Committee agrees visitor management parking proposals for Caithness

Members of the Caithness Committee have agreed provisional locations where visitors will be invited to pay a small donation for parking.

In a move to improve the visitor experience, invitation to pay machines will be introduced at seven locations following the successful roll-out of this approach in other Council areas.

During their meeting yesterday the members discussions included the process involved and how the sites will be managed as well as specific parking arrangements for motorhomes.

The proposed locations for Invitation to Pay car parking are:

Dunnet Head; Dunnet Seadrift; Noss Head; Duncansby Head; Reiss Beach; Camps and Riverside. It is proposed that all seven of these sites also implement an Invitation to Pay for motorhome parking.

Members also agreed the suggested tariffs to be used on a voluntary basis from Monday to Sunday between 8am and 8pm are as follows - up to 2 hours - £1; Up to 4 Hours, £2; Up to 12 hours, £3 and up to 24 hours £5.

Currently Council regulated car parks generally ban overnight stays by motorhomes. After discussion at Highland Council Tourism Committee, Members have agreed to take a pragmatic approach to additional parking provision for motorhome visitors across the Highlands. The goal is to allow motorhomes to occupy a designated  bay in specific council car parks for a maximum stay period of 24 hours for a modest fee.

Ticket machines that can take cash and card payments will be installed in each selected car park with signage inviting payment.

Chair of the Committee, Cllr Raymond Bremner said: “It is important that we reocgnise that this is an invitation to pay voluntarily. Local members have sought assurances that this is not enforceable charging by the back door at a later date which many in our local community have said they do not want. What this will do is allow the local community to benefit from a new income stream that will be wholly based on a suggested voluntary tarriff. We will be keen to monitor how effective it is and ensure that communication is maintained with the local community councils.”

Ongoing monitoring is to be reported back to Members before any future decisions are made on formal regulation of the car parking charges, which will be informed by the strategic approach to be considered at the next Economy & Infrastructure Committee.


4 Nov 2021