Walkers keen to hike Snowdon, the highest summit in Wales, are being advised to pre-book parking days in advance.
Snowdonia National Park Authority (SNPA) require visitors to pre-book a spot online “at least 24 hours" ahead of parking at Pen y Pass, which is the start point for the mountain’s most popular trails.
The rules will stay in place throughout the busy summer season.
There is space for up to 65 vehicles and parking tariffs start from £18, for between one and eight hours, going up to £25 for 12 hours. Anyone who wants to park for 24 hours will have to pay £40.
Angela Jones, of SNPA, said the change “encourages people to plan ahead". She told the BBC: “You have to book at least a day before you intend to travel, so you can’t book within the 24 hours before you want to come here.
“We want people to think what they’re going to do here in Snowdonia before they come, where they’re going to park, where they’ll stay and what they’re going to see.”
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Parking issues – and alternatives – at Snowdonia
National park officials have introduced the new parking rules after a surge in walkers and sightseers to the Welsh mountain during the Covid pandemic. Illegal parking became a major issue alongs roads as car parks overflowed.
The park trialled a pilot scheme of pre-booking the car park last summer – and now the same rules apply for the high season. Officials will review the situation after the busiest tourist months.
The park authority said that the parking ticket fees “will contribute towards the running of sustainable transport and parking options in the area as well as towards maintaining the paths on the mountain”.
Rather than driving to Snowdon, it is possible to use a park-and-ride system or cycle routes. Another suggestion is to utilise an e-bike to reach the trail heads. See Snowdonia National Park for more details.
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Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, who is better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favourite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing, both downhill and back country. Her target for 2021 is to finish the final nine summits in her first round of all 282 Munros, the Scottish mountains of more than 3,000ft high. Aside from being outdoors, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy the great outdoors, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors.