Battle over on-street parking charges in Ambleside

Ambleside

Ambleside

First published in News
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by , Reporter

OPPOSITION is mounting against plans to introduce on-street parking charges to some of Ambleside’s roads.

A final decision was put on hold last Thursday but Cumbria County Council insists the charges will come into force as part of £24.4m savings being made in its 2014/15 budget.

The move was blasted as ‘totally unacceptable’ amid claims that the town was being targeted as a ‘tourist cash cow’.

The council’s cabinet was expected to approve the proposal but it has now been delayed until May.

Coun Keith Little, member for Highways and Transport, proposed the deferral amid concerns from the authority’s scrutiny committee about how it will be implemented.

He said the extra time would allow the council to listen to any feedback and fine tune its introduction.

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But former county councillor and South Lakeland District Councillor Dr David Earnshaw, who lives in the town, said it would lead to the demise of local businesses.

”We have to whip up a resistance to anything like this and show we are against it,” he said.

“They have admitted it is to raise finance and I think they see Ambleside as a honeypot area and tourist cash cow - but why should locals be penalised?”

Lakes councillor Heidi Halliday said: “I don’t want any decisions made that will have a detrimental effect on the community. We have to think are you actually saving money if it means shops close and jobs are lost.”

Streets in Ambleside included in the proposal are: Cheapside, Church Street, Compston Road, Compston Street, Kelsick Road, King Street, Knott Street, Market Place, Vicarage Road and Waterhead.

Comments (18)

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8:33am Thu 10 Apr 14

tourer says...

Disc zone parking in Ambleside has worked perfectly well for a number of years ,it keeps the village flowing well and works. there is plenty of car parks in the village which generates enough , including the none council ones, so stop being greedy..and think of the residents and world wide visitors for a change....
Disc zone parking in Ambleside has worked perfectly well for a number of years ,it keeps the village flowing well and works. there is plenty of car parks in the village which generates enough , including the none council ones, so stop being greedy..and think of the residents and world wide visitors for a change.... tourer
  • Score: 18

8:41am Thu 10 Apr 14

localresidentofmanyyears says...

Get Saint Tim on the case! This will really kill off the village shops and stores. The current limited free parking gives locals enough time to collect a prescription, buy a paper, get your hair done etc., Agree with tourer - stop being greedy!
Get Saint Tim on the case! This will really kill off the village shops and stores. The current limited free parking gives locals enough time to collect a prescription, buy a paper, get your hair done etc., Agree with tourer - stop being greedy! localresidentofmanyyears
  • Score: 18

9:03am Thu 10 Apr 14

onelocal says...

Tourer, this is not about controlling traffic, it's about Cumbria County Council trying to make money from car parking. CCC only control the streets, the car parks belong to the district council or LDNPA. Car park charges are a cash cow that everyone wants to milk, although the legality of using car parking charges to subsidise council expenditure has been questioned.
Interesting that Councillor Halliday is quoted as a Lakes Councillor. What about her other hat as County Councillor. Double dipping does have its disadvantages. Don't forget, it's deputy CCC leader Stephenson from Windermere, and the rest of Halliday's South Lakeland Lib Dem colleagues who were so clever getting into bed with Labour at Cumbria County Council who are pushing for this, as well as the removal of council support for bus subsidies. Remember when the elections come up for SLDC that you sometimes don't get what you wish for. Our local MP doesn't seem to be making much effort to change his local councillors minds on these charges which can only have a detrimental effect on local communities. There again his influence at County level has always been limited.
Tourer, this is not about controlling traffic, it's about Cumbria County Council trying to make money from car parking. CCC only control the streets, the car parks belong to the district council or LDNPA. Car park charges are a cash cow that everyone wants to milk, although the legality of using car parking charges to subsidise council expenditure has been questioned. Interesting that Councillor Halliday is quoted as a Lakes Councillor. What about her other hat as County Councillor. Double dipping does have its disadvantages. Don't forget, it's deputy CCC leader Stephenson from Windermere, and the rest of Halliday's South Lakeland Lib Dem colleagues who were so clever getting into bed with Labour at Cumbria County Council who are pushing for this, as well as the removal of council support for bus subsidies. Remember when the elections come up for SLDC that you sometimes don't get what you wish for. Our local MP doesn't seem to be making much effort to change his local councillors minds on these charges which can only have a detrimental effect on local communities. There again his influence at County level has always been limited. onelocal
  • Score: 27

9:35am Thu 10 Apr 14

Milkbutnosugarplease says...

