Comment: Letter submitted to The Times by John Entwistle OBE
President, Friends of the Lake District 

“A recent leader article in The Times suggested that for conservation purposes, city dwellers should ration their visits to the picturesque scenes of the Lake District.

"Friends of the Lake District is also concerned about the problems caused by the increasing number of visitors. However, the Lake District is a national park and visitors should be welcomed to enjoy its beautiful landscape which it has been our role to help protect and enhance for the last 85 years.

“It is good news that the National Trust has acquired Brackenthwaite Hows and that the magical views from it can now be enjoyed by more visitors for ever. Most of the time this part of the Lake District is not over crowded by walkers but at popular times driving a vehicle in the narrow lanes can be a nightmare of traffic congestion problems and very difficult to find somewhere to park. 

“So, unless we come up with long term solutions to tackle the ever increasing number of vehicles, local residents and businesses will experience increasing congestion and the severe traffic problems that this brings. 

“Many solutions have been tabled and the Lake District is not alone in tackling an explosion in popularity as tourism and travel increase. This is why it is now vital that we research opportunities to improve the visitor experience, whether this be via vehicle congestion charges at appropriate places and times or through the improvement of public transport services or in combining the two with the exploration of opportunities to reduce fairs with subsidies generated by a congestion charge. 

“Friends of the Lake District is hosting a transport conference in November to engage partners and open the debate. The Lake District is a national park and belongs to every one of us. We need to be bold and implement ideas and plans that will ensure that we all continue to have access to our most beloved landscapes.”

John Entwistle
President, Friends of the Lake District