Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Slieve Gullion booking system being explored by Council

The possibility of a booking system for visitors to Slieve Gullion Park is being explored by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council after the idea was put forward at last week’s meeting of the Council’s Enterprise, Regeneration and Tourism (ERT).

Director, Marie Ward, provided an update on the Council’s capital development plans for the site.  She told committee members that planning permission for a new single storey amenity building was expected by the end of June and it was also proposed that Council investigate options for visitors, such as booking visits in advance.  Ms Ward outlined the ongoing parking issues at the hugely popular attraction, which annually draws around 350,000 visitors, and said that the booking of visits similar to the system in place for other attractions such as the Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge in Antrim, has been suggested as a possibility.

Despite additional parking having been provided at Slieve Gullion, the facility and its surrounding residential roads still face traffic and parking problems during peak holiday periods.

The report on the Council’s capital investment plan also outlined the future enhancements to be made to the facility in order to meet visitor demands.

Those improvements are set to include the new amenity building containing toilets, tourism information and an attendant’s office.  Parking provision is also set to be expanded within the existing lands which is leased from the Forest Service by the Council.

Councillors approved the report’s recommendations to note the timetable for the implementation of the capital investment programme and that Council undertake to investigate options for visiting the facility, including the booking of visits in advance.  This will now go before full council next month.