I keep the blue disc in my car for parking outside Ambleside Library in Kelsick Road. I'm appalled to see that Kelsick Road may now lose its disc parking spaces. After paying council tax, petrol tax with VAT and vehicle excise duty, I may now have to cough up for half an hour's parking. Too much tax and too little economy in councils who duplicate each other's functions, offices and administrative staff. Does anyone have the political courage to sort it out?
I keep the blue disc in my car for parking outside Ambleside Library in Kelsick Road. I'm appalled to see that Kelsick Road may now lose its disc parking spaces. After paying council tax, petrol tax with VAT and vehicle excise duty, I may now have to cough up for half an hour's parking. Too much tax and too little economy in councils who duplicate each other's functions, offices and administrative staff. Does anyone have the political courage to sort it out? Milkbutnosugarplease
  • Score: 14

12:12pm Thu 10 Apr 14

davidearnshaw says...

Amblesidians and folks from around the area WAKE UP to what is about to happen to YOUR town --- TRADERS too WAKE UP and fight this all the way. It has already been said that the coming of Sainsburys WILL affect town centre trade / viability by 5% --- Parking charges will undoubtedly push that figure higher and seriously risk the viability of some service shops in the town, obviously however those who need to visit the Chemists and the Post Office will end up having to pay to park ----- unless some form of free short time initial period is worked into a scheme. It is hoped that a petition will be set up against this, but that aside, can I urge everyone who feels they will be affected by charges to write to The Senior Democratic Services Manager, Cumbria County Council, South Lakes Local Committee, LONSDALE BUILDING, THE COURTS, CARLISLE CA3 8NA. It is difficult to know if and how mass representation will have any effect on the proposals as it has been said that if finance is not raised this way --- it is likely that some "frontline" services will suffer cutbacks -- not a happy situation.
Amblesidians and folks from around the area WAKE UP to what is about to happen to YOUR town --- TRADERS too WAKE UP and fight this all the way. It has already been said that the coming of Sainsburys WILL affect town centre trade / viability by 5% --- Parking charges will undoubtedly push that figure higher and seriously risk the viability of some service shops in the town, obviously however those who need to visit the Chemists and the Post Office will end up having to pay to park ----- unless some form of free short time initial period is worked into a scheme. It is hoped that a petition will be set up against this, but that aside, can I urge everyone who feels they will be affected by charges to write to The Senior Democratic Services Manager, Cumbria County Council, South Lakes Local Committee, LONSDALE BUILDING, THE COURTS, CARLISLE CA3 8NA. It is difficult to know if and how mass representation will have any effect on the proposals as it has been said that if finance is not raised this way --- it is likely that some "frontline" services will suffer cutbacks -- not a happy situation. davidearnshaw
  • Score: 12

12:41pm Thu 10 Apr 14

twitchy says...

I agree with every comment on here. In addition I would not rely on local councils to fight this on your behalf at least not on the two hatted variety of council representative. Both SLDC and CCC are milking the parking cash cow for all its worth at the expense of local businesses and the community in general. The area already has some of the most expensive parking charges in the country. This sort of exploitation needs to be brought to the attention of MPs and the Rt Hon Mr Pickles or our struggling town and village centres will become 'ghost towns' as residents vote with their feet and patronise superstores with free parking.
I agree with every comment on here. In addition I would not rely on local councils to fight this on your behalf at least not on the two hatted variety of council representative. Both SLDC and CCC are milking the parking cash cow for all its worth at the expense of local businesses and the community in general. The area already has some of the most expensive parking charges in the country. This sort of exploitation needs to be brought to the attention of MPs and the Rt Hon Mr Pickles or our struggling town and village centres will become 'ghost towns' as residents vote with their feet and patronise superstores with free parking. twitchy
  • Score: 8

2:03pm Thu 10 Apr 14

life cycle too says...

To be fair to SLDC, if you travel to Kendal to shop, the SLDC car parks are cheaper than the ones in Ambleside or Windermere!

When 3 SLDC car park machines were robbed in Windermere after one weekend, the missing loot amounted to £10,000 - that is a huge incentive to councils who are strapped for cash, so don't hold your breath if you are hoping they will give ground on parking.
It might be more acceptable if they spent the money in the areas they are taking it from... but you don't see any signs of repairing the roads, or providing more local services!

