free just now) and still fill them.

I'm hoping they think they won't get away with it (and hopefully they wont) but watch this space. :(
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Re: Spitball of Glen Muick parking

Postby al78 » Sat Jul 24, 2021 12:03 am

davekeiller wrote:There's some truth in what you say.
However, I think a large part of the objection is the fact that car parks which were previously free have suddenly started charging, with no obvious justification in the form of spending on facilities. In other cases, car parks where a relatively low fee was charged have raised the fee significantly, again with little obvious justification beyond the fact that the car park is popular enough that it will be essentially full all day regardless of the charges.


In case I have come across as a anti-car extremist, I will say that I do see and understand the objection to paying parking fees that go up and up and up, especially if there is no visible way those fees get reinvested for the common good, so it looks like money grabbing greed. I think some places are a victim of their own success, and if they get rammed full, charging for their use (through parking) is a kind of default tool to suppress demand for a supply that has been exhausted. It is unfortunate, but is a consequence of our locally rammed full areas. You can't really blame the other people as they all have the same idea as you or I.

Living in Sussex I have watched my home town get busier and busier over the 20 years I have lived here, as developers keep snapping up plots of land and building houses that are priced well out of range of all but the wealthiest first time buyers, yet generally the town facilities and services have not grown with the population, so it sometimes feels like everyone is in everyone elses way, you have to queue for almost everything, and I have to use my gym late evening because the free weights area is often rammed full during the day. I have to book in advance to dispose of waste at the local tip/recycling centre instead of just turning up when I liked, because the queues became horrendous (I waited two hours once), and were backing out onto the main road causing a hazard for motorists.

The thing with the Scottish Highlands is that its beauty and history have been heavily advertised for as long as I can remember, and the road network and public transport has always been limited, so what does anyone expect other than the tourist population to go up and up and up every year, eventually meaning the local services and ionfrastructure can't cope with it properly? It does seem odd in a way to encourage people to visit the highlands, then throw high parking fees at them when they do visit because there are too many of them.
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Re: Spitball of Glen Muick parking

Postby davekeiller » Sat Jul 24, 2021 9:51 am

You're certainly right that places have become victims of their own popularity.

One of the difficulties with parking restrictions is that they're all stick and no carrot and they don't seem to actually solve the problem. We see this in towns and cities where parking restrictions get imposed and it often ends up just moving all the parking problems to places just outside the restricted area.
We saw a similar effect with the wild camping restrictions in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs - it didn't stop irresponsible campers, just moved them on to different places.
It would be nice to see a more positive approach in terms of making non-car options more viable, or engaging positively with people to promote some of the places that don't get such high visitor numbers.

The problem isn't "too many people visiting the Highlands", it's too many people all visiting the same fairly small number of places in the Highlands, generally in a fairly short period in the summer.
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Re: Spitball of Glen Muick parking

Postby iain_atkinson_1986 » Sat Jul 24, 2021 11:30 am

davekeiller wrote:The problem isn't "too many people visiting the Highlands", it's too many people all visiting the same fairly small number of places in the Highlands, generally in a fairly short period in the summer.


I'd say part of the problem is that the Highlands is completely underdeveloped, lacking in basic infrastructure and isn't a particularly appealing option for young people who aren't outdoorsy or looking specifically to get away from society. Instead of being a tourist destination it needs to be made a viable for people to live and work, most importantly keeping young people here or getting them back quickly after they've been to uni in Edinburgh or Glasgow.

Unfortunately Centralbeltism seems to rule the country so I don't see it changing.
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Re: Spitball of Glen Muick parking

Postby davekeiller » Sat Jul 24, 2021 12:42 pm

Yes, there are wider problems in the Highlands.

However, the parking problems are the subject under discussion. In some areas, there are problems caused by too many people trying to park in the same place, whilst in other areas car parks have plenty of capacity. This suggests that the problem could be reduced by positively encouraging people to consider going to the less popular areas.
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Re: Spitball of Glen Muick parking

Postby al78 » Sat Jul 24, 2021 5:46 pm

The reason you get loads of people visiting a small number of places is because those places have made themselves attractive to visit by someone building a car park and maybe putting a visitor centre there with a nice cafe and toilets, or someone builds a car park at the base of the easiest route up a hill that isn't very difficult to climb (e.g. Schiehallion, Ben Lawers when the visitor centre existed, Ben Vrackie). The vast majority of people visiting Scotland are going to be using a car to get around because it is by far the best way to get to places and tour, so anywhere a car park is built alongside a tourist attraction, then advertised in the tourist leaflets you find in accommodation or get from the local tourist info centre is going to get tons of visitors. No different to when the Trafford Centre near Manchester was built with enormous car parks next to the junction of a motorway ring road where several other motorways from different directions connect. Very difficult to park there in the Christmas to New Year period when the sales are on, and it is a bugger to get too by public transport apart from those few places on a direct bus or Metrolink route.

As far as the Scottish Highlands being underdeveloped, yes it is one of the most sparsely populated areas in Europe, there are (I think) two primary reasons for that, 1) challenging terrain, and 2) midges. Climate may be a lesser third reason. The history of the area probably has had some influences i.e. the clearances. Given the fuss made over wind farms on here, I'm not convinced developing the highlands would be popular. If you made the place more attractive to live and work, the population will increase, and taken to its extreme, you'll ultimately end up with another version of the rammed full SE, in all likelihood destroying the very environment that makes it so attractive to visit and explore.
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Re: Spitball of Glen Muick parking

Postby Giant Stoneater » Sat Jul 24, 2021 7:07 pm

Another way at looking at parking problems for the Munros especially since we have come out of a "lockdown" is a very big explosion of interest in doing hills for the first time, is sites like Walkhighlands where folk are guided to a start point and one way up a hill. I know there is various forms of media relating to the Munro routes and nothing has changed much route wise in 40 years but i have seen a big, big interest on other sites where everybody is using Walkhighlands as the bible of hillwalking.
So rather than one route given for a hill maybe a alternative route could be described also so you have route 1/route 2.
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