13 beauty spot Peak District car parks will now charge for parking

It brings the total number of free National Park car parks in the Peak District down to 13.
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An additional 13 car parks in the Peak District will now charge visitors for parking.

The Peak District National Park Authority has announced that pay and display charges will soon apply at the beloved beauty spots with payment machines going live from the first week of November. 

National Park says 13 additional car parks in the Peak District will now charge visitors for parking, bringing the number of free official places to park down to 13. File photo of Ladybower Reservoir.National Park says 13 additional car parks in the Peak District will now charge visitors for parking, bringing the number of free official places to park down to 13. File photo of Ladybower Reservoir.
National Park says 13 additional car parks in the Peak District will now charge visitors for parking, bringing the number of free official places to park down to 13. File photo of Ladybower Reservoir.
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Fees at the 13 car parks were agreed by the Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA), along with increased tariffs at existing pay and display car parks, which in total will raise approximately £220k a year in additional income.

The Authority car park locations affected by the changes include: Minninglow, Thorpe Station, Narlows Lane, Hooks Carr, Upper Burbage, Dennis Knoll, Alstonefield, Blore Pastures, Milldale, Friden and Derwent Outlook.

Fees will be in line with 2023 rates as follows:

Parking tariffsCharges (£)
Up to one hour1.50
Up to two hours2.50
Up to four hours4.00
All day4.75
Blue badge holdersFree
Weekly permit15.00
Annual permit40.00

It comes after a consultation in February 2023 received 165 responses from residents, with many concerns about the fees pushing motorists to park on grass verges or in villages.

Speaking at the time in a meeting of the National Park Authority, Councillor Andrew Gregory commented: "There are people I’ve spoken with who see the car parking charges as a tax on them visiting.

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"We probably should do as much as we can to make sure that when people are visiting the car parks they know money is being used to support the car parks.

"Unfortunately there is a level of cynicism about any increases."

Also in February, acting head of asset management Matt Freestone said the PDNPA would monitor the situation and try to educate drivers about responsible parking, but added: “We can’t alter irresponsible behaviour of people who chose to park on verges.”

Mr Freestone said the charges were actually enabling access to the Peak District, as they helped pay for its upkeep.

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Councillor David Chapman described the debate as ‘deja vu’, commenting: “If I had a tenner for every meeting I’ve sat through that’s had exactly the same complaints, exactly the same comments, I’d be fairly rich.

“Our village couldn’t take any more cars, the verges are full anyway, this won’t make any difference.

“And if anybody thinks that raising charges will prevent people using car parks I suggest you try and park in Bakewell any afternoon.”

The addition of new locations means that 31 of the Authority’s 44 sites will now require a payment, with 13 still remaining free of charge. 

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Those using the new pay and display sites will be able to pay via card or cash depending on the technical limitations at the location. A full list will be available on the National Park Authority’s website. 

A spokesperson for the Peak District National Park Authority said: "We recognise everyone is still facing an ongoing cost of living challenge and every pound and penny in the pocket is valuable to those visiting the Peak District.

"Unfortunately, our own costs for maintaining car parks and providing free facilities at many of these locations such as public toilets and 35 miles of our all-user accessible trails are also bearing significant cost increases.

"This should also be seen in the context of a ‘real terms’ cut to our overall Authority budget of some 40 per cent over the last decade, meaning we have much less resource to manage the same level of operations."

The National Park Authority is one of a number of organisations that operate parking provision in the national park including county and district councils, charities and private landowners.