My son has a part time job in Ambleside, working hours that make public transport awkward at best, and always costly - now the county are likely to cost him and many others the chance to pay their own way in life.
To be fair to SLDC, if you travel to Kendal to shop, the SLDC car parks are cheaper than the ones in Ambleside or Windermere! When 3 SLDC car park machines were robbed in Windermere after one weekend, the missing loot amounted to £10,000 - that is a huge incentive to councils who are strapped for cash, so don't hold your breath if you are hoping they will give ground on parking. It might be more acceptable if they spent the money in the areas they are taking it from... but you don't see any signs of repairing the roads, or providing more local services! My son has a part time job in Ambleside, working hours that make public transport awkward at best, and always costly - now the county are likely to cost him and many others the chance to pay their own way in life. life cycle too
  • Score: 5

2:31pm Thu 10 Apr 14

magical trevor says...

Good to see the usual suspects still wheeling out the same old knee-jerk arguments and outlandish statements. Some of you clearly don't know what the local and district authorities do.....there are no duplications in services offered by the two councils. And as for the statements that on street parking charges will kill off a town like Ambleside....what utter nonesense. You just don't want to pay....that's the low down really.
Good to see the usual suspects still wheeling out the same old knee-jerk arguments and outlandish statements. Some of you clearly don't know what the local and district authorities do.....there are no duplications in services offered by the two councils. And as for the statements that on street parking charges will kill off a town like Ambleside....what utter nonesense. You just don't want to pay....that's the low down really. magical trevor
  • Score: -25

4:24pm Thu 10 Apr 14

greenbell says...

Building a new supermarket with free parking will put another nail in the coffin of the shops and cafes in the town. Such a short sighted Council.
Building a new supermarket with free parking will put another nail in the coffin of the shops and cafes in the town. Such a short sighted Council. greenbell
  • Score: 5

4:26pm Thu 10 Apr 14

PropMeUpWithTeabags says...

Personally I don't have a problem with charging to park on the road. As long as it's a reasonable amount. When I go anywhere now I expect to have to factor in parking as a cost. If you can afford to drive you can afford to pay for parking.
If you work in the area then there should be permits so you can park at a reduced rate but most tourist have got enough money with them, or should have to be able to spend a few quid parking.
It might be better for the area since you wont be restricted to an hour you can pay for however much you want so stay there longer and spend more money.
I would like to see fairer parking and paying by the minute not this 1-3 hours £3.20 3-6 £5.90 12+ £8 or whatever. that would be fairer everyone pays but pays for whta they use not what they think they are going to use.
Personally I don't have a problem with charging to park on the road. As long as it's a reasonable amount. When I go anywhere now I expect to have to factor in parking as a cost. If you can afford to drive you can afford to pay for parking. If you work in the area then there should be permits so you can park at a reduced rate but most tourist have got enough money with them, or should have to be able to spend a few quid parking. It might be better for the area since you wont be restricted to an hour you can pay for however much you want so stay there longer and spend more money. I would like to see fairer parking and paying by the minute not this 1-3 hours £3.20 3-6 £5.90 12+ £8 or whatever. that would be fairer everyone pays but pays for whta they use not what they think they are going to use. PropMeUpWithTeabags
  • Score: -7

6:59pm Thu 10 Apr 14

davidearnshaw says...

Oh dear Magical Trevor -- you obviously have no insight ---- Ambleside Town Centre shops largely survive on "pop and shop" for relatively small amounts of goods ---- so thinking about it logically ---- if Sainsbury's is just a 3 min drive away for free / easy parking ---- who is going to first find somewhere to park, then find a ticket machine ( think about the elderly --- not qualifying for disabled badge parking ) possibly having to fiddle about in bad weather -- getting a ticket, then going back to the car ?? ----- so ---- it really isn't that folks just don't want to pay ( why should they ? ) --- its the accompanying hassle + a premium -- say to just pop and get a pint of milk / loaf of bread.
Oh dear Magical Trevor -- you obviously have no insight ---- Ambleside Town Centre shops largely survive on "pop and shop" for relatively small amounts of goods ---- so thinking about it logically ---- if Sainsbury's is just a 3 min drive away for free / easy parking ---- who is going to first find somewhere to park, then find a ticket machine ( think about the elderly --- not qualifying for disabled badge parking ) possibly having to fiddle about in bad weather -- getting a ticket, then going back to the car ?? ----- so ---- it really isn't that folks just don't want to pay ( why should they ? ) --- its the accompanying hassle + a premium -- say to just pop and get a pint of milk / loaf of bread. davidearnshaw
  • Score: 8

8:12pm Thu 10 Apr 14

magical trevor says...

