/ No need to pay for parking at Pen y Pass !

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Sean Toms - on 11 Feb 2013

Over the last 20+ years the parking charges have escalated out of all proportion to inflation at Pen Y Pass & are now £10 a day.

I parked there in December 2012 when myself & two friends climbed Right Hand Trinity being late on arrival & with no change we dumped the car without getting a parking ticket , after finishing the route & returning I had a note on my car saying I had to pay & send my ticket to prove I had.

But I noted that there was no threatened fine or you must pay in X days warning.

I did pay but then I lost the ticket , so I laughingly then awaited the follow up letter & to have to pay twice , 3 months later nothing has happened.

This is because their is NO AUTHORITY to issue fines , if there was this would be made clear on the pay box , as such paying for paying for parking at Pen Y Pass is optional.

You don't believe me try it & see.

On a wider point if there is no authority to issue fines what authority exists to charge for parking in the first place ......., any one fancy joining me on a class action to recover your hundred of pounds of parking charges.

I know there will be a blizzard of "you are selfish & irresponsible" & "these charges are needed to upkeep the car park" responses but get real paying £10 a day to park there is a total joke & a typical lets see if we can quietly get away with it approach from the establishment.

Well stick it to them ....you know it makes sense & it hey don't those little victories over big brother feel good !


climber_medic - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Sean Toms: It isnt enforceable mate. I went to pay at the C.P in Ogwen and a well known climber type just told me not to bother.

Also. Yes standby for the incoming flack from the usual numpties!!
JamButty - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Sean Toms: I agree that £10 is high, but to go chasing previous charges is just daft, assuming you're being serious.
If you want to avoid paying thats your choice, but an extreme of your action could result in closures of car parks and you'd have to park on the road where they can nail you!
Neil Williams - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Sean Toms:

"get real paying £10 a day to park there is a total joke"

You've never parked at an airport or in London, right?

It's a small car park with very limited spaces. It needs rationing in some way to encourage people to park down the hill and use the P&R instead. I therefore don't see an issue with it. It's not as if the money is going to for-profit companies.

Another way to ration it is advance booking, I suppose, but that would just be hassle.

The one thing I'd change about it is that it's annoying that there are no proper very-short-term bays for either stopping to use the bog, or checking if someone is in the cafe. They could do with adding a couple of these with a 15 minute limit, say.

Neil
peas65 - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Sean Toms:

Same applies to many national trust and forestry commission car parks.
Neil Williams - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to climber_medic:

What's numpty about the idea that if there is a fee for putting your car on some land you should pay it?

Do you also think, say, that it's morally right not to pay your train fare if the guard doesn't come through, assuming that to get on the train you walked past the ticket office/machine? Probably a majority of people would consider doing that, but would they consider it morally right, or is it more likely they'd just think they could get away with it?

Many countries charge for *access to* their national parks. We don't, which is nice, we just charge for using your car there, which is rather fairer I think. The money goes into the park's upkeep.

Neil
climber_medic - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Neil Williams: Numpty comment was aimed the pedants that post on this site. Hence why I rarely bother!! Fair point but it says alot when a well known climber and local to North Wales advises me not to bother when i'm stood by the machine. Supporting his local economy??!!

also. Perhaps the money raised could be used to clean up the carpark a little and putting in bins instead of people (like myself) having to walk around with a bin bag cleaning up after people!! Hence perhaps why i'm loathed to put my hand in my pocket!!
IainRUK - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to climber_medic:
> (In reply to Neil Williams) Numpty comment was aimed the pedants that post on this site. Hence why I rarely bother!! Fair point but it says alot when a well known climber and local to North Wales advises me not to bother when i'm stood by the machine. Supporting his local economy??!!
>
> also. Perhaps the money raised could be used to clean up the carpark a little and putting in bins instead of people (like myself) having to walk around with a bin bag cleaning up after people!! Hence perhaps why i'm loathed to put my hand in my pocket!!

Sort of agree.. I paid sometimes.. sometimes not.. if there's 5 of you going for a walk.. £2 each.. if guiding and making £180 a day then I think for sure you should pay.. if out for a quick run.. no chance..

I certainly didn't pay everytime but did sometimes.
wilkie14c - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Sean Toms:
How much is the 'fine' if you don't pay? The minimum one can claim through the small claims court is £60 IIRC, if the fine is less than £60 there wouldn't be anywhere that'd enforce repayment of it. Just thinking ahead like
climber_medic - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to IainRUK: Cheers iain. Actually mate if i'm honest I alternate my payments per visit. I love North Wales and the environment in general but as I said i'm loathed at times to pay when the carpark looks such a state.
climber_medic - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Neil Williams: You also now have to pay to use the toilet at some carparks Neil. The construction site by the carpark in Ogwen will probably be the same.

cashing in perhaps??!!
The New NickB - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Sean Toms:

If it is the National Park, they do have powers to enforce fines. Anyone can enforce parking charges, but not fines, on land that they own.

Chris the Tall - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to climber_medic:

> cashing in perhaps??!!

Or applying the principles of supply and demand ?

You do realise that by publicising the fact that payment can be evaded you are decreasing the chances of you finding a space when you want one, and increasing the liklihood that the authorities will take action to rectify the situation

Now who's the numpty ?
Neil Williams - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to climber_medic:

Almost all pay toilets have an on-site attendant/cleaner which tends to mean them being in a better condition. So long as this is the case I don't mind up to the railway fee of 30p/pee. But it does piss me off (!) when I encounter railway station bogs in Germany and Switzerland that sell Ein-Euro-Pissen. That's a bit much.

Ahem.

Neil
Dan Lane - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Sean Toms:

In summer when the sherpa buses are in full flow then the charge is perfectly reasonable and there is no reason not to use the buses. In winter however the bus service is massively reduced and is no help at all to winter climbers who are planning a very early start.

