Carrick-a-rede 'too popular' as big change is announced

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By David Hunter

Carrick-a-rede rope bridge on the North Coast is proving too popular with tourists.

The National Trust says it's having to  introduce "timed tickets" to cope with demand.

The move will also help preserve the Ballycastle attraction which lies on an iconic conservation site.

The rope bridge at Carrick-a-rede was first erected more than 350 years ago when the island was used to fish for Atlantic Salmon.

Alex 'Achi' Colgan, took over the licence for Carrick when his uncle retired and worked there for over 30 years, leaving in 2002 when co-workers were hard to come by.

The island has now become popular with tourists looking to take in the nature spots and iconic views. 

New timed tickets will ensure ongoing conservation as well as minimise congestion and manage health and safety at the site.

It's understood visitors will be allocated tickets by colour which will allow them to cross onto the island by one hour slots. 

Visitors will be able 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."

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