Parking Charge Introduced at Cairngorm Mountain

Car parking fees have been introduced at the Cairngorm ski centre. The compulsory charges replace a voluntary scheme which, say the resort operators, was only being honoured by a fraction of users.

Found the car, 128 kb
Found the car
© submariner, Dec 2009

With an average of 220,000 visitors annually, the car parks at Coire na Ciste and Coire Cas are heavily used throughout the year, and can be full to capacity on good skiing days.

"Feedback from visitors as well as season pass holders has consistently highlighted growing concerns about potholes and other maintenance issues in the car parks" say CairnGorm Mountain Ltd in a statement.

Initially the money raised from the charges will, they say, go towards upkeep of the car park infrastructure and improved surfacing. In addition, they suggest, some of it may eventually help fund longer term projects such as footpath maintenance at the resort, environmental work and the provision of 24 hour toilet facilities.

The new parking charges will be set at £2 per vehicle per day and a reduced rate seasonal parking pass of £25 will also be available. The cost for minibuses, caravans and camper vans will be £8 per day, and season pass holders will be exempt from the car parking charges completely.

We're not yet sure how the daily charge will be applied in the case of overnight stays.

Ski Centre Crowds, 104 kb
Ski Centre Crowds
© rusty_nails, Feb 2010

For several years charges have been in operation in the Forestry Commission Scotland car parks lower down the Cairngorm access road.

"CairnGorm Mountain is the last large car park in the area to introduce parking charges" say the company, "and the rates have been determined in line with these. Before introducing car park charges, CairnGorm Mountain Ltd consulted with all relevant statutory bodies including The Highland Council, Scottish Natural Heritage, Cairngorm National Park Authority and Highlands and Islands Enterprise."

Reaction to the news in the Hilltalk forum has been mixed. Comments include:

"Fair play if you ask me."

"I'm just amazed that it's reasonable. £2 per day for cars seems not too bad to me. Wish it was similar in the Lakes!"

"If using the car park to go climbing in winter it's perfectly reasonable. For a car with 4 people in all buying day tickets to ski it's taking the p***."

"8 quid for a van is ridiculous in comparison to £2 for a car."

"In general, private parking in Scotland is not enforceable. But their web-site is very carefully worded, and the local council may have been involved, in which case it might be. Obviously I go up there a lot so it makes a difference."

"I wonder how much public money (from our taxes) has gone into the ski centre and car park over the years?"

Forums 46 comments

  No, I just think that telling people that it is OK to get into (potentially) large amounts of debt on the basis that they cannot be made to pay is really poor advice when it is far from clear that that is the case. ...
  According to their website: "You do not have to identify who the person that parked the car was. It is still possible that a parking company may try to make you pay the parking charge by taking you to court. You...
So, been at the carpark today. There is a real human being taking real money and giving change. He said they can't enforce buying a ticket, so effectively nothing has changed except that non payers have to ignore a...
Yes, but they can start a civil claim against the registered keeper on the assumption that the registered keeper was driving and therefore had a contract with them.  This would probably be considered reasonable if the...
If you are referring to the well-known case in Dundee, the private parking company were only able to take action because she admitted to them that she was the driver. A private company has no legal power to demand of...
Actually, no. That's not how it works, 'cos you can't take anyone to court in a civil case in Scotland unless you know who they are first, and as already pointed out, in a civil case in Scotland they have no power to...

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