Fears that on-street parking charges will hit trade in Bowness, Windermere, Kendal and Ambleside

Kendal, where on-street parking charges are set to be introduced

Kendal, where on-street parking charges are set to be introduced

First published in News
Last updated
by , Reporter

BUSINESSES could be blighted in some of South Lakeland’s busiest towns if on-street parking charges are rolled out, warn opponents.

Fears have been raised from all corners of Cumbria that charges will drive away shoppers, tourists and residents from the region’s town centres.

Heavily-criticised plans to introduce charges to roads in Kendal, Windermere, Bowness and Ambleside are expected to be pushed through today (Thursday).

It comes despite county-wide petitions gathering thousands of signatures after the proposals were revealed by cash-strapped Cumbria County Council earlier this year.

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Heidi Halliday, Liberal Democrat county councillor for Ambleside, will hand over a 800-strong petition today.

She has also organised a public march which will take place on July 4.

“This is not about politics,” she said: “It’s about protecting jobs and businesses. We all need to stand together to show we are against this.”

Exact roads and tariffs will be decided over the summer.

Homeowners are also expected to be hit with a £20 charge for parking permits.

“All our traders are just picking themselves up from the recession,” said Brian Harrison, chairman of the South Lakes branch of the Federation of Small Businesses.

“The high street will likely be threatened as people are undoubtedly deterred by parking charges.”

The authority says the move is necessary as it faces unprecedented cuts in central government funding.

It says it must make £24 million in savings in 2014-15.

County-wide the charges will generate £350,000 in the first year and £700,000 afterwards, say the council.

“It is not something we would do in ordinary circumstances if we were flush with cash,” said leader of the Liberal Democrats coun Jo Stephenson. “But times are difficult and will continue to be difficult for the foreseeable future.”

Coun Stephenson, who is also cabinet member for finance and a Windermere councillor, added: “Shopkeepers and tradesmen will think it might prove a disincentive to visit towns but I think that is misjudged and exaggerated.”

But Bill Smith, who sits on Windermere Town Council, said charges would represent a ‘complete and utter downer for businesses and residents’.

A Lakes Parish Council meeting last month dubbed the charges an ‘inadequately thought-out money-making scheme which would have a severe impact on visitors, retailers and B&B owners’.

Adrian Faulkner, secretary of Windermere and Bowness Chamber of Trade, said its 90 members had reported a mixed view.

Council papers say rates will be set equal to or up to 20 per cent above the level of district off-street charging. It is hoped that would encourage people to use off-street car parks for longer stays and allow on-street locations to be ‘pop and shop’ spots.

SLDC charge £1.20 for up to one hour at most of its car parks but in Ambleside it is £1.50.

The Labour-Liberal Democrat cabinet will meet at Kendal County Hall today to agree criteria on how charges will work.

Other areas affected include Carlisle, Penrith, Barrow, Workington, Whitehaven, Maryport, Keswick and Cockermouth.

Solar-powered ticket machines could be used.

Comments (17)

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7:09am Thu 15 May 14

dancer58 says...

I for one would not pay a parking charge to pop to the shops , listen to what the general public think instead of ploughing with your own opinions ,you made an utter **** up of eye in the sky parking allowing a private firm to loads of money , is this going to be the same thought less process
I for one would not pay a parking charge to pop to the shops , listen to what the general public think instead of ploughing with your own opinions ,you made an utter **** up of eye in the sky parking allowing a private firm to loads of money , is this going to be the same thought less process dancer58
  • Score: 33

8:53am Thu 15 May 14

tourer says...

Not very bright idea at all, listen to local opinion for a change.....
Not very bright idea at all, listen to local opinion for a change..... tourer
  • Score: 26

9:29am Thu 15 May 14

monicajean says...

They ask the residents and business owners for their opinions and then totally disregard them. Please, please let us all stand together on this one, sign any petitions and join any protests.
They ask the residents and business owners for their opinions and then totally disregard them. Please, please let us all stand together on this one, sign any petitions and join any protests. monicajean
  • Score: 27

9:44am Thu 15 May 14

Spotty Fish says...

