Carrick-a-Rede's ticketing system is leaving loyal trust members hanging around too long
The new hourly ticketing system at Carrick-a-Rede favours corporate customers operating bus tours over individual visitors.
Only they can book timed tickets in advance, while for everyone else, tickets can only be purchased on arrival. This can regularly lead to waits of three or four hours and, if travelling by public transport, is just not manageable.
The timed tickets have absolutely no impact on how many people cross the bridge at any particular time. You can cross over at any point during the one-hour window and then stay for over an hour, or as long as you like, once across.
I had travelled 90 miles with my family for three hours using a combination of trains and buses only to get a three-hour waiting-time to cross the bridge once we got to Carrick-a-Rede.
This would have meant not being able to travel back home on public transport the same day.
As a member of the National Trust, paying over £100 per year in family membership, I took the tickets, hoping the attendant at the bridge might exercise some discretion. There were only three other people looking to cross in front of us and about 25 people walking around on the other side. Despite explaining our situation, the attendant wanted us to wait for two-and-a-half hours to cross.
This system favours corporate clients, has absolutely no impact on the number waiting to cross at any one time and leaves many, like us, deeply frustrated. Hopefully, if more people publicly complain, the National Trust might get its act together and look after its family customers and members.
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