Rage as Lake and Peak Districts plan ‘inconvenient’ tourist car ban -‘stupidest idea ever’

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The ban has been proposed as the national parks struggle to handle increased traffic from staycation breaks. Both parks have said they want to tackle congestion and protect the climate.

Richard Leafe, chief executive of the Lake District national park, said: “It feels like we are at peak car.

“I want to see less reliance on it. 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,” he told The Guardian.

Last summer, shuttle buses were trialled in the Lake District in an attempt to decrease car traffic.

The park is now considering closing popular areas of the park to tourist cars during the peak season although residents would still be allowed.

If the change goes ahead, tourists would only be able to access areas by bus, bike or on foot.

The Peak District is planning to trial a “hail-a-ride” bus service to discourage visitors from driving.

Sarah Fowler, park chief executive, said: “It’s Uber but on bus scale. It’s not a scheduled bus service, but you hail it using an app, and it carries people from gateway sites into the park.”

She added that possible car-free days in the park were “a really interesting concept”.

However, the plans were met with anger on social media as people felt it could discourage tourists from visiting the parks.

Steve Neary tweeted: “Stupidest idea ever to ban tourists’ cars to either The Lakes or the Peak District.

“The public transport links to The Lakes in particular are near non-existent. It is the tourists that keep these regions going.

“Most areas of beauty are in remote areas where a car is a must at some point for most visitors.”

@FurnessGirl tweeted: “What a shame our rail services were dismantled decades ago.”

Carl Vernon tweeted: “This is the first step towards banning vehicles that offer a self-sufficient, flexible, uncontrolled lifestyle.”

Lakapartments tweeted: “Tourists’ cars may be banned from most popular parts of Lake District. So we’re begging the tourists to arrive!

“Unfortunately they are not allowed to bring cars! Inconvenient! This is no way to treat our tourist industry!”

Kalamata Olive tweeted: “Wasn’t Lake District begging people to go and stay there last year and now they want to ban tourist cars?”

However, Twitter user Braders thought it was a good idea, tweeting: “A brilliant idea, should have been done years ago.

“They must improve public transport in those areas though, to allow tourists to travel and support the local businesses.”

The Lake District sees around 19 million visitors per year, 90 percent of whom travel to the park by car.

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