Radical solutions are needed to tackle traffic problems, the Friends said. Photo: FLD

Radical solutions are needed to tackle traffic problems, the Friends said. Photo: FLD

Landscape charity the Friends of the Lake District said action is necessary to tackle the problem of traffic in the national park.

It described conditions during the recent bank holiday weekend and half-term holiday as chaotic, with emergency vehicles unable to reach two incidents because of badly parked cars.

Bus services also had to be cancelled because of inconsiderate parking, it said.

“Traffic queued for miles through the Lake District during the Whitsun bank holiday,” a Friends spokesperson said.

“Badly parked vehicles were strewn across the verges at Bowness, Elterwater, Wasdale and Derwent Water. Bus services couldn’t get through parked cars and the emergency services were unable to attend two accidents in Wasdale and on Wast Water because of dangerous parking on the single-track roads.

“We have reached a tipping point where we can either embrace a radical rethink on transport within the Lake District national park or risk destroying the sense of tranquillity and escape that this landscape has delivered for generations.”

The charity called on the national park authority and Cumbria County Council to look at all options for reducing the number of private vehicles in the area’s roads, including solutions introduced elsewhere in the world.

“Other tourist destinations have introduced seasonal road closures, park and ride, permit schemes, shuttle-buses, a road charge for visitors, public transport scheduling, pricing reductions as well as active travel choices such as electric bikes,” the spokesperson said. “All of these have been implemented in tourist hotspots, many motivated by having to address overwhelming vehicle numbers.”

Kate Willshaw, policy officer at Friends of the Lake District, said: “We want as many people as possible to experience the sense of ‘escape’ that the Lake District has to offer but traffic chaos is off-putting for visitors and damaging for residents and businesses within the national park.

“An informed discussion on transport for the future is long overdue.

“Traffic volume also has huge implications for carbon emissions. The Lake District National Park Partnership and Cumbria County Council have both committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2037 and this cannot be achieved unless transport is addressed now. Transport accounts for nearly half of the Lake District’s total emissions.”

The charity urged the public to contribute to an online survey as part of a national park partnership plan consultation.

More details on the Friends’ campaign are on the charity’s website.

Some articles the site thinks might be related:

  1. Mine owner will press ahead with plans for Lake District zip wire
  2. Relief as Lake District authority throws out ‘Legoland’ White Moss plans
  3. Friends of Lake District: Thirlmere zipwire plans are ‘litmus test for national parks’
  4. Lake District and Yorkshire Dales expansion inquiry opens tomorrow
  5. Charity offers fell for mountain rescue dog training