MSP praises Mallaig and Morar communities

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MSP Kate Forbes has praised communities in western Lochaber which are driving forward plans to resolve pressures on infrastructure caused by an increase in tourism.

Litter, parking capacity and wild camping has been problematic for locals in Mallaig and the surrounding areas and a group led by Morar Community Council has identified potential solutions to each of these areas such as better signs and advice for visitors and additional recycling points.

As well as the outstanding beauty of the coast, including the idyllic Morar Sands, it is also thought the introduction of Road Equivalent Tariff (RET) fares on the Mallaig ferry crossings to Skye, the Small Isles and Uist has contributed to attracting more visitors.

Ms Forbes met with the group’s representatives and local councillor this month in Mallaig.

After the meeting, she said: ‘The west Highland coastline is stunningly beautiful and it is no wonder more and more visitors are choosing to spend time there.

‘Added to the natural beauty of the region, the Scottish Government’s introduction of cheaper RET ferry fares is attracting more visitors too. Some of these communities have waited decades for RET to be introduced.

‘Whilst many of the infrastructure challenges were highlighted last summer, I’m really impressed with the communities in Mallaig, Arisaig, Morar, Moidart and others who have drawn together a plan of action.

‘They have really taken the initiative, with ideas ranging from short-term measures to longer-term plans. I met with representatives of the community councils and local, hardworking councillor Allan Henderson, to discuss these ideas and how they can be progressed.

‘There is now a list of actions to take forward before we meet again in April to review progress and look ahead to the summer.’