Visitors to the Tarbet side of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park are to face parking charges when pulling up.

Motorists arriving at Tarbet Pier picnic site now have a pay and display charging system at the car park. Signage is in place and new bins have been placed at the site.

Visitors will be able to park for 30 minutes (50p), two hours (£1), four hours (£2) or all day (£4). Priority parking for school drop-offs and collections will be in place during term time, with no charge for parents/carers dropping off or picking up from Arrochar Primary School.

The site has become increasingly popular with visitors in recent years, particularly for those visiting the area in campervans and motorhomes.

Kenny Auld, head of visitor services at Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority, said: “The National Park is a world class visitor destination and we want people to have an experience that matches that reputation.

“Generating sustainable income streams that can be invested back into the National Park, such as those from visitor parking, allow us to provide and maintain quality facilities and experiences for communities and visitors.”

Two designated bays will also be established at the car park for campervans and motorhomes to pay to stay overnight and discussions are underway to pilot an ‘aire’ scheme in and around Arrochar and Tarbet, where campervan / motorhome visitors could park overnight and use services such as waste disposal.

Mr Auld continued: “As with all tourist hotspots, we also need to carefully balance the management of visitors with the needs of the local community and businesses. The Tarbet picnic site was originally designed for day visitors arriving by car and in coaches, so its growing popularity as an informal campervan / motorhome overnight facility has made it more difficult to balance competing user needs.

“In recent weeks, we have used on-site signage, targeted patrols from National Park Rangers and community wardens, and social media messaging to engage with people using the site and to direct campervan or motorhome users to more appropriate overnight sites nearby. These measures are already making an impact. The new charging system, introducing dedicated motorhome spaces and continued engagement with motorhome visitors will further help relieve pressures at this busy visitor site in Tarbet.”

Funds will go towards maintaining and investing in sites across the National Park.