One of UK's most picturesque routes but some say driving it is now 'daylight robbery'

Marine Drive, one of Wales' most scenic routes and a favourite among visitors to Llandudno, has seen its toll prices rise significantly in recent years.

The cost to traverse the four-mile stretch around the Great Orme was £3.90 in 2022/23, but this increased to £4.50 last financial year and has now been raised to £5.50 - a more than 40% increase in just two years.

This price hike has sparked mixed reactions on social media, with one individual labelling it "daylight robbery", while others argued that it offers good value for a day out and includes parking at the Great Orme summit.

The Great Orme in Llandudno, north Wales
The Great Orme in Llandudno, north Wales -Credit:Haydn Iball/Daily Post Wales

Conwy council, who impose the toll and maintain the road, explained that this stretch is not categorised as one maintained by public expense and the charge assists in caring for the road, including dealing with rock falls.

Jim Jones, chief executive of North Wales Tourism, defended the toll, as he 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," reports Wales Online.

He continued: "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.

Sheep graze at sunset on the coastal headland of Great Ormes Head
The route is considered one of the most picturesque in the UK -Credit:RDImages/Epics/Getty Images

"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 stated: "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).