IRRESPONSIBLE parkers at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park (LLTNP) have been condemned and future visitors warned not to park recklessly after emergency vehicles were blocked access to a hillwalker in trouble on Ben Lomond.

The National Park experienced significant problems with parking on narrow, rural roads and busy car parks due to the sunny weather over the September weekend, and as a result, two ambulances had problems getting through and out of overcrowded roads and car parks.

Cars were also reported to be illegally parked on a designated clearway.

The National Park Authority and Police Scotland are using this incident to highlight the very serious consequences of irresponsible parking, and to issue a joint warning to visitors ahead of the October holidays not to park along roadsides even if others are doing it, never to block entrances and exits even partially and to check before you go if somewhere is going to be busy and if so, choose a quieter alternative.

Simon Jones, director of Conservation and Visitor Operations at the National Park, said: “These incidents and the many other examples of reckless parking on roadsides and crowded car parks this weekend highlight just how dangerous this behaviour is.

“It is extremely lucky that the outcome in both of these cases was not a lot worse, but it could be next time.

“While the National Park is there to be enjoyed, especially on a sunny holiday weekend, parking along the sides of already narrow or busy main roads and parking across exits, when car parks are full, could put lives at risk.

“This has been an ongoing issue in recent years and particularly since lockdown restrictions eased, so as partners we are working on longer term solutions such as further public transport, active travel options or parking capacity where appropriate.

“These are not quick fixes and will take time and we still need everyone to play their part by behaving responsibly and not making these problems worse.”

Police Scotland’s Inspector Andy Bushell said: "While we appreciate that many people want to enjoy what's left of the good weather in the beautiful surroundings of the National Park, it's essential that travelling to these areas doesn't adversely impact on others.

"There are designated parking areas within the National Park and if these are all in use then vehicles must seek other permitted parking zones and not leave cars on narrow access roads or public walkways.

"Recent incidents of inappropriate parking have resulted in emergency service vehicles being unable to pass and this is totally unacceptable.

"We regularly patrol the National Park and any obstructive or dangerous parking will be appropriately dealt with. This could include the physical removal of a vehicle, issuing drivers with a fixed penalty notice or even reporting individuals to the Procurator Fiscal.

"Please enjoy our outdoor spaces responsibly."