Surely with local elections on our doorstep, now is the perfect time to ask our councillors their opinions on the matter? I emailed mine through the SLDC website and guess what? Over 2 weeks later and still no answer. Probably too busy worrying about our health and wellbeing!

We all have the chance to make our feelings felt on the 22nd of May. Use your vote wisely.
Surely with local elections on our doorstep, now is the perfect time to ask our councillors their opinions on the matter? I emailed mine through the SLDC website and guess what? Over 2 weeks later and still no answer. Probably too busy worrying about our health and wellbeing! We all have the chance to make our feelings felt on the 22nd of May. Use your vote wisely. Spotty Fish
  • Score: 22

10:30am Thu 15 May 14

davidearnshaw says...

Hoping for some support on this one !!! ---- The plan to impose on Street Parking charges in Towns across Cumbria is one of the biggest issues to hit citizens and traders since the Foot and Mouth outbreak, along with the 2009 floods. This is nothing other than another form of taxation on us all, and must be opposed with the utmost vigour; claims by Cumbria County Council that the funds raised will be used to make more efficient the enforcement of parking has to be questioned ---- present systems in operation in towns across the county do seem to be working well ------ any surplus of fumds raised via these charges cannot be used to augment budgetry shortfalls elsewhere in the county's finances ( illegal ). Imposition of these charges will without doubt cause the demise of small town centre sevice shops, where folks just may want to stop for a few minutes to "pop and shop" --- who will want to pay a surcharge on say a bottle of milk / loaf of bread ?? when -- in Ambleside, there will be a Sainsbury Store just 2 mins from the town centre with free parking. Northumbria have just stopped virtually all car parking charges, and the claim by Cllr Keith Little that most other counties do have such charges is just not correct, especially for small towns. Everyone opposed to these charges must write to The Chief Executive, Cumbria County Council, The Courts, Carlisle.
Hoping for some support on this one !!! ---- The plan to impose on Street Parking charges in Towns across Cumbria is one of the biggest issues to hit citizens and traders since the Foot and Mouth outbreak, along with the 2009 floods. This is nothing other than another form of taxation on us all, and must be opposed with the utmost vigour; claims by Cumbria County Council that the funds raised will be used to make more efficient the enforcement of parking has to be questioned ---- present systems in operation in towns across the county do seem to be working well ------ any surplus of fumds raised via these charges cannot be used to augment budgetry shortfalls elsewhere in the county's finances ( illegal ). Imposition of these charges will without doubt cause the demise of small town centre sevice shops, where folks just may want to stop for a few minutes to "pop and shop" --- who will want to pay a surcharge on say a bottle of milk / loaf of bread ?? when -- in Ambleside, there will be a Sainsbury Store just 2 mins from the town centre with free parking. Northumbria have just stopped virtually all car parking charges, and the claim by Cllr Keith Little that most other counties do have such charges is just not correct, especially for small towns. Everyone opposed to these charges must write to The Chief Executive, Cumbria County Council, The Courts, Carlisle. davidearnshaw
  • Score: 29

3:25pm Thu 15 May 14

give-up says...

Safe to say neither Labour nor Lib Dems will be getting my vote any time soon. I hope I'm not alone.
Safe to say neither Labour nor Lib Dems will be getting my vote any time soon. I hope I'm not alone. give-up
  • Score: 17

5:48pm Thu 15 May 14

Gingery says...

I am more concerned about the impact on residents. Already some roads are used to 'pop' to the shops, people dump their cars either in the bays or on double yellows, sometimes meaning there is no space for residents, or blocking them in - as some people park right up to your bumper. It can be a free for all at times, and I can see residents who pay for their permit suffering whilst people continue to 'pop to the shops' because they 5-10 minutes they leave their car will not be enough for them to want to pay, and unlikely to have a ticket slapped on them in that time.

Also noticed a car parked in the middle of the pavement on Highgate last night.
I am more concerned about the impact on residents. Already some roads are used to 'pop' to the shops, people dump their cars either in the bays or on double yellows, sometimes meaning there is no space for residents, or blocking them in - as some people park right up to your bumper. It can be a free for all at times, and I can see residents who pay for their permit suffering whilst people continue to 'pop to the shops' because they 5-10 minutes they leave their car will not be enough for them to want to pay, and unlikely to have a ticket slapped on them in that time. Also noticed a car parked in the middle of the pavement on Highgate last night. Gingery
  • Score: 2

8:17pm Thu 15 May 14

Grumpyoldbiker says...

