New funding and a determination to tackle illegal parking have transformed access by bus to northern Snowdonia, as RHODRI CLARK reports

The new Sherpa livery adorns a double-decker at Nant Peris park-&-ride site on June 11, as a single decker pauses on a Betws-y-coed to Caernarfon service. The flowers represent the rare Snowdon lily, gagea serotina.

Snowdonia national park’s improved bus services this summer are proof of the old saying that ‘every cloud has a silver lining’.

The northern part of the national park attracted nearly five million visitors each year before the Covid-19 pandemic. In summer 2020, the crowds returned with greater intensity than usual. The first Covid-19 lockdown had kept people away from the great outdoors, and there was a surge in ‘staycations’ while overseas travel remained impractical.

Large numbers of cars were parked on roadsides in Snowdonia’s most popular visitor areas, calling another adage – about quarts and pint pots – to mind. Images of police towing away cars made national news, and the Welsh Government suddenly took a serious interest in the park’s long-standing transport problems.

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