Seem to be speaking for everyone there davidearnshaw. How do you think people manage elsewhere where on street parking is chargeable. The community and its shops won't just fold and vanish. Everyone gets so overly emotive when someone threatens their cosy little world.
Seem to be speaking for everyone there davidearnshaw. How do you think people manage elsewhere where on street parking is chargeable. The community and its shops won't just fold and vanish. Everyone gets so overly emotive when someone threatens their cosy little world. magical trevor
  • Score: -15

9:11pm Thu 10 Apr 14

loldan says...

One aspect overlooked is that for every road where charging is introduced, there will be increased strain on those roads where free parking remains. For residents who have a permit (soon to be paid for?) the displacement that occurs worsen finding a space near home. Of course, once the income starts to roll in, the natural thing is to include more roads in a pay&display. In busy periods it's already difficult to park near home. As usual with any proposal of this type, the focus is simply on the money benefits - no mention of disadvantages or consideration of unintended consequences. Elected officials/employees need to remember to serve the community and to not create a poor legacy, one they never have to be accountable for. In many ways, it's similar to the absence of properly considering the highways impact for the new supermarket where queues will lead to more traffic measures needed on the alternative route to bypass it.
One aspect overlooked is that for every road where charging is introduced, there will be increased strain on those roads where free parking remains. For residents who have a permit (soon to be paid for?) the displacement that occurs worsen finding a space near home. Of course, once the income starts to roll in, the natural thing is to include more roads in a pay&display. In busy periods it's already difficult to park near home. As usual with any proposal of this type, the focus is simply on the money benefits - no mention of disadvantages or consideration of unintended consequences. Elected officials/employees need to remember to serve the community and to not create a poor legacy, one they never have to be accountable for. In many ways, it's similar to the absence of properly considering the highways impact for the new supermarket where queues will lead to more traffic measures needed on the alternative route to bypass it. loldan
  • Score: 3

9:51am Fri 11 Apr 14

Spotty Fish says...

David Earnshaw can speak on my behalf ant time he wants to on this matter Magic Trev. At least he lives in Ambleside and understands the situation here.
There doesn't appear to be any benefit to Ambleside from charging to park on the street, other than money grabbing by the council you so dearly love and support Trev. Just because other places charge for on-street parking, does that mean we have to here? What a defeatist, bend over and take it attitude. Thank God someone will speak out against it.
David Earnshaw can speak on my behalf ant time he wants to on this matter Magic Trev. At least he lives in Ambleside and understands the situation here. There doesn't appear to be any benefit to Ambleside from charging to park on the street, other than money grabbing by the council you so dearly love and support Trev. Just because other places charge for on-street parking, does that mean we have to here? What a defeatist, bend over and take it attitude. Thank God someone will speak out against it. Spotty Fish
  • Score: 10

10:56am Fri 11 Apr 14

mintcakeminer says...

As a shop owner in Bowness I know how important parking is to trade. We are getting constant complaints about the high charges in the car parks and have to apologise all the time. In winter Bowness and Ambleside really suffer from a lack of visitors so adding an on street parking charge is just another reason not to shop in the Lake District.
As a shop owner in Bowness I know how important parking is to trade. We are getting constant complaints about the high charges in the car parks and have to apologise all the time. In winter Bowness and Ambleside really suffer from a lack of visitors so adding an on street parking charge is just another reason not to shop in the Lake District. mintcakeminer
  • Score: 6

11:34am Fri 11 Apr 14

ImFromAmbleside says...

If Cumbria County Council are openly admitting that this is a cash raising exercise It somewhat stamps out a lot of the conspiratorial arguments that would usually follow such an announcement.

If memory serves, the disk parking scheme was designed specifically to ease the problem of people dumping their cars for the whole day while going off for a walk or for the duration of their stay in in the village, thus keeping the parking spaces turning over and giving everyone a chance.

The proposed paid for parking scheme completely undermines this, with those who can afford it able to do exactly as they want, and those who can't afford it looking around for a 'free' parking space, which will inevitably mean housing estates and residential areas being filled (even further) with tourist traffic.

