Travel restrictions are legally relaxed today (Friday 3 July), as lockdown measures are eased in line with the reduction of the spread of Covid-19.
In preparation for a potential increase in visitors to rural hotspots, Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford and MP Alyn Smith joined a virtual video conference with representatives of Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, Stirling Council, Police Scotland, as well as local Councillor representatives and Community Councillors to discuss plans to support local communities.
Stirling Council plans to open its toilet facilities and car parks as of tomorrow. Around 20 sites in the Park area that will welcome camper vans for one night only, providing that they have an onboard toilet facility.
Although travel restrictions are lifted, the number of businesses that are able to operate at this time is still limited, putting more of an emphasis on people visiting outdoor visitor spots. The public health advice remains that people should avoid crowded locations.
Commenting, Bruce Crawford MSP said:
“Many people will welcome the fact that they will now be able to travel further for recreational purposes, and under normal circumstances, local communities would encourage as many people to visit as possible. However, these are not normal circumstances, and caution needs to be given.
“If you are travelling to some of our local beauty spots, please be mindful of the local community you are entering. If it is busy when you arrive at a location, turn around and go elsewhere.
“By ensuring that we don’t overcrowd areas, local services that are available will be able to cope, and we will reduce the potential spread of the virus. By sticking to the guidelines, we will be able to help ensure that these restrictions are lifted and stay lifted, without having to have them reimposed following a potential outbreak.”
Alyn Smith MP said:
“We had a constructive discussion with the National Park, the Council, and other representatives about what measures have been taken to try to support local communities.
“In recent weeks, we have seen large numbers of people visiting spots unsafely and, in some circumstances, engaging in anti-social behaviour. I am hopeful that with a number of facilities, including car parks and toilets, opening back up, this should help to alleviate that.
“However, the message is clear and cannot be said enough: if it’s busy where you are going, go elsewhere. It is not yet safe enough to gather in large crowds.”