Temporary no stopping zones introduced to areas of Lake District

Emergency services vehicles often struggle to pass parked vehicles on Lake District routes. Credit: ITV Border

Temporary no stopping zones have been introduced to areas of the Lake District to try to stop people parking in places that have become difficult for the emergency services to access.

Cumbria County Council admits the zones are not popular, but says it needs to address some of the issues that have been seen - particularly after the pandemic restrictions lifted - and have continued to be a problem.

When the pandemic lifted there were problems with the number of cars in the Lake District. Some parked on roads that made it difficult for emergency services to get through.

While some of the roads legally couldn't be parked on, others could, so this summer the emergency no stopping zones were brought in.

Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council's Cabinet Member for Highways says it's "to introduce some temporary double yellow lines and after 18 months we'll make a decision as to whether we want to remove them, add to them or we want to leave them in situ".

Cllr Little says the council is also looking to provide additional car parks, working "with the local community, with local farmers, who are mainly the landowners, as well as the National Park to see where else we can work together".

But he admits it's not easy. He told ITV Border: "It's a difficult one for us. It's not popular but we do what we can."

But he admits perhaps some of the signposting to safer areas to park could be improved.

So far three drivers have been fined.

Most of the zones are in Elterwater and Langdale, where people have often parked on the common along the main road. That's now not allowed but the car parks are small.

Visitors to the area told ITV Border if the car parks cost too much, you don't want to park there. Others said they choose quieter times.

One said parking isn't too problematic with a disabled badge, but "I wouldn't want to try without because it looks absolutely chocka block everywhere else".

Another said: "It also depends how early in the day you get there. I can see that it's going to be very, very busy come two o'clock/three o'clock."

One visitor said the trick is to know the area and arrive early. He told ITV Border: "We have had issues in the past during the boom years.

"But for the first time in a long time I have thought about getting the bus into Ambleside. The advantages outweigh the drawbacks so we keep coming to spend our money."

Roads once designed for horse and carts now carry half a million tourists a year. Where to put them all is an ever evolving challenge.