The people will have their say next week. I hope the whole lot who passed this through get voted out.
The people will have their say next week. I hope the whole lot who passed this through get voted out. Grumpyoldbiker
  • Score: 15

11:43pm Thu 15 May 14

more confused says...

how will charging for parking enable street locations to be pop in and shop spots .....
" Council papers say rates will be set equal to or up to 20 per cent above the level of district off-street charging. It is hoped that would encourage people to use off-street car parks for longer stays and allow on-street locations to be ‘pop and shop’ spots. "
parking in Windermere is max of 1 hour free, only 1 public carpark which in summer is packed also some distance from the shops if people are just wanting to pop out to buy a couple of things how is charging them going to make it quicker ..... would be great if more parking was available as we have a chronic shortage ( hmm i suppose if you charge we just wont have any visitors so would sort the parking issue ) I also wondered how parking meters was going to look in a conservation area as seems to be out of keeping with the national parks image
how will charging for parking enable street locations to be pop in and shop spots ..... " Council papers say rates will be set equal to or up to 20 per cent above the level of district off-street charging. It is hoped that would encourage people to use off-street car parks for longer stays and allow on-street locations to be ‘pop and shop’ spots. " parking in Windermere is max of 1 hour free, only 1 public carpark which in summer is packed also some distance from the shops if people are just wanting to pop out to buy a couple of things how is charging them going to make it quicker ..... would be great if more parking was available as we have a chronic shortage ( hmm i suppose if you charge we just wont have any visitors so would sort the parking issue ) I also wondered how parking meters was going to look in a conservation area as seems to be out of keeping with the national parks image more confused
  • Score: 6

1:13pm Fri 16 May 14

pax voblis says...

I will never pay to park its just another chance to fleece the tourist and we have had enough.Tourism in Cumbria is worth billions and the problem is that certain families and organisations only care that their own premiums keep rising and that they get the biggest piece of pie,its greed and what goes around will come around. Don`t bite the hand that feeds you.The answer are to be found in sharing the wealth of Cumbria so that everyone benefits and not just the self appointed important few.
I will never pay to park its just another chance to fleece the tourist and we have had enough.Tourism in Cumbria is worth billions and the problem is that certain families and organisations only care that their own premiums keep rising and that they get the biggest piece of pie,its greed and what goes around will come around. Don`t bite the hand that feeds you.The answer are to be found in sharing the wealth of Cumbria so that everyone benefits and not just the self appointed important few. pax voblis
  • Score: 6

5:28pm Fri 16 May 14

zaney5 says...

“It is not something we would do in ordinary circumstances if we were flush with cash,” said leader of the Liberal Democrats coun Jo Stephenson. “But times are difficult and will continue to be difficult for the foreseeable future.”

Well Jo Stephenson, I would think that local traders know only to well that times are difficult but thanks to you and your cronies you've just gone and made things a lot worse for them.

But hey, as long as the council are ok, who cares, right?
“It is not something we would do in ordinary circumstances if we were flush with cash,” said leader of the Liberal Democrats coun Jo Stephenson. “But times are difficult and will continue to be difficult for the foreseeable future.” Well Jo Stephenson, I would think that local traders know only to well that times are difficult but thanks to you and your cronies you've just gone and made things a lot worse for them. But hey, as long as the council are ok, who cares, right? zaney5
  • Score: 3

6:42pm Fri 16 May 14

ab oatman says...

