Petition calls for improvements as Skye is swamped by tourists

The Old Man of Storr is one of Skye's most popular tourist attractions

Hundreds of people have signed an online petition calling on the Scottish Minister for Tourism to bring Skye into the 21st century.

It was launched by guesthouse owner Steve Carter who claims the Hebridean island’s infrastructure is struggling to cope with the number of visitors flocking to its shores.

By last night, more than 500 people had signed it.

Mr Carter, of Carters Rest Guesthouse, Glendale, said: “The Isle of Skye is currently seeing a massive increase in tourist visitor numbers.

“Meanwhile the experience of these visitors is severely hampered by a lack of investment in road maintenance, car parking spaces for main attractions and very poor signage.”

He added that central and local government should find extra money to give Skye’s visitors an “improved experience”.

Mr Carter said: “The Isle of Skye, while becoming ever more popular with visitors, is currently under-resourced to meet growing demand to visit the island.

“This must be addressed to make sure a real opportunity for Scotland’s future is met.”

He added that, during peak season, around 500-600 cars a day headed down the three-mile single track road from his guesthouse to Neist Point Lighthouse, where there were no toilets and very limited parking.

And he said the situation was the same all over the island.

Skye Councillor Drew Millar said Highland Council was working with local communities to tackle parking problems at major tourist attractions, such as the Fairy Pools, the Old Man of Storr and the Quiraing.

A Scottish Government spokesman said the tourism sector was of vital importance to the Scottish economy, particularly in rural areas such as Skye.

He said: “Tourism has the opportunity to benefit communities in these areas, encouraging further investment in tourism facilities and infrastructure, bringing additional jobs and expanding the tourism season outwith the normal summer months.”