Transport Scotland has been urged to ensure brown tourist attraction signs are accessible – and affordable – for all businesses.
Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halco Johnston has raised concerns about the cost of the signs after it emerged a Moray business had been quoted almost £50,000 by Transport Scotland for just four signs to be installed.
He had urged Transport Secretary Michael Matheson to ensure the signs are available to all in the tourism industry.
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Mr Halco Johnston said: “Tourism is a crucial part of the economy of the Highlands and Islands, and tourist businesses in the region need to be confident that the Scottish Government and its agencies are behind them.
“We know from VisitScotland’s own evidence that the brown signs on roads are valued by tourism-focused businesses, and that they help visitors find popular attractions quickly, and safely.
“They should be accessible to all tourist businesses, whether large or small. But it’s clear that several businesses have been put off by both the cost, and the bureaucracy, of applying.”
A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “We support our tourism industry and we understand the important contribution that popular destinations make to this thriving sector.
“The Trunk Road Tourist Signposting Policy was developed in partnership with Cosla, Visit Scotland and Scottish Government tourism officials and can be accessed on the Transport Scotland website.
“Separate guidance was also developed through liaison with the same partners to assist businesses with the application process.
“The brown signs are there to guide and direct traffic, however we will look into this case to establish if anything further can be done.”