Will double yellow lines help ease parking chaos in the Lake District?

Double yellow lines are being trialled in a Cumbrian village in an attempt to ease problems caused by congestion and inconsiderate parking.

Portinscale, near Keswick, is a popular starting point for many tourists accessing walks like Catbells. The fell is one of the most popular in the Lake District.


The number of people hoping to park their cars in the village is often far greater than the spaces available on the narrow country lanes.

Now, the council has introduced yellow lines temporarily until the middle of next month. It says people will be fined if they do not adhere to them.

If the measure proves successful, the lines may become a more permanent fixture.

The new double yellow lines in Portinscale Credit: ITV Border

Keith Little is the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport at Cumbria County Council.

He said: "People who are coming into the area who are not familiar with the area, obviously wanting to go walking or spending the day here, they're parking their car sometimes fairly early in the morning, seven thirty, eight o clock.

"Once somebody parks at the side of the road, other people arrive and think this is a permitted parking space and then by lunchtime, vehicles just can't get through at all."

The council stresses that it doesn't want to deter tourists, but that steps need to be taken to tackle the issue.

Buses and emergency vehicles have struggled to get past parked cars on other roads in the Lake District. Owen McCarney, from Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, says it's a serious challenge for crews.

He said: "If a car's parked in the wrong location it just causes us no end of pain trying to get to areas that we need to get to.

"And it doesn't take a lot, it only takes one or two cars parked in the wrong location and that can add minutes to our response times.

"And we're dealing with incidents where seconds costs lives so minutes are unthinkable really."

Dividing lines

Some locals don't believe that the double yellow lines are the answer to the problem.

Landowner Mike Anderton is one of them - his plan for a park and ride site nearby at Ullock Moss was rejected.

He said: "We've been looking at alternatives to this for 20 years now. Literally. The solution is sensible, safe, off road parking.

"The lines aren't a solution. They just simply move the traffic further on and sweep it down the road where it's an issue for someone else."

Whether you like the lines or not, many believe more solutions, such as alternative transport to cars, are also needed to ease congestion.

Like trying to find a parking space in villages like Portinscale, reaching those solutions can feel like an endless search.