A park and ride scheme using existing bus services has been highlighted as a potential outcome of the Penrith parking and movement study, a meeting heard.
County councillor Neil Hughes (Lib Dem, Eden Lakes) said he thoroughly supported a park and ride service for Penrith.
“I have been asking for a park and ride scheme for Penrith for years and years, since I was on Eden District Council, so I am delighted to see this mentioned, but this park and ride scheme needs to branch out and be available to those that live outside Penrith.
“It is not just for those that live around the outskirts of Penrith to get in.
“To be fully functional it needs to work for locals who live for example in my division of Eden Lakes, so they don’t have to always use their vehicle into town, and also for the many visitors who I know we welcome into Eden to make use of our hospitality, as they are often looking for something exactly like this.
“It was also help communities like Pooley Bridge and Patterdale who have been suffering enormously from road parking during the summer — they need to have that facility as well to move cars away from our tourist villages,” said Mr Hughes.
The Penrith parking and movement study had been drawn up through work undertaken by the county council in partnership with Eden and Penrith Town Council, a meeting of the county council’s local committee for Eden was told.
Nicola Parker, Cumbria County Council’s infrastructure planning manager, said there had been a recent full renewal of residential parking permits in Penrith, but there was still a need to review on-street parking schemes (for which the county council has responsibility) and additional restrictions.
“The study provides the evidence base for a comprehensive package of interventions to improve parking and movement within Penrith,” she said.
In total, eight packages of improvements for parking provision and improved opportunities to walk and cycle had been earmarked — including additional parking capacity, long stay parking in Penrith, town centre parking, on-street parking in residential streets, improvements within the town centre, and addressing nuisance parking in some residential areas, including improvements to reduce parking in the Wetheriggs Lane area.
Helen Fearon (Con, Penrith) said there was nothing to prevent streets such as Holme Riggs Avenue and Netherend Road, or any of the streets in the Wetheriggs estate area, being included in future work on addressing nuisance parking.
“I think this will be a tremendous step forward and I am very reassured that this is going to make a huge difference to our residents in Penrith and outside,” said Ms Fearon.
Patricia Bell (Lib Dem, Penrith) said: “We need to get on and deliver as quickly as possible and I hope we can move with some pace.”
She added that members of the public had been waiting for this for a long time and said there were aspects, perhaps small aspects, which they could get on with fairly quickly.
The local committee for Eden agreed to endorse the principle of the package of improvements and work together with Eden and Penrith Town Council to explore opportunities for funding.