Snowdon: new parking restrictions

Posted by Elfyn Jones on 23/07/2020
Take the Sherpa bus to Pen-y-Pass. Photo: Ray Wood

Following chaotic parking scenes in the Llanberis Pass over the last weekend, when over 500 cars were parked illegally at Pen y Pass, blocking one of the main roads through Snowdonia for several hours, the National Park and North Wales Police have issued this statement with new traffic management and restricted parking in place from July 25th.

Gwynedd Council, Snowdonia National Park and North Wales Police have agreed a joint approach for the coming weeks to ensure motorists park responsibly. From Saturday 25th July, the Sherpa bus service which links the area’s main car parks with the various summit paths will be running every 15 minutes between 6.45am and 6.40pm and walkers are asked to use the service to access Pen-y-pass.

Staff from Gwynedd Council, Snowdonia National Park and North Wales Police will be on duty in the area over the weekend to remind motorists of their responsibility. Signs are being installed to warn motorists that those who flout the rules are liable to be towed by the police, and cones will also be placed to discourage parking on the highway.

On weekends, the car-park at Pen-y-pass will be a drop-off site for buses and taxis only, to reinforce the message that walkers should park in Llanberis and Nant Peris and use the regular Sherpa bus services. It follows scenes last weekend where inconsiderate motorists had parked illegally, blocking one of the main routes skirting the foot of Snowdon.

Councillor Dyfrig Siencyn, Gwynedd Council Leader said: “Our message for people who intend to visit Snowdonia is to plan in advance before they set-off so that they can do so safely and responsibly.

Parking chaos on the Pass. Photo: Snowdonia National Park

“We are urging motorists to make full use of the car-parking facilities available at Nant Peris and Llanberis as well as at nearby Pen-y-gwryd and to check the National Park’s website for up-to-date details of their car parks.

“Walkers are also encouraged to use the regular Sherpa bus service which will be running every 15 minutes from 6.45am from Saturday onwards and which links all the main Snowdon car parks with the various summit paths. This will help us to control the traffic on these narrow mountain routes and avoid the dangerous situations which we saw last weekend.

“The fact is that motorists like those who parked illegally at Pen-y-pass endanger the lives of other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians and cause serious access issues for emergency service vehicles, including mountain rescue volunteers.

“We want people to be able to enjoy our stunning mountain ranges safely. Those who ignore the message by parking illegally on the highway on Snowdonia’s mountain passes will face an on-the-spot fine or even being towed away by police.”

Emyr Williams, Chief Executive of Snowdonia National Park Authority said: “These urgent measures will help to tackle the immediate challenge and we will continue to monitor and adapt as matters progresses.

“Such a situation confirms the urgency required of further progressing the existing partnership work on developing a sustainable alpine style model of transport, which involves a radical re-think in the way the area is experienced by visitors and local residents. The report on the work will be published soon.”

The Sherpa Bus will leave for Pen-y-Pass every 15 minutes from Saturday 25th July. Photo: Ray Wood

Superintendent Neil Thomas, North Wales Police added: “We are working closely with our colleagues at Gwynedd Council and the National Park to help reduce the risk to walkers, cyclists and other road users.

“The measures have been put in place to maximise public safety. This is a 60mph area and the irresponsible and dangerous parking we saw last weekend not only risked lives but also would have prevented emergency vehicle access.

“Whilst we appreciate that people are getting out and about more now that the travel restrictions have lifted, we are urging people to be responsible and think about where they park and to make full use of the park and ride facilities that are available.

“Anybody found to be parked on the clearway or causing an obstruction will have their vehicle removed at their own expense. Please heed the warning.”


As the climbing walls, crags and mountains start to open, we wanted to say thanks to every BMC member who supported us through the Coronavirus crisis.

From weekly Facebook Lives and GB Climbing home training videos, to our access team working to re-open the crags and fight for your mountain access, we couldn’t have made it without you.

If you liked what we did, then tell your friends about us: www.thebmc.co.uk/join


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Anonymous User
23/07/2020
I'm not sure a park and ride service is appropriate in a pandemic. In fact I cannot think of a worst idea than packing people from all over the country into a confined environment, who has risk assessed this?
Anonymous User
23/07/2020
It is better than the chaos of last week. No consideration for others, we have driven the Llanberis Pass lots of times, it is dangerous the cars parked as they were.
Anonymous User
24/07/2020
I hope the Sherpa bus is electric. Let's make this a sustainable service.
Anonymous User
24/07/2020
I think snowdonia national Park should be on a ticket entry only basis. This would allow the council to control the amount of traffic flow and ease the pressure on parking facilities. Also if you're caught littering you have to move fallen scree back to the top of the mountain to slow the erosion process, the world is getting flatter and a certain society is gaining traction.
Anonymous User
24/07/2020
A small bus every 15 minutes will not be enough with the demand. What about the Ogwen valley.
Anonymous User
25/07/2020
There are places in despair wanting tourism to return. This place, has the tourists but is too disorganised and backward to cater for them. You have had years to make ghe most of tourists, instead you have created the misery of being incompetent to cope. You don't deserve the opportunity, other better organised places do.
Anonymous User
27/07/2020
Who's idea was it to cone-off all the off-road parking at Ogwen cottage? By putting cones everywhere you can actually park off the road, aren't you just encouraging more dangerous parking?

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