'Daylight robbery' claim as cost of driving one of Wales's most scenic roads has spiked

The spooky hoax was carried out on Marine Drive, just up from the toll gate. A large painted cloth suspended from cliffs was used to reveal a glowing figure, which was then concealed by pulling on strings 'like a marionette'
-Credit: (Image: David Powell/North Wales Live)

It is one of the most scenic roads in Wales and a top destination for visitors to Llandudno. But the price of taking a trip by car on Marine Drive around the Great Orme (Y Gogarth) has risen as steeply as parts of the road in recent years.

The price to drive the four mile stretch was £3.90 in 2022/23. This went up to £4.50 in the last financial year and has now been raised to £5.50 - a rise of more than 40% in two years.

One person on social media called it "daylight robbery" but others said it was good value for a day out and that it also included parking at the Great Orme summit.

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Conwy council - who charge the toll and maintain the road - say the stretch is not classed as one maintained by public expense and the charge helped to look after the road, including dealing with rock falls.

Jim Jones, chief executive of North Wales Tourism, said: "The Marine Drive is one of the top scenic drives in the UK, with its historical significance and beauty, making it a popular destination for visitors and locals alike. A stage for major sporting events and TV shoots. Of course a toll is needed for ongoing maintenance needs, such as clearing rockfalls and ensuring visitor safety, are crucial for the upkeep of this iconic location.

"Staffing is also important, not just for the collection of the toll, but the team provide valuable visitor information, which is good to see. While it is reasonable to charge a fee to cover the running costs and maintenance of Marine Drive, excessive price hikes may deter people from visiting.

"It is also important for the public to know how the funds are being used and whether they are directly contributing to the upkeep of the drive or being re allocated to other budgets within the council. I do think with the continuous Council tax hikes Council attractions and places like the Marine drive should be offering a discount for locals.

"There should always be transparency in justifying price increases and ensuring that the money is reinvested back into the maintenance of this iconic drive."

Conwy council said: "The Marine Drive toll fee raises money for maintenance of the road, including the particular challenge of dealing with rock falls. The current toll fee (24/25) for cars using Marine Drive is £5.50 or £61.20 for a season permit. Motorbikes pay £3, and it’s free for pedestrians and cyclists. The Marine Drive toll fee includes parking at the Great Orme summit (otherwise charged at £5.50 for 4 hours)."

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