Extra Old Man of Storr parking spots welcomed

Parking facilities at the Old Man of Storr have been under pressure due to soaring visitor numbers. NO F11 Storr 01.

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Traffic problems at one of Skye’s most famous tourist spots could soon be a thing of the past as Highland Council announce more parking space are to be built.

Work is about to start to create an extra layby parking area for 20 cars on the A855 at the popular Old Man of Storr site after additional funding was secured recently. The supplementary parking is on top of the additional 60 parking spaces, along with a dedicated motorcycle parking area, which recently received planning permission as part of the development.

Last year about 206,000 people visited the Old Man of Storr in the north of the island, up by 16 per cent in 2017, causing severe parking problems. Numbers at the site have grown steadily from 20,000 recorded at the start of the millennium to 62,000 in 2013 and then an incredible 233 per cent increase over the next five years.

The new layby is expected to be completed by the end of March 2019.

With the announcement of the additional 20 parking spaces, once phase one work is complete there will be parking for 142 vehicles.

As phase one starts, a second phase of parking improvements is proposed, meaning a further 44 spaces could be provided, bringing the final total up to 186 spaces.

Separate planning permission has also been granted for the construction of new public toilets which will include disabled and baby changing facilities within the building, and a chemical toilet disposal facility adjacent to the main toilet block which will also help with another identified problem of a lack of disposal facilities for camper vans.

Chairman of the Isle of Skye and Raasay area committee, John Gordon, said: ‘By the council continuing to manage and own the land it currently holds at the Storr it has provided an opportunity to benefit the whole site, the visitor experience, the safety of all road users, the surrounding communities, the ward and the Highland Council as a whole.’

Highland Council committed £363,571 of capital investment to the project that has unlocked £200,000 of funding from LEADER and £300,000 of funding from the Rural Tourism and Infrastructure Fund.