RENEWED calls have been made to consider a congestion charge for motorists entering the Lake District and to rethink how people travel in the area.

The calls, from Ambleside Action For a Future (AAFAF), follow a series of warnings from police about high levels of traffic and dangerous parking seen in the national park over the last few weeks, as an increased number of visitors descend on the county.

Police attended Millerground, Windermere, on July 21 after receiving complaints about parked cars all along Rayrigg Road.

The week before officers were out in force trying to resolve traffic congestion in Ambleside and Bowness and combat people parking on pavements and ignoring double white lines.

AAFAF has previously proposed ambitious plans for the Lakes, including an eco-levy on cars driving into the Lakes from other counties; the pedestrianisation of Ambleside town centre; a sustainable transport hub in Ambleside; and installing electrical vehicle charging points.

Steve Lenartowicz, transport spokesman for AAFAF, said a feasibility study should be carried out to see how a congestion scheme could work and called for more long-term investment into the county’s bus and train infrastructures.

“What we’re calling for, to begin with, is a feasibility study to take place in the next few months to see how such a scheme would work,” he said.

“We need a radical shift in how people travel, the Lake District is supposed to be a World Heritage site and we need to be an example for shifting to sustainable transport.

“The national park has got a tactical plan for dealing with post Covid crowds such as additional parking, which is needed but it’s short term.

“What we’re not seeing is a long-term strategy, this problem isn’t going to go away.

“If you stand on a street corner in Ambleside you can see the fumes and people’s frustration being stuck in traffic.

“What we’ve seen this summer adds to the case.

“There needs to be massive investment in public transport, the buses in the Lakes are some of the most expensive in the country.”

However, Cumbria County Council has rejected the idea of a feasibility study but said it will continue to invest in more sustainable travel measures.

A Cumbria County Council spokesman said: “Cumbria County Council has no plans to undertake a feasibility study to introduce a Congestion Charge Zone or establish a Clean Air Zone in the Lake District National Park.

“We will continue to work with Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership and Lake District National Park Authority to secure Government funding for sustainable travel measures.”

Richard Leafe, Chief Executive of the Lake District National Park said sustainable travel is a ‘priority’ and that the national park is continually looking at ‘the best ways to do this’.

He added: “We encourage visitors to travel to and around the Lake District National Park in as sustainable a way as possible. People don’t want to spend their holidays sitting in traffic so we we’re looking at the best options to get people out of their cars and off the roads.”