VISITOR facilities at three sites on the west shore of Loch Lomond are to be fully or partially closed for part of this summer to allow modernisation work to take place.

The Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority has announced that it is to spend more than half a million pounds upgrading visitor facilities at Luss, Tarbet and Inveruglas over the next few months.

Toilets, parking and bins will be modernised in the course of the work, with the first phase beginning in Tarbet later this month.

A motorhome toilet disposal point at Tarbet is also being introduced, as well as 24 hour access toilets at both Tarbet and Inveruglas.

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The park authority's chief executive, Gordon Watson, has admitted that closing the facilities during the summer is "not ideal".

However, the park authority says that work will be carried out in phases to ensure that only one facility is affected at a time.

The visitor information building at the car park in Tarbet will be closed from July 22 until late August. The car park will remain open, but coaches will not be able to access the road to Tarbet pier via the National Park Authority’s car park.

The north car park and building in Inveruglus will be closed from September 2 until late October, and the whole site will be closed from September 23 until late October.

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The park authority says dates for the work in Luss are still to be confirmed, but work is likely to start in October and will only involve a short closure period.

There will be signage on site to make people aware of the work and updates on how the project is progressing will be available on the National Park Authority’s social media.

The project is being partly funded through Visit Scotland’s Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund.

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Mr Watson said: “Loch Lomond is an iconic visitor destination attracting millions of visitors each year.

"While people primarily visit for the scenery and recreation opportunities on offer, things like high quality toilets, parking, camper van facilities and bins can make a huge difference to a visitor’s overall experience.

“Over the last four years we’ve seen a 50 per cent increase in visitors using our toilet facilities around Loch Lomond.

"The current facilities, built more than 20 years ago, were not built to cope with this volume so improving them is a key priority for us.

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“We recognise that closures during the latter half of the summer season are not ideal, but in order to maximise the external funding available for this project, all work requires to be carried out within this timeframe.

“Modernising facilities at these key sites will help to provide a world class experience that matches the expectations of people coming to Scotland’s first National Park.”