With the amazing weather we’ve had this summer, the Peak District has been as popular as ever.
Who doesn’t love a stroll on the moors and a pub or cafe lunch or just sarnies and a flask while admiring the view?
A picnic at Padley Gorge while the kids frolic in the stream has been a long-established summer ritual for many Sheffield families.
Britain’s first national park, established in 1951, does suffer from its popularity, with busy roads and parking problems.
Friends of the Peak District are pressing for better rail and road links to ease pressure on the area, which can attract more than 10 million visitors a year . Visitors from Sheffield make up about a quarter of them.
Bakewell, which can see 150,000 cars a year, has been looking at moving its car parks out of town.
A quick look at The Star’s files shows this problem has been going on for years.
In February 1990, The Star reported on ‘Perils of a Peak under pressure’ as a Countryside Commission review of the future of the national parks got under way.
District ranger Mike Hammond told The Star that more than 30 spots were in danger of slowly being destroyed by tourists.
Mike said he would like to close off the popular areas for four to six months a year.
The Ramblers Association called for more public money to maintain and protect the countryside.
High Peak MP Charles Henry said in his debut speech in the Commons in 1992 that some roads were busier than Blackpool. He argued for bypasses for Buxton and Dove Holes.
In 1998, Peak District pub owners said day trippers were making their lives hell by using their car parks as public parking areas.
Snake Pass landlord Tony Murphy said: “My car park was full on Sunday but the pub was completely empty.”
A scheme in 1994 that proposed park and rides for popular areas of the Hope and Upper Derwent Valleys ground to a halt as the Government didn’t cough up the money.
Sheffield Campaign for Access to Moorland in 1993 put out a Walkers’ Charter to urge ramblers to avoid the worst routes and travel by public transport. They feared that if walkers did not act first, restrictions would be forced upon them.
Now, a sustainable transport plan is promising action on community transport and moves to make public transport more attractive.