It will, undoubtedly, raise vast sums of money for the council, but to the detriment of the residents, local businesses and village as a whole, and I very much doubt this money will be re-invested in Ambleside.

The fact that Compston Street, Vicarage Road, and Knott Street are included in the proposal is particularly disgraceful as these are predominantly residential areas.
Will there be free parking permits for the residents of these areas? I doubt it, and they'd have nowhere to park anyway because someone will have paid for a full days parking outside their house.

This is a terrible proposal, being made for the wrong reasons, without a second thought for those who actually live and work in Ambleside.
There is a petition against the proposal in Spar on Compston Road, and I would encourage everyone to take two minutes out of their day to sign it.
If Cumbria County Council are openly admitting that this is a cash raising exercise It somewhat stamps out a lot of the conspiratorial arguments that would usually follow such an announcement. If memory serves, the disk parking scheme was designed specifically to ease the problem of people dumping their cars for the whole day while going off for a walk or for the duration of their stay in in the village, thus keeping the parking spaces turning over and giving everyone a chance. The proposed paid for parking scheme completely undermines this, with those who can afford it able to do exactly as they want, and those who can't afford it looking around for a 'free' parking space, which will inevitably mean housing estates and residential areas being filled (even further) with tourist traffic. It will, undoubtedly, raise vast sums of money for the council, but to the detriment of the residents, local businesses and village as a whole, and I very much doubt this money will be re-invested in Ambleside. The fact that Compston Street, Vicarage Road, and Knott Street are included in the proposal is particularly disgraceful as these are predominantly residential areas. Will there be free parking permits for the residents of these areas? I doubt it, and they'd have nowhere to park anyway because someone will have paid for a full days parking outside their house. This is a terrible proposal, being made for the wrong reasons, without a second thought for those who actually live and work in Ambleside. There is a petition against the proposal in Spar on Compston Road, and I would encourage everyone to take two minutes out of their day to sign it. ImFromAmbleside
  • Score: 15

1:01pm Fri 11 Apr 14

twitchy says...

An online petition would also be a good idea. These proposed charges will affect visitors to Ambleside and once it has been rolled out there it will be rolled out throughout the county.
The obvious first targets will be the tourist 'hotspots' so Windermere, Bowness, Grasmere etc. all these areas need to get active and oppose this ill considered and damaging plan.
In addition it is illegal for councils to use parking charges as a means of raising revenue, so how do they expect to get away with it'
Personally I think the whole system needs regulation, In some areas you can park all day for a couple of pounds and a town on the border with Cheshire and Wales parking is free in both the town and council owned car parks with the purpose of supporting local businesses. Little wonder visitors are amazed and disgusted at the charges they are expected to pay in the 'World Class Adventure Capital ' which is how the LDNPA like to describe the Lake District National Park perhaps World class capital cost would be more appropiate.
An online petition would also be a good idea. These proposed charges will affect visitors to Ambleside and once it has been rolled out there it will be rolled out throughout the county. The obvious first targets will be the tourist 'hotspots' so Windermere, Bowness, Grasmere etc. all these areas need to get active and oppose this ill considered and damaging plan. In addition it is illegal for councils to use parking charges as a means of raising revenue, so how do they expect to get away with it' Personally I think the whole system needs regulation, In some areas you can park all day for a couple of pounds and a town on the border with Cheshire and Wales parking is free in both the town and council owned car parks with the purpose of supporting local businesses. Little wonder visitors are amazed and disgusted at the charges they are expected to pay in the 'World Class Adventure Capital ' which is how the LDNPA like to describe the Lake District National Park perhaps World class capital cost would be more appropiate. twitchy
  • Score: 4

1:20am Tue 22 Apr 14

Fishing mad says...

Why don't we put a sign on the way into Ambleside say tourist not welcome the parking is unfair now but looks like getting a lot worse local people will suffer and it's hard enough to live here one part of the village get residents passes the other does not now if a charge for residents passes comes in is it going to be the same as a car park permit as a lot of people buy or a tenth of that cost which is unfair depending on where you live in Ambleside
Why don't we put a sign on the way into Ambleside say tourist not welcome the parking is unfair now but looks like getting a lot worse local people will suffer and it's hard enough to live here one part of the village get residents passes the other does not now if a charge for residents passes comes in is it going to be the same as a car park permit as a lot of people buy or a tenth of that cost which is unfair depending on where you live in Ambleside Fishing mad
  • Score: 0

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