Northern Ireland

Timed ticket system for Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge

Carrick-A-Rede Image copyright PACEMKAER
Image caption Tickets to cross the 18-inch bridge can only be bought on site

Timed tickets are to be introduced at Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge to deal with crowds at the world-famous attraction.

The National Trust hopes the plan will improve visitors' experiences, keep people safe and address conservation requirements.

The new system will start on Friday and will mean tourists are allocated a one-hour slot to cross the bridge.

Tickets for Northern Ireland's sixth most popular tourist attraction can only be bought on site.

The bridge is only 18 inches (46cm) wide and only eight people are allowed on it at a time.

Image caption The figures, from the Department for the Economy show the top Northern Ireland attractions in 2015

All visitors will be required to present their tickets at their allocated time period, before crossing the bridge.

The popularity of Northern Ireland's Causeway Coastal route, which boasts links to HBO's Game of Thrones, has increased in recent years and record numbers visited the bridge in 2016.

"The introduction of timed tickets will enable us to manage the increasing volume of visitors to the Carrick-a-Rede island," said Frank Devlin, from the National Trust.

"We are confident the new system, which will be reviewed on an ongoing basis throughout the season, will benefit those visiting the site."

The bridge, which was visited by 354,000 people in 2015, can be less busy early in the morning or late in the afternoon, said the National Trust.