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Wales Online
Wales Online
Eryl Crump

Parking chaos, gridlock, human waste on verges and abusive behaviour blighting Wales' most famous beauty spot

Residents in a small hamlet in Snowdonia have spoke out about dealing with human waste being left on verges, abusive behaviour and vehicles treble parking as the number of visitors to the area increases, And people living in Nant Gwynant fear it is going to get worse over the Easter holidays.

The area, between Beddgelert and Pen y Pass, has always been a popular destination for walkers, and has attracted even more visitors during the coronavirus pandemic.

Residents complain of cars being parked regularly on both sides of the A498 road between Craflwyn and Llyn Gwynant, with some vehicles parking on the grass verges. A large lay-by near Caffi Gwynant is regularly double parked with locals being unable to park their cars outside their homes.

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One resident told NorthWalesLive : "It's no longer an occasional occurrence. It's every weekend from Thursday evening until late on Sunday. With Easter coming up and two more bank holidays in May, things are going to get worse."

Asking not to be identified, the resident added: "It's not just the vehicles but it's the abuse as well. I popped down to Beddgelert and was back within a few minutes. Someone had moved the cones I had put in front of the house and the woman who had parked said it was my fault for living in such a popular area."

On another occasion, the resident saw a man urinating in full view of passing traffic.

They said: "He had no shame as to who saw him and there's a public toilet just 100 yards down the road. The litter people leave behind is also a problem. Those who park overnight and sleep in their vehicles think nothing of leaving everything - and I mean everything - behind."

Locals have raised the matter with Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP Liz Saville Roberts and the Snowdonia National Park Authority.

The MP said: "I am concerned to hear reports of littering, regular overnighting and irresponsible parking in the layby which runs parallel to the A498 near Caffi Gwynant and which serves as the only place to park for local residents who live in the nearby houses as well as those visiting the café.

"The good weather brings people to the area, and this is of course to be welcomed, especially by local businesses. But I would appeal to those thinking of visiting the area to plan ahead, respect our communities and leave nothing but their footprints behind or otherwise risk damaging an industry reliant on the forging of mutual respect between local communities and visitors."

A Snowdonia National Park Authority spokesman said: "Before the impact of the Covid pandemic, parking was often at - or near - capacity in the area.

"However, the popularity of the area has exploded in 2021 mainly due to social media trends with increasing numbers of people visiting the waterfalls at Afon Cwm Llan creating significant parking issues and problems for residents and businesses.

"The National Park Authority has no way to restrict visitor numbers should people wish to visit Nant Gwynant but we can work together with all of our partners in the area to introduce measures that will alleviate some of the issues that are being highlighted.

"We are working in partnership with the National Trust, Natural Resources Wales and Gwynedd Council to provide short and long term solutions in the area.

"We have held multiple consultations with residents and business owners from Nant Gwynant and have been working on a dedicated place plan to specifically highlight the issues in the area and how we can work together to resolve them."

He added the Authority’s vision is for the use of sustainable transport for visitors to enjoy the region.

"We have worked with Transport for Wales and Gwynedd Council to ensure that there is an increase in bus services for the peak season. In the short term Cyngor Gwynedd will be placing cones along grass verges as a deterrent to vehicle owners and to ensure pedestrian and road safety, until long term measures are put in place," the spokesman said,

A Gwynedd Council spokesperson confirmed temporary measures are being put in place this year.

He said: “We are aware of the parking situation in Nant Gwynant and have requested that Transport for Wales consider various possible options that would improve the situation.

“Whilst this work is being carried out, Council officers are in discussions with our partners at the Snowdonia National Park with the aim of introducing temporary measures to ease parking concerns for this year.”

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