Traffic and transport
We are proposing to contribute to the authority’s 2040 Smarter Travel plan by collaborating with existing attractions to build a network of sustainable transport across the Lake District and reduce the number of private cars on the roads. This aligns with our objective to preserve the landscape and history of this corner of Elterwater for generations to come.
Surveys from the Lake District National Park Authority show that the area hosts roughly 15.8 million visitors each year, with this figure expected to reach 22 million by 2040. Of these visitors, 83 per cent travel to the Lake District using a private car, with the authority aiming to reduce this to 64 per cent by 2040.
This reduction is part of the authority’s Smarter Travel vision for 2040, which details aspirations to prioritise sustainable travel links across the national park. In order to reduce down the percentage of private cars on the roads, this vision outlines how rail, water, footpaths, cycle paths, buses and electric vehicles could be used to transport visitors around the national park sustainably.
Our planned development at Elterwater is predicted to attract 50,000 individual visitors a year by its fifth year of operation, the majority of these people would already be visiting the Lake District, so would not represent additional traffic to the area.
Of those visitors who do choose to drive, we expect them to transport two to three visitors per private car. This would mean that if every visitor were to arrive by car the site would, at its peak, attract an average of 96 private cars per day, spread across a number of pre-booked time slots in the morning and afternoon. This prediction is based on the operators’ previous experience with similar attractions. However, we predict that a significant number of visitors would travel to the site using the sustainable transport links outlined above, which would drive this average down further.
To accommodate those who do visit our site by car, our proposals include 35 parking spaces. We know this will be enough spaces to adequately satisfy demand for the number of cars needing to access our site at any given time, on any given day.
Overall, our site would attract less than one in three hundred of the near 16 million tourists who visit the Lake District each year – or 0.3 per cent.
It is also worth noting that a significant majority of these visitors – and therefore their vehicles – will already be in the Lake District as part of trips already planned. Our experiences of other attractions, operated in similar National Park settings, is that tourists who visit a single attraction or destination are in the extreme minority. In this sense, our proposals are not adding this comparatively small number of vehicles to local roads - but rather redistributing them from existing transport hubs within other parts of the Lake District and via more sustainable methods of travel.