PAY and display machines have been installed at a popular Forth Valley beauty spot to ensure the facility is used more efficiently.

The ticket machines were installed at Balmaha car park on Monday, September 6.

It is hoped the machines at the popular tourist spot will assist with the management of parking in the local area and will be coupled with an increase in the total number of parking spaces and new relining work on parking bays.

Stirling Council has invested in these infrastructure improvements following engagement with the local community and other key stakeholders, including Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park (LLTNP).

The council have also launched RingGo mobile parking payments at all council-operated spaces, meaning there will be cash and mobile phone payment options.

Cllr Jim Thomson, convener of Stirling Council’s Environment and Housing Committee, said: “Balmaha is one of Stirling’s most popular beauty spots and illegal parking in the area has caused significant problems for visitors and residents.

“Introducing pay and display and a pay-by-mobile option at the car park, along with the other improvements, will ensure the facility is used more efficiently, deter abuse of the car park and allow more motorists to get a parking space.

“I would, however, reiterate our message to visitors coming to Balmaha and our other rural areas to play their part by acting responsibly. It’s down to you to plan ahead, avoid over-crowded places and dispose of litter correctly.”

An hour of free parking will be permitted but a ticket will need to be displayed. This provision will be closely monitored and penalties will be issued if drivers overstay the hour.

Parking charges will occur from 8.45am until 5.30pm daily. Up to one hour is free, up to two hours costs £2.10

Up to four hours will cost £2.60 and it will cost £3.20 to park all day.

Cllr Danny Gibson, vice convener, added: “Tourism is vitally important for supporting the local economy, particularly as we recover from the pandemic, but we need to make sure it doesn’t negatively impact on local people and the environment.

“The new parking machines along with the option of paying by mobile at Balmaha will allow our Enforcement Officers to focus on managing parking in the surrounding area.

“During the rest of the tourist season, I would like to take this opportunity to remind visitors to our beauty spots to respect our rural communities and head elsewhere if it’s busy.”