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Iceland Mag

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The view will still be free – parking not so much: A toll gate planned at Seljalandsfoss waterfall

By Staff

  • TOO MANY TOURISTS One of the most popular tourist attractions in Southern Iceland, Seljalandsfoss waterfall, is attracting more tourists than the small parking lot and narrow road can handle. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson

Authorities in Rangárþing County in Southern Iceland are preparing to erect a toll gate at the parking lot by the picturesque Seljalandsfoss waterfall. The parking lot and other facilities at the waterfall, which is one of the most visited sights in Southern Iceland, have long since become woefully inadequate, failing to serve the growing number of visitors.

Parking fees a solution to persistent traffic jams
The parking lot and the strip of road leading to the waterfall were designed well before the current boom in tourism began. According to the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, RÚV, the site has developed a daily traffic jam, as the road and parking lot can’t handle the flow of passenger cars and tour buses.

To solve the problems created by growing tourism the authorities in Rángárþing County plan to construct a visitor centre at the site, as well as expand the parking lot and move it further away from the waterfall. Ísólfur Gylfi Pálmason, the county governor told RÚV that a visitors would be charged a fee to park at the centre, and that the county was looking into the option of erecting gates at the area to enforce those fees. Lavatory fees were another option being looked into.

Toll gate in place by next summer?
According to Ísólfur Gylfi work on re-zoning the area and drawing up designs for a visitor centre and expanded parking lot is in full swing and that they would in all likelihood be introduced and opened for public comment this fall.

Visitors can therefore expect to continue to enjoy the view of Seljalandsfoss and the experience of navigating the traffic jam and chaos at the parking lot for free.

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