United Kingdom

Pay to climb Snowdon? Council wants to charge visitors a 'considerable fee'

A council has debated charging visitors 'a considerable fee' to scale Wales' highest peak amid fears of damage from 'over tourism'.

A motion by councillor Glyn Daniels, who represents the constituency Diffwys a Maenofferen, to charge tourists visiting Snowdonia was debated by Gwynedd council today.

It follows holidaymakers swarming to the beauty spot in Snowdonia National Park, Wales, in July and August this year as lockdown restrictions were eased.

An unusually large number of hill walkers pictured making their way to the summit of Snowdon in Wales in September 2013, as the council considers charging visitors a 'considerable fee'

Walkers were seen stood crammed in queues as they neared the top of the site last month, in an effort to capture a picture of themselves at the peak.

The scenes came just hours after it was revealed that 60 per cent of the Welsh population will be put under lockdown after three more council areas were added to the Government's list. 

Long queues of climbers lining up to reach Snowdon's summit were also pictured on Bank Holiday weekend last year, with locals blaming the Welsh Government for the overcrowding by claiming 'heavy promotion' brought a surge in tourists. 

Mr Daniels' motion reads: 'I propose that Gwynedd Council, in collaboration with Snowdonia National Park, urgently investigates the possibility of charging tourists who visit parts of the Park, particularly on and around Snowdon itself.

'I believe this would be advantageous in more than one way.'

It suggests charging a 'considerable fee' for visiting the summit, adding that it could 'boost the coffers of Gwynedd Council and the Park at a time when we are facing financial uncertainty owing to the side-effects of Covid 19'.

The motion concludes: 'Consequently, there is room to believe that such steps could contribute to reducing the serious problems of excess cars causing traffic jams and hazards on the region's roads.'

However, the national park said that the law would need to be changed in order to enforce the fee.

On a clear day at Snowdon's summit (pictured above), hikers can enjoy expansive views of Britain. It takes around six to eight hours to get to the top and back

A spokesperson told NorthWalesLive: 'Currently, it would not be legal or enforceable to charge a toll on Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) due to the Countryside and Right of Way Act which allows access for all to certain areas of the countryside,' said a spokesperson.

'In addition, Welsh national parks do not have local tax raising powers. Our work is funded by Welsh Government – for the three national parks of Wales it costs each Welsh citizen £4 per year.'

First Minister Mark Drakeford added: 'The tourism industry is extremely important to north Wales, and the solution to the problems is dependent on bringing people together around the table to think about how we can give extremely good experiences to people who come to us, that are part of the local economy, and at the same time protect the things that people come to Wales to see and enjoy.'

On a clear day at Snowdon's summit, hikers can enjoy expansive views of Britain. It takes around six to eight hours to get to the top and back.

There are six recommended paths, with the nine-mile Llanberis Path the most popular among those wanting to reach the summit for the first time.

Though the path is the longest route, it provides a gradual climb up to the mountain.

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