A POPULAR Lake District tourist destination has been revealed as one of Cumberland Council's parking fine hotspots.

This publication submitted a Freedom of Information request and, according to the response from the local authority, out of the top five places in the Cumberland Council area, four were in the Keswick area.

But, rather than being upset or angry that so many parking fines being handed out in the town, local residents are pleased that the council is taking action to deal with the issue of inconsiderate and illegal parking mainly by tourists and visitors to the area.

According to the response a total of 912 parking notices were issued by officers in the C2057 Portinscale To Grange Road, Keswick, since April 1 this year.

It was more than double when compared with second placed Castle Street, Carlisle, where 422 notices were issued during the same period.

The next three places were also in Keswick - Station Road with 376, the B5289 with 369 and Borrowdale Road in Keswick with 329.

A total of 310 parking notices were issued in the Portinscale To Grange-In-Borrowdale Road, 307 Lowther Street, Whitehaven, 304 in Main Street, Cockermouth, 276 in Cecil Street, Carlisle and 232 in Strand St, Whitehaven.

The figures show that the council issued a total of 16,854 notices were issued during the same period and, as a result it generated a total of £399,685 for the local authority.

Tim Fisher, who runs the Northern Lights Gallery in St John’s Street in Keswick, said he felt it was right to fine problem parkers.

He said: "They put double yellows on the Borrowdale road between Keswick and Grange. They put those in place almost as an emergency measure because of inconsiderate parking because some emergency vehicles had not been able to get down there."

Mr Fisher said it may have been because people were ignoring the double yellow lines and if one person ignored the rules others tended to follow and copy them.

He said: "If you go down there and you are the first vehicle to go down there you are mindful of it but, once someone parks up, it seems to add some sort of validity - 'well if they can do it I can do it'."

Mr Fisher said action should be taken against problem parkers and added: "If they ignore it I don't see any reason why tickets shouldn't be issued because there have been incidents last summer where the buses are cancelled and emergency vehicles can't get through and that, ultimately is unacceptable."

One Keswick resident, who did not wish to be named, said irresponsible parking by visitors was the likely cause of the high figures for Keswick.

He said: "That's due to visitors parking on kerbs and roadsides and basically blocking bus routes and emergency services routes - that's why it is so high.
"If one person parks the others will copy them and all they can do is give them a ticket."

He said the tickets and fines were not going to locals because they knew where to park safely and considerately. He added: "All the tickets that are given are for inconsiderate people blocking routes."

He said he thought the council should hand out more fines to deter people from parking inconsiderately. He added: "I don't think anyone in Keswick you will speak to will object about the amount of tickets that being given out. It's horrendous."