Cost of parking in the Peak District set to rise for the first time in years
The price of parking in the Peak District is set to be increased and more car parks will have charges.
On average, fees could be hiked by 16 per cent, however, the price of annual visitor permits are set to be increased by 65 per cent – from £40 to £66.
The price of an hour’s parking would increase from £1.50 to £1.75 while the cost of all-day parking would rise from £4.75 to £5.50.
Overall, the combination of the increased charges and extra charged car parks is set to bring in extra annual income of more than a quarter of a million pounds.
Peak District National Park Authority leadership says the parking fees would be in line with nearby council areas while the annual permit would remain far lower, despite the proposed hike.
The income from the increased fees and extra charged car parks would be used for maintenance to the sites, along with upkeep of the public toilet facilities around the Peak District and the numerous cycle and walking trails.
In total, an extra 13 car parking sites could now be charged, out of the 44 operated by the authority. This would mean that 31 sites in total would be charged, with 13 remaining free.
The cost to the authority of bringing in the extra charges and taking on more charged car parks would be £113,000.
Authority leadership says the potential hiked prices and extra charged car parks would not come into play for more than a year and would include public consultation on the proposals.
Car parking prices in the Peaks have not been increased for five years, with those charges coming into play three years ago (in 2019).
Meanwhile, the authority has asked Derbyshire County Council to monitor and enforce an extra nine of the Peak District’s car parks, which would take the total enforced by parking wardens to 27.
Emma Stone, head of asset management for the authority, told a meeting in April that the change in car parking pricing was “overdue”, saying: “The car parking provision that we have got in the national park is really essential for supporting visitors, at the moment, providing that welcome and allowing people to come and enjoy the place.
“The car parking infrastructure that we and others provide allows traffic flow through the park, helps to reduce the incidence of verge parking and the damage to roadside flora and safety issues caused by obstruction of the highway.
“It will help to manage parking by increasing the movement of vehicles which will just stay for the time they actually need and spaces would be free more regularly and the fees are vital to maintain the facilities that the authority provides.
“By charging for parking it is hoped that visitors will consider their travel decisions in a bit more detail and might be encouraged to move towards a more sustainable transport solution rather than pay for parking.”
Helen Carrington, a conservation officer at the authority, said the prices would not see it “sticking out as somebody who wants to charge lots”.
Cllr Charlotte Farrell said at the meeting: “What is the point in having a beautiful Peak District which is just covered in coloured metal boxes (pay and display parking machines)?”
Cllr Gill Heath said the charges would “displace traffic more and more in the villages”. She said: “Villages in the south Peak are really suffering. It is a tremendous problem.”
Cllr Andrew McCloy said the increase of permit prices were too high and said there were “enormous problems” with visitor parking in Youlgreave.
Sarah Fowler, chief executive of the authority said the proposed increase to £66 would still be far lower than other local councils and even lower yet than permits in the Lake District.
She said that parking permits in the High Peak were £120; Staffordshire Moorlands charges £250 to £370; a second resident permit in the Derbyshire Dales is £60 off-peak.
Meanwhile, the cost of a permit for one specific car at one specific car park in the Lake District is £250.
Ms Fowler said the proposed hikes were “reasonable” for something the authority has not increased for “quite some time”.
She said: “You don’t want to know what the Lake District charges for any car in any car park.”
The cost of parking one specific car in any of the Lake District authority’s car parks is £400, while the price of parking any one car in one specific car park is £500.
This increases in price to any 12 cars on one specific car park costing £6,000.
The county council said that enforcing more of the Peak District’s car parks would help with enforcement, due to officers having to travel a “considerable distance” between sites.
Here are the current parking charges in the Peak District, followed by the proposed increases, for the Peak District’s charged car parks:
Up to one hour: £1.50 — £1.75
Up to two hours: £2.50 — £2.90
Up to four hours: £4 — £4.65
All day: £4.75 — £5.50
Coaches for two hours: £4 — increase to three hours for £5.10
Horseboxes/lorries up to two hours: £4 — increase to four hours for £5.10
Horseboxes/lorries all day: £7 — £8.10
Blue badge holders: FREE
Annual visitors permit: £40 — £66
Week holiday permit: £15 — £17.50
For more details about car parks in the Peak District and their locations, visit https://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/visiting/planning-your-visit/parking/parking-locations