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Tourist Sites (Public Safety)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 7th November 2019.

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Photo of Dean Lockhart Dean Lockhart Conservative

4. To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to improve public safety at popular tourist sites. (S5O-03730)

Photo of Ben Macpherson Ben Macpherson Scottish National Party

Provision of a safe and secure environment for visitors is a key factor in tourism destinations being able to offer a quality visitor experience. Responsibility lies with the organisations that run tourist sites, but Scottish Government agencies are certainly proactive in that regard. Historic Environment Scotland, Scottish Canals and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs national park, for example, are members of the United Kingdom-wide Visitor Safety in the Countryside Group, the focus of which is to create safe access to the countryside and historic structures in ways that do not spoil the landscape and heritage or lessen the visitor’s sense of exploration, adventure and enjoyment.

Photo of Dean Lockhart Dean Lockhart Conservative

The minister might be aware of the tragic death of a young woman and other recent safety incidents at Bracklinn falls near Callander. In response to those events, Stirling Council, the national park, landowners and other agencies have agreed additional safety measures at the site, which are designed to protect the public while not detracting from the natural beauty of the area.

What action will the minister take to ensure that equivalent safety measures are in place at similar sites across Scotland?

Photo of Ben Macpherson Ben Macpherson Scottish National Party

I offer my condolences to the family of the person in the case that Dean Lockhart mentioned. Our thoughts are with them.

The points that were raised with regard to the site near Callander are important. Measures around safety and in relation to Transport Scotland’s remit need to be thought about in a wider sense. I encourage Mr Lockhart to write with more details on the case that he mentioned to both the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity and the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs.