End of the road for cars at the Lakes? Beauty spot and popular Peak District could BAN tourist vehicles in busiest areas after staycation surge left them rammed
- Bosses at the Lake District say they are planning shift to more ‘sustainable travel’
- More than 90 per cent of Lake District’s 19 million annual visitors arrive by car
- In Peak District, park boss says car-free days are a ‘really interesting concept’
Cars belonging to tourists could be banned from some parts of the Lake and Peak Districts to tackle congestion under new plans drawn up by bosses.
More than 90 per cent of the Lake District’s 19 million annual visitors arrive by car and the spot’s top official says the tourist spot has reached ‘peak car’.
Richard Leafe, the chief executive of the Lake District national park, is now planning a shift to more ‘sustainable travel’ with some of the more popular valleys closed to cars during peak season.
Popular locations Great Langdale, which includes Bowfell and the Crinkle Crags, and Wasdale are being considered for the ‘car-free’ scheme.
Access to the valleys would be retained for residents, buses and bikes and walkers.
Meanwhile, in the Peak District, park chief executive Sarah Fowler said that car-free days were ‘a really interesting concept’ she was keen to explore.
Bosses also want to trial an on-demand bus service to encourage visitors to leave their car at home.
Lake District bosses are now planning a shift to more ‘sustainable travel’ by banning tourist cars (file photo)
Meanwhile, in the Peak District, chief executive Sarah Fowler also said that car-free days were ‘a really interesting concept’ she was keen to explore
The park’s Chief executive described the scheme as ‘Uber but on a bus scale’.
Discussing a potential ban on tourist cars, Richard Leafe, the chief executive of the Lake District national park, told the Guardian: ‘It feels like we are at peak car. I want to see less reliance on it into the future.
‘It cannot go on getting worse otherwise it really will become too much to handle in our national parks. We need to see a shift to more sustainable travel.’
However, the LDNP has also come under fire for granting planning permission for ever-bigger car parks.
Officials says the new car parks will stop ‘fly parking’ in hotspots, but they have drawn the ire of locals who said the new car parks would cause climate and congestion issues, as well as disturb bats.
With lockdown and restrictions curtailing travel, staycations have risen in popularity over the past year, with the Lake District one of the most sought after destinations.
In August, a charity warned that staycationers flocking to the Lake District have caused unprecedented damage to its paths and hillsides.
A ‘huge increase in footfall’ has scarred the area beloved of Wordsworth and other Romantic poets, said Fix The Fells.
It has spent £10million on repairing paths and erosion in the Cumbrian national park since being set up 20 years ago.
Ranger Pete Entwistle said more holidaymakers were ‘a good thing because people get to see what they have in this country, they see what needs protecting.
‘But if this was to continue with the numbers we’re getting now, I can see us having an awful lot more work in the future.’