Areas of the Lake District could be made car-free as part of controversial plans proposed by the National Trust to combat traffic in the area. Working with the Lake District National Park Authority and Cumbria Highways, they will discuss the possibility of banning cars in particularly congested parts of the park at a meeting in Kendal today.
Traffic congestion is a problem in popular areas of the Lakes, which have over 20 million visitors every year. 2015 figures show that approximately 82% of tourists use a car to get to their destination.
Seathwaite is an area of particular concern, as tourists park their cars there to climb Scafell Pike, the tallest mountain in England.
Banning cars at this location is one of the potential solutions to be discussed at the Lakes Transport Conference, which has been organised by Friends of the Lake District. Other plans to be considered will include encouraging people to visit the park via boats, buses and electric bikes.
On their website, the National Trust acknowledges that the area around Seathwaite can become congested and offers advice to visitors as to how they can help to ease the problem.
The Lake District National Park Authority published plans last year aimed at reducing the number of visitors arriving by car from 83% to 64% by 2040.
Local people would still be able to use their cars under the new plans, but there are worries that banning cars would negatively impact local businesses.