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Glen Affric parking charges put on hold

Posted 14 March 2012
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Glen Affric parking charges put on hold
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The controversy over the apparent implementation of parking charges for the only car park in the east of Glen Affric in the Scottish Highlands has taken a new twist after Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) agreed to delay matters.

Earlier this week, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCoS) expressed concern over the issue as it appeared there had been a lack of consultation over the move.

And it was also troubled by the security implications of drivers having to display tickets on cars stipulating a return date that might have been several days hence, with the glen being mainly roadless and its youth hostel eight miles away.

Now, FCS has essentially held up its hands and admitted it has made a mistake.

A spokesman said: "We accept that more could have been done to appraise local people and stakeholders of our national car parking strategy so we're looking to remedy that. It will also allow us to hear and consider local views and concerns."

He added that while the meters will be installed, no charges will believed until "stakeholders" have had a chance to give their views in public meetings.

As it happens, there is some time before anything can happen regarding car parking in any case as the road has been closed until March 30th for repairs to a bridge.

But the situation may help those who like to go walking in the glen and climb the many Munros in the area to have an impact on the situation and tackle some of the concerns raised by the MCoS.

Beinn Fhionnlaidh, Toll Creagach and Tom a' Choinich are just some of the Munros that can be climbed from the Glen, alongside Corbetts like Aonach Shassuin and Grahams like Beinn a' Mheadhoin.

The area also lies close to other Munro-rich valleys like Glen Shiel, where it is possible to climb seven in a day on both the north and south ridges.