Carrick-a-rede bridge to have timed-tickets for visitors
Visitors to Carrick-a-rede rope bridge will now receive an allocated time slot for when they are allowed to cross in a bid to preserve the area and to manage crowds.
The National Trust made the announcement on Tuesday in response to a "significant growth in visitor numbers".
It is also to ensure "ongoing conservation" to the attraction.
The move is in a bid 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.
A spokeswoman for the National Trust said there is no time limit on how long you can stay after you have crossed the bridge. And your return will be managed by staff on the bridge.
Frank Devlin from the National Trust said: “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.”
The National Trust said to avoid long queues they are encouraging visitors to explore the natural beauty in the area when it opens in the morning or late in the afternoon.
Timed tickets 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 here