Big changes to parking mean Lakes residents pay more

On January 30th SLDC cabinet will be considering significant changes to the way evening car parking charges will be handled in South Lakes.
Basically, night time car parking charges will be scrapped. But only at the cost of car parks in the Lakes (Ambleside, Grasmere, Windermere and Bowness) having extended day time charges until 8pm. Meaning an increase of £3 for a resident or visitor using a car park during that time.
May I point out that car parking charges in Lakes car parks are already 25% higher than the rest of the District (£1.20 per hour vs £1.50 per hour) and there are no members of the SLDC cabinet from the Lakes. 
As a sop there are three car parks where this will not be implemented in the Lakes:
Braithwaite fold in Bowness-  which is long stay only, closed half of the year and at least five minute walk from any shops.
Low Fold in Ambleside – opposite Hayes, on the site where SLDC abandoned toilet and away from town centre
Red Bank Grasmere – Next to discounted car parking provided by the Church anyway.
So whilst I welcome the effort to remove night time charges from across the district it has been achieved solely by heaping the burden on our lakes residents who already contribute most.
Also proposed are new short term permits, that can be used District wide for 3 or 7 days. This is a very welcome move set to bring in £13,000 in added revenue. The administration had voted against permits proposed last year.

(10) Comments

  1. nothing surprises me about SLDC! as a resident of Kendal town centre i never seen the town in such a bad state. i work all over the north west and people from all over say what a nightmare it is to come to Kendal because of the ridiculous one way system, with far too many traffic lights,and the extortionate parking charges! many have said that they would never come to the town again! its about time they woke up and started to live in the real world!

  2. I think it would be useful for general consumption to learn what the actual state of parking administration is for our area. I learned that SLDC and CCC were in discussion or even disagreement as to who was reponsible for doing what in our area during autumn last year. Who is taking the money, who is monitoring for transgressions?
    To have 2 Statutory Authorities involved in one exercise is a waste of public funds and does not make for maximising the effect of the high revenues they are extracting from the paying parking public.

    To charge for overnight parking in a rural area is a cynical means of extracting revenue from users whilst offering precisely nothing in return.

  3. As a restaurant owner in the lakes I am already appalled by the night time charges currently levied. This increase will put off another set of visitors at a time when businesses are reporting a fall in revenue. We get regular complaints from customers about the amount they spend on parking during a visit to the lakes and how much cheaper the parking is in their home town.

    Also there is virtually nowhere for locals to park while at work in Bowness during the busy season. At least before my staff could park in the car parks for their evening shifts.

    While I appreciate sldc in the lakes has a unique problem in that the resident population is very low, this constant fleecing of the tourists for parking just puts more and more visitors off and stops them from travelling around visiting different places while they stay. Businesses close, rates are lost and bingo, another shortfall in funding.

    I think a weekly parking ticket for ALL SLDC car parks, available online or from tourist information centres would be an excellent idea as long as they are not too expensive. Is this what they are proposing? at the moment season tickets are limited to certain car parks.

    Also, a reduction in the winter season, or god forbid free parking in the winter would be welcome. Other tourist destinations do this.

    Good luck with your campaign. You have our support.

    • Hello Shirley,

      Thanks for your comment Im going to make these exact points loud and clear to the cabinet on the 30th.

      Regarding the weekly pass it will be available for any car park and transferable between any SLDC car park to boot. So I’m in full favour of that, although I will be asking where one can buy it and how it will be promoted to our visitors.

  4. With regard to the parking charges

    1. I understand that reducing charges in Ulverston and elsewhere has seen an increase in useage of those car parks, then why not apply this in Windermere etc.
    2 The biggest complaint from visitors, workers and residents is the cost of car parking. Especially when it is so much cheaper to park in Keswick.
    3 further increases is likely to reduce the useage of the car parks and deter visitors.
    4 why not open the Westmorland and town hall car parks until 11.00pm this will be of benefit to workers, shoppers and other people in Kendal and could help to boost trade for the restaurants as well as the coffers for the council.

  5. Any attempt to prise more money out of car parking has to be detrimental to shops in South Lakeland.Proof positive comes from Hawkshead where the National Park’s agent’s thumped up charges before further deterring visitors with unfriendly ‘we are out to catch you’ cameras. Trade has been difficult for the shops ever since and remains a constant source of annoyance to all involved. SLDC should try to realise that tourism is key to the local economy and take steps to encourage rather than discourage visitors, while also helping residents to shop and buy locally. Our shop, Peter Rabbit and Friends in Bowness, has served us well since we acquired it late in 2007, but we all know that retail is not easy. The last thing we need is a fall in turnover as people either decide to drive on or stay for a shorter period.

    • Unfortunately SLDC don’t have much of an incentive to even listen to business owners, let alone act in their interest!

      Thankfully there are some officers and Councillors like me who are willing to bang on and fight for hard working people like yourself. But it is brick wall most of the time.

  6. At a recent Windermere & Bowness Chamber of Trade meeting, the consensus was that these proposals should not be implemented.
    This is going to add an extra cost to both visitors and residents alike who would wish to go for a night out at the cinema, theatre, or restaurants. The businesses are having a contraction in trade already without this being imposed upon them. There are already empty shops and others may become empty in the near future. Does SLDC really want this trend to continue? Or are only thinking of themselves? Are SLDC trying to actively dive business away?

    Windermere and Bowness parking charges are the highest in South Lakes already without having this extension to the chargeable parking time being imposed upon them.

    There should be a period of public consultation before the imposition.

    • Thanks for the comments Adrian.

      I, along with a few others, will not let this go without a fight.

      Remember a year ago the SLDC Cabinet wanted full day time charges until 10pm, everywhere in the District! We fought that and got big concessions.

      I will be making it as hard as possible for them to justify this in the Council Chamber and in the media.

  7. I am extremely disappointed to see the residents and visitors of Windermere, Bowness, Ambleside and Grassmere again the butt of arbitrary car parking charges.

    These charges will discourage people from using car parks for local events, such as the cinema and theatre as well as restaurants a 300% hike in what is the most expensive car parking area in the lake district already. As for the charges for the use of those car parks further out not being changed, may I point out that we are also catering for an older population and those sites are not practical for a lot of people and the central parks are no where full as it is!

    This is giving our area a bad reputation amongst local people and the visitors which we depend on for our continued prosperity and at a time when visitor numbers are dropping and business are struggling for survival!

    This tax on car parks seems to be for the sole purpose of supporting the SLDC coffers, does anyone not realise the goose is being killed?

    I think that the introduction of reduced charges in Ulverston and other places has actually increased the use of car parks and thus the revenue. Surely this should be tried here at this time, rather than increasing charges?

    Simon Everett

    Chair of Windermere and Bowness Chamber of Trade


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