Snowdon visitor charge idea backed by Gwynedd councillors

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Walkers on SnowdonImage source, Gary Maslin
Image caption,
The summer saw huge crowds of people flocking to Snowdonia after lockdown restrictions began easing

Gwynedd councillors have backed the idea of charging people to climb Snowdon despite no power to do so.

It follows concern over congestion and dangerous parking as people flocked to Snowdonia after lockdown easing.

Councillor Glyn Daniels, from the Llais Gwynedd group, who proposed the idea, said it would boost the public coffers and possibly reduce road traffic.

Council leader Dyfrig Siencyn said the area suffered "over-tourism at its worst", but a charge was illegal.

Snowdon - the highest peak in Wales and higher than any in England - attracts more than 500,000 visitors every year, making it a key element of the north Wales economy, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Image caption,
Dozens of parking tickets were issued as cars clogged Snowdonia roads in July

Supporting his colleague's motion, Llais Gwynedd leader Owain Williams said a charge of £2 per visitor would raise £1m a year at a time when income was needed.

Catrin Wager, from the ruling Plaid Cymru group, raised the issue of "fly camping" by visitors, saying it was costing local council taxpayers money and denying many communities the "benefits of our rich local assets".

Mr Siencyn said he wanted to see a resetting of tourism to become a sustainable industry offering well-paid jobs.

He backed the motion but said he wanted a wider debate on the issue covering more than just Snowdon.

Fifty-three councillors voted in favour with none against and one abstention.

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