Page last updated at 16:05 GMT, Wednesday, 10 February 2010

10 to park at Snowdon's 'highest' car park

Cars parked on the side of the road at Pen y Pass (picture: Peter Macmillen)
The car park at Pen y Pass is popular with walkers going up Snowdon

It will cost £10 to park at the highest car park within the Snowdonia National Park from April this year.

It currently costs £6 to park for the day at Pen y Pass, a popular location to start off on the Miners and Pyg tracks up Snowdon.

The park has no statutory powers to enforce payment, but says most people pay when they hear the cash is used to improve the car park and cafe.

National park members decided on the hike during their meeting on Wednesday.

The recommendation had been to increase charges this April to £8 a day, and £4 for up to four hours, with the higher charges coming into force in April 2011.

'Too low'

Councillor Huw Hughes told the meeting: "I went with a delegation from the Cairngorms National Park to the Pen y Pass car park recently and they all said that the £6 was far too low."

This was backed by Councillor Alwyn Gruffydd who said: "No-one goes to Snowdon on their own.

"If there are two people in a car it is £5 each, and if there are four people leaving their car there to climb Snowdon, then there is only £2.50 each... put the charges up this April," he added.

The park's vice-chairman, Dr Iolo Ap Gwynn agreed with the increases, but said he felt there should be a nominal charge of £2 to attract passing motorists to the Pen y Pass cafe nearby.

Park chief executive Aneurin Phillips said there was more than parking involved in the charge.


He said there were toilets, cafe, bus interchange and indoor waiting rooms and a warden service available.

Dennis AcAteer said the the park had to be clear as it explained that the increase in charges was not a way to increase income from people visiting the area.

"We have provided additional facilities for the disabled, including an all purpose path," he said.

"Will we charge the disabled £10 for parking for a short time?" he added.

There was also concern that some families would find the price rise too much.

The committee voted 13 to two for the £10 parking charges from 1 April this year.

Despite the vote the park authority has no power to enforce the parking charges.

"Notes are placed on the vehicles of people who do not pay with information about what the money is used for.

"Very, very few motorists do not pay," said planning officer John Ablitt.

"In fact the response from the notes we place on vehicles without tickets results in almost everyone paying up, and some give us extra.

"One motorist felt it was better than imposing parking fines, and it is good PR," he added.

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