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March 10, 2020

Time for action

Over-tourism is hard to define in precise terms but you’ll know it when it starts to afflict your community. The tiny and picturesque village of Luss which sits on the edge of Loch Lomond was suffering long before the term was even coined. With an annual visitor invasion of 750,000, the 120 strong population feel besieged and pretty much abandoned to their fate by Argyll and Bute Council. The Community Council are powerless to act but have got to the stage where they might just take things into their own hands. Who could blame them?


People living in a picturesque village on the banks of Loch Lomond are calling for action on tourist traffic.

Some of the 120 residents of Luss are threatening to block roads unless the council imposes traffic restrictions.

Locals have already taken direct action by erecting five large signs asking motorists not to drive or park in the village.

Argyll and Bute Council said it was working with the villagers to find a solution.

The council already operates a pay and display car park near the village, but campaigners say more needs to be done to cater for tourists.

It has been reported the village attracts 750,000 visitors a year – more than Edinburgh Zoo, Stirling Castle or the Falkirk Wheel.ue village attracts large numbers of visitors

The Luss and Arden Community Council has discussed a range of measures with the local authority including a ban on tourists driving in the village itself and forcing them to leave their vehicles at an as-yet-unbuilt car park in a nearby field.

However, community council members say these have not been implemented and are appealing to the Scottish government to intervene.

Council convener Dave Pretswell said: “Residents can’t leave their homes on a sunny summer day, emergency services can’t get in, deliveries to residents can’t get in and residents are frequently subject to abuse in trying to stop the worst of the parking chaos.”

Luss resident Alison Walker added: “We feel the time has come to take matters into our own hands; Holyrood talks endlessly about the importance of tourism to the Scottish economy and it’s time ministers stepped in to take control.”

The Scottish government said it had invested £281,000 on measures to alleviate pressures – but that said that traffic management was a matter for the local authority.

A spokesman said: “While tourism is of vital importance to Scotland’s economy, it must also meet the needs of local communities.

“We understand our partners at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority are aiming to help implement an agreed solution as soon as possible.”

A spokeswoman for Argyll and Bute Council said: “There are many differing views on what would be a good solution for Luss and we have been working with the community to find one that is acceptable.

“We have supported the development of another car park by Luss Estates and encourage them to bring this proposal forward.

“The council is currently reviewing how it engages with our local communities on traffic regulation orders, and more widely. We look forward to finding a solution that serves the interests of Luss.”