I really don't want to see this come in but at some point we all need to look at the bigger picture.
When did we all gain the right to park our vehicles where we want, when we want and for how long we want? Its become the norm to assume we can go anywhere we like in our cars and that we are entitled to park them in a position most convenient to us!
We need to face up to 3 things-
1. Too many cars and not enough parking spaces.
2. Nothing in life is for free, more parking spaces cost more money
3. All councils need more money. (Zaney5, I agree with your sentiment but remember the council isn't a money making private company, it is a service provider)

Don't get me wrong, I'm as against this as much as anyone but I do think we need to face facts.
I really don't want to see this come in but at some point we all need to look at the bigger picture. When did we all gain the right to park our vehicles where we want, when we want and for how long we want? Its become the norm to assume we can go anywhere we like in our cars and that we are entitled to park them in a position most convenient to us! We need to face up to 3 things- 1. Too many cars and not enough parking spaces. 2. Nothing in life is for free, more parking spaces cost more money 3. All councils need more money. (Zaney5, I agree with your sentiment but remember the council isn't a money making private company, it is a service provider) Don't get me wrong, I'm as against this as much as anyone but I do think we need to face facts. ab oatman
  • Score: 3

9:46am Sat 17 May 14

Milkbutnosugarplease says...

Having paid petrol tax, insurance tax, road tax (call it Excise Duty if you want to feel clever) and all other costs + VAT at 20%, I never pay for parking because I have already paid enough. I go to places with free parking: Booths in Windermere and soon-to-be Sainsbury's in Ambleside. Since I'm anonymous here, I don't mind saying out loud what other drivers may quietly think. The public highway is public and has not been abused by the disc-displaying public. Councils by contrast are well-known for abuses: highly-paid officials who face no commercial risk, slack working practices, pensions we can't afford to fund and multiple layers of politicians claiming multiple expenses. Before you try to squeeze more from the public and from private business, put your own house in order.
Having paid petrol tax, insurance tax, road tax (call it Excise Duty if you want to feel clever) and all other costs + VAT at 20%, I never pay for parking because I have already paid enough. I go to places with free parking: Booths in Windermere and soon-to-be Sainsbury's in Ambleside. Since I'm anonymous here, I don't mind saying out loud what other drivers may quietly think. The public highway is public and has not been abused by the disc-displaying public. Councils by contrast are well-known for abuses: highly-paid officials who face no commercial risk, slack working practices, pensions we can't afford to fund and multiple layers of politicians claiming multiple expenses. Before you try to squeeze more from the public and from private business, put your own house in order. Milkbutnosugarplease
  • Score: 4

7:37pm Sat 17 May 14

lendempsey says...

Nevermind there will soon be loads of extra supermarkets for those who need to pop to the shops... town centres will have plenty parking because there will be no reason to go there, if all shops are closed !!!
Nevermind there will soon be loads of extra supermarkets for those who need to pop to the shops... town centres will have plenty parking because there will be no reason to go there, if all shops are closed !!! lendempsey
  • Score: 5

11:40pm Sun 18 May 14

Ski Gypse says...

Travelling some 17 miles each way to work in Ambleside I am already spending over my first hours pay on fuel if I then also have to start paying to park there will be no point in my continuing to work in the area on ‘Lake District’ minimum pay+
I will soon have to seek employment nearer home or where either transport or parking are available or affordable - Not difficult as a chef but a shame as I love the Lake District - RIP
Travelling some 17 miles each way to work in Ambleside I am already spending over my first hours pay on fuel if I then also have to start paying to park there will be no point in my continuing to work in the area on ‘Lake District’ minimum pay+ I will soon have to seek employment nearer home or where either transport or parking are available or affordable - Not difficult as a chef but a shame as I love the Lake District - RIP Ski Gypse
  • Score: 5

8:27pm Tue 20 May 14

snuggle-bunny says...

Not to long ago there was a statement released by sldc saying that their financies where ' healthy ' so why this assault on the motorist and the hard pressed, hard working retailers of south cumbria yet again. how about looking at certain council salaries and expenses/alowances. maybe some money saving measures could be implemented there? dont't hold your breath though
Not to long ago there was a statement released by sldc saying that their financies where ' healthy ' so why this assault on the motorist and the hard pressed, hard working retailers of south cumbria yet again. how about looking at certain council salaries and expenses/alowances. maybe some money saving measures could be implemented there? dont't hold your breath though snuggle-bunny
  • Score: 0

7:33am Wed 21 May 14

fellsman says...

Elections tomorrow in parts of South Lakeland - especially Liberal ones!!!
Elections tomorrow in parts of South Lakeland - especially Liberal ones!!! fellsman
  • Score: 0

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