Wasdale and Wast Water. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Wasdale and Wast Water. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

A shuttle bus service has launched in the Lake District to try to alleviate traffic problems in one of the area’s most congested valleys.

The vehicles will operate in Wasdale during August and September.

The valley is the starting point for many popular walking routes, including the ascent of Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain.

During recent months, badly parked cars along its narrow roads, particularly near Wasdale Head, have caused problems for emergency vehicles and mountain rescue teams trying to reach incidents.

Cumbria Tourism said the new service is aimed at getting people out of their cars and reducing traffic volumes to the popular tourist area by providing an alternative transport option.

The new shuttle bus will run daily for the rest of August, and weekends in September, every 30 minutes between 9am and 5pm from the car parking field at Nether Wasdale for a suggested fee of £2 per person.

Operated by Reays, it has been funded by Cumbria’s Tactical Visitor Management Group, which was set up as a collective, county-wide response to help manage the flow of visitors around the county and support local residents during the busiest times of year.

A free 16-seater shuttlebus is also currently operating five daily return journeys between Cockermouth, Low Lorton and Buttermere village until Sunday 5 September. Timetable details of the timetable are available on the Lake District national park website.

A team of traffic marshals will also be stationed at two entry points to Wasdale during August and September weekends.

Sustainable transport officer for the Lake District National Park Authority Emma Moody said: “We are delighted to work as part of the multi-agency group to launch this bus, which will help keep beautiful Wasdale special and reduce impacts on residents, while still enabling visitors and residents to travel sustainably to Wastwater, Wasdale Head and the start of many popular fell walks.”

Managing director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, added: “Summer staycations are in high demand this year and the beautiful Wasdale valley is understandably very popular with visitors looking to enjoy fabulous scenery or scale England’s highest peak.

“These two shuttlebuses are just one of the practical measures the Tactical Visitor Management Group is taking across the county, enabling visitors to get out of their cars and soak up our outstanding scenery without the hassle of driving.

“Alongside other park and ride services, increased electric vehicle charging points and new rail options it forms part of an ever growing selection of opportunities to both enjoy and help protect our world-class landscape.”

Bus operator Stagecoach is also offering a discounted Ullswater and Penrith Group Dayrider for its 508 service, enabling up to five people to travel around the Ullswater and Penrith zone for £17 all day, from now until the end of the school summer holidays – the same price as two full-price adult bus tickets.

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