Leading conservation charity the National Trust today announced the introduction of timed tickets at Carrick-a-Rede. The new system has been developed in response to significant growth in visitor numbers over recent years and in addition to ensuring ongoing conservation of this iconic attraction, it will also seek to improve the overall visitor experience, minimise congestion along the Causeway Coastal route and manage health and safety at the site.
The new Timed Ticket system which will be in operation from 7 April, will allow visitors to purchase tickets from 9.15am in time for the bridge opening at 9.30am, with the last ticket sale at 6.15pm during peak season.
Frank Devlin, from the National Trust commented, “As a conservation charity we are committed to preserving and protecting our special places and spaces for everyone to enjoy. With tremendous visitor growth to the site over recent years we were keen to identify solutions that will enhance the visitor experience; ensure that we are keeping everyone safe whilst also addressing the important conservation requirements.
“The introduction of timed tickets will enable us to manage the increasing volume of visitors to the Carrick-a-Rede island. All visitors will be required to present their tickets at their allocated time period, before crossing the bridge.
“The bridge itself is 18 inches wide and can only accommodate eight people at one time, however we are confident the new system, which will be reviewed on an ongoing basis throughout the season, will benefit those visiting the site.”
To avoid long queues visitors are encouraged to make the most of their visit by exploring the natural beauty of this unique place when it opens in the morning or late in the afternoon. As an Area of Special Scientific Interest and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the iconic conservation site must be preserved to ensure that the habitat and wildlife are being looked after while being enjoyed by all.
Timed tickets which will be sold at the site are only valid on the day of purchase and cannot be pre-booked – time slots will only be released once the previous slot is full. All coach bookings will now be made through the North Coast booking office. More information can be found at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/carrick-a-rede.