A project to improve a popular visitor site in Tarbet has been highlighted as a model for green policies.

Lorna Slater, minister for green skills, circular economy and biodiversity, visited the area on Wednesday, August 16, to see how the the travel hub will be transformed.

Touring with officials from Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority, the minister was told about the masterplan for Tarbet Pier Picnic site to ease visitor pressures, improve biodiversity and encourage tourists to "embrace low emission travel".

The site was identified as a "priority project" for what's called the Strategic Tourism Infrastructure Strategy for west Loch Lomond.

Planning permission for the scheme was approved last month after consultation with the community and busineses. Work will start later this year.

Helensburgh Advertiser:

Ms Slater said: "The Tarbet Masterplan, supported by our Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund, is an excellent example of how National Parks can lead the way, working with partners and business to strengthen tourism infrastructure through place-based investment and regeneration.

“Scotland’s National Parks play a critical role supporting local communities, businesses and visitors to work together in tackling the climate and biodiversity crises. They work hard to promote and support active travel, help manage facilities for visitors, promote responsible access and develop sustainable communities.

“Since the inception of the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund, £18.9m of grant funding has been awarded to 75 projects across 17 local authorities and both National Park authorities.”

Helensburgh Advertiser: Lorna Slater visits Tarbet, with officials from Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park AuthorityLorna Slater visits Tarbet, with officials from Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority (Image: Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park)

The first £1.5milliom phase, supported by VisitScotland, will include:

  • establishing the site as a sustainable travel hub - maximising connectivity between road, rail, active travel and water taxis;
  • additional native woodland and wildflower planting to enhance biodiversity and create new habitats;
  • expanded visitor and community facilities – new shelter and viewpoint, outdoor furniture and space for community events;
  • a cycle hub with repair station, covered cycle parking and charging points for e-bikes;
  • more accessible pedestrian facilities and improved cycling routes;
  • EV charging infrastructure and network upgrades to support the transition to low carbon travel;
  • improvements to motorhome facilities including better parking and waste disposal facilities.

Stuart Mearns, director of place at Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, said: "Working together with our communities and visitors to tackle the twin crises of climate change and nature loss will be crucial to forging the future of the National Park for generations to come.

READ MORE: Tarbet Pier: Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park work approved

“The numbers of people and cars heading to popular locations such as Tarbet on busy summer days shows the value people place on time spent here.

“We now need to enable more sustainable ways for them to do that and the plans that we worked with the community and local businesses in Tarbet to develop are very much a blueprint for the future of our key visitor hubs.

“Services, information and infrastructure need to improve so that the National Park is more accessible for everyone and to help our visitors reduce the impacts of their visit.”