Parking row as tourism industry staff ‘hogging spaces’ at beauty spot

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Locals in Llanrwst, North Wales, claim employees at Zip World Fforest Adventures, a tourist attraction in Snowdonia, take all the spots along rural roads and laybys, despite there being official on-site parking. Jen Rigby, who lives nearby, likes to walk her dog at the adjacent woodland Coed Hafod but says she cannot get close to the entrance because of all the parked vehicles.

Speaking to North Wales Live, Jen said: “They’re not breaking the law but I’ve had enough. It’s our favourite family dog walk – or it was. It’s a place I come to de-stress.

“Some staff car share but most park in the layby because there is nowhere else close enough to Zip World Fforest.

“Honestly, as staff have to cross the busy A470 twice and walk half a mile next to a road where cars regularly speed over 60mph, this feels like an accident waiting to happen.

“You can imagine at the weekends it’s very busy – there were 16 cars parked here midday Saturday and 17 on Sunday, leaving no spaces for residents or anyone else stopping off to park.

“I’m very grateful to Zip World for bringing employment to the region and also for the boost that adventure tourism gives to our area, but my message to Zip World is – please can you share this parking layby with local residents and others who wish to stop to view the beauty of Coed Hafod.”

Jen says the layby along the A470 has been used as de facto “staff car park” for two years but the problem has become worse in recent weeks.

A screenshot shared by Jen appeared to show an email from Zip World which reads: “With regards to parking in the laybys some staff do park in layby but not all staff park there as we are aware this is a public space for the likes of yourself and enjoy the local walks.

“I will review this daily to monitor who is parking there to ensure that there is space for the public.”

The layby is managed by the Welsh Government, which said it is aware of the issue and attempting to resolve it.

A spokesperson said: “We are aware of some parking issues in the layby and are monitoring the situation.”

Zip World has been approached for comment.

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