It's one of Wales' most picturesque routes, but some claim driving on it is 'daylight robbery'

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's one of Wales' most pretty drives - but this road trip will cost you. Marine Drive, one of the most picturesque routes in Cymru and a popular spot for visitors to Llandudno, has seen its toll prices increase significantly over recent years.

The cost to drive the four-mile stretch around the Great Orme (Y Gogarth) was £3.90 in 2022/23, but this rose to £4.50 last financial year and has now been hiked up to £5.50 - a more than 40% increase in just two years. The price hike sparked mixed reactions on social media, with one person branding it "daylight robbery", while others argued it was good value for a day out and included parking at the Great Orme summit.

Conwy council, who levy the toll and maintain the road, explained that the stretch is not categorised as one maintained by public expense and the charge helps to care for the road, including dealing with rock falls. Jim Jones, chief executive of North Wales Tourism, defended the toll, saying: "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. For the latest Welsh news delivered to your inbox sign up to our newsletter

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"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", reports North Wales Live.

"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)."