Northern Ireland

Timed tickets introduced at Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge

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Media captionDid you know the bridge is only 18 inches wide?

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

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

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

The tickets will be sold at the site are only valid on the day of purchase.

Image caption Visitors will be given one-hour slot at the attraction

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.

"With tremendous visitor growth to the site over recent years we were keen to identify solutions that will enhance the visitor experience; ensure that we are keeping everyone safe whilst also addressing the important conservation requirements," said Frank Devlin of the National Trust.

Image caption The bridge is 18 inches wide and can only accommodate eight people at one time

"The introduction of timed tickets will enable us to manage the increasing volume of visitors to the Carrick-a-Rede island.

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

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

The bridge is 18 inches wide and can only accommodate eight people at one time.

It is Northern Ireland's sixth most popular tourist attraction and was visited by 354,000 people in 2015.