Skye residents are encouraged to have their say on two projects that aim to improve infrastructure.
Comments are welcomed on the Rural Tourism Infrastructure funded Bayfield West Car Park Project in Portree and the Upland Path Improvements Project at the Old Man of Storr.
A Partnership has been established between Highland Council, Portree and Braes Community Trust and Portree Tennis and Squash Club to progress the development of additional parking at Bayfield car park.
Before progressing the project further, the partnership wants to hear from local people about their views of the project, the benefits they see this could bring and any issues that may arise. It also provides an opportunity to share information on what is proposed and how the new arrangements would work.
The project is scheduled to be completed in May 2020.
Consultation events are scheduled on 26-29 August from 9.00am – 6.30pm at the SLCVO Office, Tigh Lisigarry, Bridge Road, Portree, IV51 9ER.
Everyone is welcome to view the plans, pick-up a fact sheet and survey questionnaire, or view it here. The survey will run until 9 September.
30 August 2.00pm – 6.00pm:
Bayfield Car Park, in front of the Scottish Water Building, adjacent to the old tennis courts – come along and see the plans, pick-up a fact sheet, survey questionnaire and meet representatives from the partners involved
31 August 11.00am – 3.00pm:
Somerled Square, adjacent to the War Memorial – come along and see the plans, pick-up a fact sheet, survey questionnaire and meet representatives from the partners involved
31 August 11.00am – 3.00pm:
Council Chamber, Tigh na Sgire, Park Lane, Portree, IV51 9GP – come along and see the plans, pick-up a fact sheet, survey questionnaire and meet representatives from the partners involved
Two public information events relating to providing a high quality foot path at the Old Man of Storr have also been scheduled.
The Skye Iconic Sites Partnership has been established between The Highland Council, Scottish Government Rural Payments and Inspections Directorate, Scottish National Heritage, Staffin Community Trust, Minginish Community Hall Association and Skye Connect to progress a number of initiatives to improve the infrastructure at multiple tourism sites on Skye.
This would be funded by the Scottish Government’s Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund, to enhance visitor access while protecting iconic landscapes and internationally important habitat.
Highland Council said that in 2007, automatic people counters on the path showed that 27,000 people visited the site, but this had increased to an incredible 205,000 in 2018. Indications are that visitor numbers are set to rise further.
They stated: "The former path has been overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of visitors. Erosion on the route has led to disintegration of the original path.
"There is an urgent need to build a new footpath on this site to a standard commensurate with the profile and high visitor numbers at the site. This would enhance the visitor experience and be the final piece in the infrastructure jigsaw at this iconic site to tie in with the new car park and visitor facilities.
"The project is scheduled to be complete in October 2020."
Consultation events have been planned on 30 August from 2:00pm – 7:00pm at Columba 1400, Staffin, IV51 9JY.
Another event is scheduled on 31 August from 11.00am – 3.00pm at Council Chamber, Tigh na Sgire, Park Lane, Portree, IV51 9GP.
Both events will feature an information display and a chance to meet representatives from the partners involved.
Chair of the Skye and Raasay Committee, Councillor John Gordon hopes as many people as possible take up this opportunity to get involved. He said: “Both of these projects have the potential to bring benefits to the many visitors who want to come to enjoy what Skye has to offer and address some of the issues our high visitor numbers have on our local communities. The drop-in consultation events are a chance to find out more, pass on your ideas and views and chat face to face with those involved in taking the projects forward.”