Stirling Council is urging visitors to be responsible this weekend as travel restrictions are lifted.
The ‘stay local’ message from the Scottish Government ended today, 16 April, meaning people can travel anywhere within Scotland for outdoor socialising, recreation and exercise.
The accelerated change is expected to bring an early influx of visitors to Stirling’s rural beauty spots ahead of schedule, and the Council is urging people to act responsibly.
Council Chief Executive, Carol Beattie said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming people back to Stirling as it’s a truly wonderful place, and our rural communities rely on the business day-trippers bring.
“There’s every chance this weekend will be the busiest of the year so far and we really need people to be responsible for their actions.
“Our car parks and public toilets will be open, but our strong message to those planning to visit the area is: plan ahead, and if it’s already busy, Stirling will still be here for you to visit another time.”
Crucially, Tuesday’s announcement was also coupled with a ‘stay safe’ message from the Government, with a string of other Covid-19 protection measures and guidance still remaining in place, including the requirement to avoid crowded spaces and meet a maximum of six people from six households.
Day-trippers flocked to Stirling last year as lockdown measures were eased, resulting in significant issues with illegal parking and littering. Measures introduced by the Council to tackle this included new speed limits, road closures, parking restrictions, temporary closures and double yellow lines.
Stirling Council has also continued to work in partnership with the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, Police Scotland, Forestry and Land Scotland and other partners to support responsible tourism and visitor management of the area.
Ms Beattie, added: “Unfortunately, some people did not respect our communities last year and we’re seeing signs of it again this year. The Council will continue to do all it can to support these communities but visitors need to play their part by acting responsibly to keep Stirling thriving.
“Whether it’s disposing of rubbish responsibly, parking legally, planning ahead or even just coming back another day if somewhere is busy, our message is clear: It’s down to you to make the right call for you and the people around you.”