A tourist hotspot on the Isle of Skye will soon see a new car park, turning area and passing places to help cope with the number of visitors, Highland Council has confirmed in a letter to constituency MSP Kate Forbes.
Following concerns from locals about congestion at the Fairy Glen, near Uig in the north of the island, the Skye MSP convened a joint meeting last summer to address the problem and over the past several months representatives from the Highland Council, Scottish Government and the local community have been working in partnership to move things forward.
It is hoped by the end of April there will be a new 36-space car park, with a further 20 spaces on the road-side adjacent to this, a turning area to allow vehicles to turn without travelling the full length of the Sheader Road, passing place signs and additional road widening. Local authority councillors had already agreed to fund three passing places on the Sheader Road, the main route to the Fairy Glen, which will also help.
The glen is popular for its mystical landscape with a ruined castle, conical hills and a loch.
Kate Forbes MSP said: “This is an important step forward after a lot of hard work by the community, local council officials and others.
“Last summer, the community were at breaking point after another busy season which meant they couldn’t leave home for the sheer volume of traffic.
“Obviously the critical thing is now to deliver all of these commitments as quickly as possible, but it’s good to see meaningful progress.”
Gordon Willoughby, who lives near the Fairy Glen, added: “After a three-year struggle to rectify the lack of infrastructure in the Fairy Glen I am relieved to see work is now to go ahead with completion planned to be ahead of this year’s tourist season.
“Although the agreed works are not perhaps the best solution for the residents, they should go a long way to improving the situation for both visitors and residents.
“I am very grateful to Kate and her team for all the help and support we have received.
“If grid locks do continue after all current works are completed, I would hope further improvements would be considered.”
Skye Councillor John Finlayson said: “It is encouraging to see positive solutions being planned at the Fairy Glen as a result of partnership working between our MSP, local residents, SGRPID and the Highland Council.
“Hopefully this collaborative approach which we have seen working in other parts of Skye, will continue to be the model for the many improvements we all wish to see happen.”
His fellow ward councillor John Gordon added: “This is another great partnership project regarding the infrastructure issues we face around the Island.
“It is a very popular place, knowing the issues faced by residents and how they have worked well together to find help and solutions to congestion in the Glen, this is a step forward for them and will ease some of the pressure they face.”