Case Study: Yr Wyddfa visitor access and travel management (2020)

The Challenge

Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri (Snowdonia National Park) and Yr Wyddfa Partnership wanted to find better ways of managing visitor access to Yr Wyddfa and Dyffryn Ogwen (Mount Snowdon and the Ogwen Valley) to tackle the acute problems experienced at peak visitor times, whilst protecting the landscape and benefiting communities.

The Commission

MHA brought together a team including engagement, parking and public transport specialists, as well as international best practice from the “Alpine Pearls” (a programme that has developed sustainable tourism initiatives in many resorts throughout the European Alps). We developed a long-term visitor transport and parking strategy based around “Sustainable Tourism” which included enhanced visitor comms and marketing of sustainable transport options, a high quality, high frequency bus network and parking pushed out to gateway villages and approaches. This included proposing pre-booking of parking at Pen-y-Pass during the peak visitor season, in association with a much enhanced Park & Ride service.

The outcome

Our proposal for pre-booking of parking at Pen-y-Pass was accelerated due to acute problems experienced during 2020 when COVID restrictions were eased. During 2021 season, this eradicated the congestion and road safety problems at Pen-y-Pass while increasing Park & Ride use by 140%.

Subsequently, in partnership with Transport for Wales and Gwynedd and Conwy Councils, the Sherpa bus network has been expanded, together with a brand refresh and new website www.sherparwyddfa.wales/index.shtml.

 Client feedback

 “Following the chronic parking challenges around the Yr Wyddfa area of Eryri National Park, Martin Higgitt Associates was commissioned to undertake a comprehensive review of all aspects relating to parking and transport in the area. These complex challenges expand across authority borders therefore there was a need for a multi-agency strategy that would work for each authority. With the team’s expertise, we were able to implement improvements in a short period of time and significantly reduce the parking issues in problematic areas.

Since the report was submitted in 2020, Martin Higgitt Associates have continued to support the Park in reaching our long-term aspiration of addressing the parking and transport challenges.  It has been a pleasure to work alongside a team with such vast expertise and outstanding professionalism and we would recommend their services to any organisation looking to address any parking and transport challenges.”

Catrin Glyn, Yr Wyddfa Officer, Eryri National Park