Traffic surges 200% as people flock to Loch Lomond

Scots are being warned to stay local after traffic levels across Scotland increased over the weekend.

Balloch: Visitors have flocked to Loch Lomond since Friday. SNS
Balloch: Visitors have flocked to Loch Lomond since Friday.

A warning has been issued after traffic levels across Scotland jumped significantly over the weekend amid the easing of the coronavirus restrictions.

Early statistics released by Transport Scotland showed a 60% increase of road users across the country on Saturday compared to the previous Saturday.

Making a splash: Loch Lomond saw a 200% traffic increase at the weekend.

The A82 at Loch Lomond also saw a 200% increase of traffic from the previous weekend.

On Sunday, road use across Scotland was up 70%.

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The traffic stats come after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon revealed that police issued 797 dispersal notices on Saturday for lockdown breaches.

Glasgow: Friends and families met up at Kelvingrove Park on Sunday.

Speaking at the Scottish Government’s daily press briefing on Monday, the First Minister warned new laws will be passed if the public continues to contravene the rules.

On Friday, the gradual route out of the Covid-19 lockdown began.

Scots are now allowed to meet friends or relatives from one other household outdoors as long as they stay two-metres apart.

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People are also permitted to go outside as much as they like to sit and sunbathe in parks and other public spaces.

However, the public are being urged to stay local and to avoid travelling to beauty spots.

Transport secretary Michael Matheson said: “We have only been able to ease some of the lockdown measures as the public have followed guidance closely up to this point, so I would urge people to continue to play their part.

“We have seen a significant rise in traffic this past weekend. 

“At Loch Lomond, traffic levels were more than three times higher than the previous Saturday – and in the middle of the afternoon over four times higher.  

“On our rail network, Balloch station saw an increase in passenger numbers.

“These volumes go beyond what would be expected to be generated by local residents, nor are they in keeping with people staying within five miles of home or by people travelling a reasonable distance to meet loved ones.

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“While you can leave the house for exercise and recreation, the guidance says you should not be going any further than five miles from home and to avoid tourist destinations and beauty spots. 

“You should also maintain physical distancing when you do go out and wear face coverings on public transport.

“I realise that this is difficult for everyone, particularly with the weather being so good, but we can only take steps towards a less restricted lifestyle, and then consider taking further steps to ease lockdown measures, if people continue to follow the guidance.”

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