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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 December 2005, 16:58 GMT
Donation plan for walkway upgrade
West Highland Way
Walkers on the West Highland Way were divided over the plan
Walkers using the West Highland Way could be asked to pay 1 a day to help fund improvements to the popular route.

Its management group, which includes Scottish Natural Heritage and the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority, is considering the move.

The 95-mile West Highland Way stretches from Milngavie near Glasgow to Fort William and attracts about 50,000 people every year.

The Ramblers' Association Scotland has expressed concern at the proposal.

The maintenance of the West Highland Way is paid for by the local authorities whose areas it runs through.

I think it should be funded as it's a tourist attraction
Walker on the route

It is estimated that path repairs and improvements cost about 500,000 a year.

The West Highland Way management group wants to create a trading arm to raise additional funding for route improvements.

It would generate income from a variety of sources including a voluntary 1 a day contribution by walkers and the sale of merchandise like food, drink and gifts.

The start of the West Highland Way in Milngavie - image courtesy of Undiscovered Scotland
The start of the West Highland Way in Milngavie

However, the Ramblers' Association Scotland has expressed concern at the proposal saying such a scheme could undermine the principles of Scotland's land reform legislation.

Walkers on the route were split on the merits of paying 1 for the privilege.

One said: "If anyone wants to make a donation off their own backs then fair enough and I think a lot of people do.

"But I think to enforce that would be a retrograde step."

Another said: "I think it should be funded as it's a tourist attraction. Plenty of people along the way get lots of revenue from it."




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Pay as you go plan for walking route



SEE ALSO:
New access laws come into force
09 Feb 05 |  Scotland
Cautious welcome on right to roam
21 Jan 04 |  Scotland


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