Cars and The UK's National Parks16 December 2021
The whole concept and ethos of the national parks system across the UK is an open space for all to enjoy. As we all take a closer look at what the UK has to offer in stunning landscapes and picturesque walks, getting to see the good bits can be blighted by the beautiful motor car.
We've seen the news reports, social media posts and - if you're lucky enough - with your own eyes, car parking nightmares in the Peak District, Lake District and other national parks. When the car parks are full, vehicles get dumped at the side of the road making the cosy single tracks, even narrower. Those in the know at the National Parks call it 'fly parking'
90% of the yearly 19 million visitors to the Lake District’s National Park, arrive by car, and while bigger car parks could ease the parking problem, this alone leads to wider ecological problems.
Even before the National Parks has to deal with congestion and emissions levels - the areas also have climate commitments the same as urban and inner-city areas. More car parking leads to more tarmac, which effectively leads to greater levels of rainwater runoff, washing out the otter sets. Visitors leaving at night disturb bats with their headlights.
Social Media popularity of locations seen on TikTok and Instagram such as Westwater, lead the council to introduce a shuttle bus between Cockermouth and Buttermere in the Wasdale valley this summer.
Both the Lake District and Peak District National Parks are looking at the possibilities of closing areas and valleys cars. Thus, only allowing residents, buses and bikes to use the roads alongside walkers. Sarah Fowler - Peak District National Park Chief Executive is in talks with rail providers to include a bike-friendly carriage on routes into the National Park promoting people to explore the area on bike.
Whilst jumping in the car and driving to the 'countryside' for some fresh air is great and simple if you have that option, for some these areas are inaccessible, due to gaps in public transport and services. A switch away from the car, the hassle of parking and the romance of a train journey for a day out helps keep the air clean and accessible to all, we're all for it.
Whilst electric cars emit no pollutants from the exhaust, and if we all drove them to the national parks, we'd still be in the same situation in regards to parking, the answer is "the train in - have a walk - the train out" Alfred Wainwright style. Make sure you time your descent so not to miss that last train!
Fancy something to read on the train or waiting for the shuttle bus? How about our very comprehensive guides section covering all aspects of vehicle leasing, or our blogs section has articles from the world of motoring. Sign up today for our weekly newsletter it's delivered to your inbox, a quick snippet of motoring news, and a cracking lease deal. If you have any more questions on leasing feel free to get in touch.