Traffic police warn of Glenfinnan Gathering crack down

A view of the Games Field at Glenfinnan at the 2018 event.

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With just days to go until the world famous Glenfinnan Gathering and Highland Games, police are warning they will have an increased number of patrols in the local area and will crack down on any drivers causing obstructions.

The warning comes amid increasing tensions caused by the huge boom in tourist numbers flocking to the tiny hamlet on the shores of Loch Shiel.

Around 350,000 visitors descend on Glenfinnan each year, many attracted by the area’s links with filming of the Harry Potter movies, the Jacobite steam train, the hit television series Outlander and the historical connection to Bonnie Prince Charlie.

With limited car parking until a new community car park is complete, the shortage of space has seen visitors, desperate not to miss the steam train crossing the viaduct, simply abandoning their cars and motorhomes in road ends and blocking verges and pavements along the A830 trunk road.

And on Saturday, with the holding of one of Scotland’s most iconic Highland games, there is the potential for further congestion and disruption.

But this week, Police Scotland warned: ‘It is important that all road users show due care and consideration for other road users and do not allow their vehicle to obstruct the road.

‘This advice stands year round but is particularly relevant during the summer months when visitor numbers and traffic volume increase.

‘The public is urged to report incidents of obstruction at the time of the offence so that officers can take the necessary action.

‘Officers are increasing patrols in the Glenfinnan area and robust enforcement will be taken against drivers of offending vehicles. Visitors to the area should be respectful to the local community and environment.’

Local MSP Kate Forbes told the Lochaber Times she intends speaking to Police Scotland about enforcement actions against offending drivers at Glenfinnan.

‘Having seen footage of some of the parking at Glenfinnan, I am very sympathetic to the local residents who have been coping with hundreds of visitors every day during the summer,’ she told us.

‘There are clearly actions that need to be taken about enforcement while plans for the car park progress.

‘The community council has worked hard to pull together a plan and secure funding towards making it happen. I will speak to the police about enforcement actions.’