NEW by-laws for one of Scotland’s most famous lochs have been approved.

Loch Lomond will see the new by-laws, which aim to curb rising numbers of speeding offences on the water, come into effect in late 2024.

The national park authority said there had been a 185% increase in total alleged contraventions of the standing Lomond by-laws between 2012 and 2022, 53% of which were for speeding.

It also said there had been a 31% increase in registrations of “personal water craft”, such as jet skis, between 2019 and 2022.

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The new by-laws, which will come into effect on November 1, 2024, aim to “protect public safety, reduce irresponsible behaviours, and make enforcement more efficient”, according to the national park authority.

It said the key changes to the by-laws are:

  • the creation of low-speed activity zones at seven near-to-shore locations.
  • an amended boundary for the existing 11kph speed zone to the south of Inchtavannach, Inchmoan, and Inchcruin islands.
  • the compulsory wearing of “personal flotation devices” (such as life jackets or buoyancy aids) for everyone under 16 in certain circumstances.
  • a provision that the registered owner of a power-driven vessel under five horsepower “is guilty of an offence if someone under 16 in sole command or charge of that vessel acts in such a way that they would have committed an offence if they were an adult”.
  • the introduction of a new Loch Lomond User Registration Scheme, meaning any individual wishing to take command or charge of a registered power-driven vessel must also register their personal details with the national park authority in advance.
  • the removal of the “Permission to Trade” by-law, with focus instead on businesses who “trade in a manner which constitutes a nuisance”.

The Scottish Government’s approval of the by-laws comes after a 12-week public consultation, from July to October 2022.

The national park authority said there had been “significant levels of support (75-88%) for most proposed changes”.

Kenny Auld, the head of visitor services at Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority, said: “Thousands of visitors spend time in, on or by the water of Loch Lomond every year and it is a fantastic resource to have within easy reach of 50% of Scotland’s population.

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“These changes to the by-laws are in response to the changes we have seen on the loch in recent years, specifically the increase in activities such as paddleboarding and a marked upturn in the use of personal water craft such as jet skis.

“Alongside these trends, there have been increased concerns about disturbance, antisocial behaviour, and safety risks.

“The new Loch Lomond by-laws will provide a clear and understandable set of rules for people to follow, as well as an effective deterrent to irresponsible behaviour and a tool for enforcement when necessary.

“While the new by-laws cannot be legally enforced until 1st November 2024, we will begin transitioning towards them next season.

“Loch infrastructure will be installed and the systems which will support the implementation of our new Loch User Registration Scheme will be introduced. National park rangers will also be communicating regularly with visitors and loch users about the new by-laws in an advisory capacity.”

The by-laws have to be reviewed every ten years by law.

The news comes after calls for a similar set of by-laws to be agreed for Loch Tay amid local concerns about the impact of a planned luxury resort development on its shores.