I'd suggest a variable charge depending on the season. In summer £10 is reasonable, in winter I'd say £3. A lot of the time in winter the car park is not full either, leaving absolutely no incentive to use the (rather uselessly scheduled) buses.
Dan_S - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Sean Toms:

> Well stick it to them ....you know it makes sense & it hey don't those little victories over big brother feel good !

If you feel the need to dodge a parking charge so you can "stick it to the man" and this makes you feel good about yourself, then really you should re-assess your life goals and ambitions.



Neil Williams - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Dan Lane:

Fair point.

One option could be to have it free or discounted for "early birds" for whom the buses are no use. Can't be hard to modify the pay and display meter to do that.

So (assuming you're talking Alpine starts) arrival before 0500 = free, before 0600=£3, after that £10. Or just do it by the season as you say.

That said, it still provides an encouragement to limit cars. If you're in more than one car, park all but one in the bottom car park (or the free layby just down from Pen y Pass towards Llangollen) and share lifts to the top.

Neil
highclimber - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Dan Lane:
> (In reply to Sean Toms)
>

> I'd suggest a variable charge depending on the season. In summer £10 is reasonable, in winter I'd say £3. A lot of the time in winter the car park is not full either, leaving absolutely no incentive to use the (rather uselessly scheduled) buses.

Personally, I'd like to see that occur every weekend and the charge removed through winter. That said, I don't pay either unless I'm with a group.
Trangia - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Sean Toms:

OK if you don't feel like paying to use a surfaced and maintained car park because they can't enforce it, go ahead, no one is going to force you, but why brag publically about what a mean minded individual you are? Why don't you park somewhere else and walk/take the bus and stop hogging a limited space that someone else might feel happy to pay for?



climber_medic - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall: No mate. Just cashing in!! Also. No that wouldnt happen because i'm generally the idiot thats sleeps in his car and is on the hill before most people!! ;-)
toad - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia: It does feel sometimes when this thread comes around (2 or 3 times a year?) that it's a bit like those "freeman of the land" folk.
sleavesley on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Sean Toms: just pay £60 for the whole year you tight buggers! http://www.eryri-npa.gov.uk/visiting/local-information/car-parking-permits
birdie num num - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Sean Toms:
I normally park my 4x4 up at halfway station
Carolyn - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to sleavesley:

£60 for a year doesn't sound too bad if you're local. Damn site more reasonable than the Lake District National Park rates....
http://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/visiting/planyourvisit/travelandtransport/carparks/carpark_annual_per...

Starting at £175 for one car car in one car park for a year. I assume they're mainly aimed at people who use them to park for work....
Sean Kelly - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Carolyn: When I recently stopped in the car park at Coniston by the church, I was warned that all cars reg no's were recorded and that you would be charged for any period of stay! Even just stopping to read this instruction, so be warned. I have been informed that you can be charged by local councils/authorities, as well as the police. I await their response...
SAF - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Sean Toms: The same rule doesn't apply at the slate museum carpark (vivian quarry) anymore it would seem, got stung by gwynedd council there :-(

Best quids in I got from pen-y-pass though was, not paying myself, no sherpa buses turning up when they should have been and the rain started, so I offered lifts to various tired/pissed off looking people at the bus stop included one with a dog, drove them down to the p&R carpark, and they all insisted on giving me some cash for it, wouldn't take 'no' for an answer, made about a tenner, beats paying £10 anyday!!!!
JimmAwelon on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to SAF:

Local Authorities or Councils (Unitary Authorities in Wales) like Gwynedd can enforce parking charges, National Park Authorities are merely planning authorities so cant.

Sad fact but true; whether you pay to support the work they do may depend on whether they made you pay thousands to use local slate to reroof your cottage down the road when they can allow the roof of the Snowdon summit building (Hafod Eryri) to be undertaken in Portuguese granite!
Misha - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Sean Toms:
Get there early and park in the laybies down in the Pass, then walk up to Crib Goch etc (assuming that's where you're going) past Cyrn Las. A much quieter, more interesting and more imposing approach. Oh yeah it does involve more walking. But that's what you're there for, right? And if the laybies are always full when you get there... join the CC!
pwo - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Sean Toms: For fixed penalty/excess charge notices to be enforceable by a 'Statutory Authority' (local council or borough council) there must be a notice fixed in the car park to that effect pursuant to an 'Off Street Parking Order' (Road Traffic Act/Regulations). All income generated from such penalty notices HAVE to be used to improve traffic problems in the localty to the order. Private car parks can only issue an invoice (usually disguised by clever wording to look like a fixed penalty) because refusual to pay is a breach of contract (which they must place in a clearly visible place in the car park as part of their terms and conditions). So an operator of a private car park could take you to court for breach of contract. The ticket issued is proof of the contract. But it is highly unlikely they would because of the time and cost involved for what a court would award. What they tend to do is to pass the debt onto a private debt collection agency and then watch a simple £30 excess charge rocket to over £400 in one day (ask my daughter)! It is my belief that budget holders are using car park charges to offset reductions in their revenue allocations every year and then wording their responses to complaints about the money being generated as improving the local area.
Skinny Kin - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to sleavesley:
> (In reply to Sean Toms) just pay £60 for the whole year you tight buggers! http://www.eryri-npa.gov.uk/visiting/local-information/car-parking-permits

Does anyone notice Pen y Pass car park costs more than twice of all the other car parks in Snowdonia? Why is that I wonder? All the others cost £4/day, which is fair and square I'd say.

I moved to Llanberis 2 years ago. In 2011, the daily rate for Pen y Pass car park was £4. In 2012, they raised the stake to £10/day. How does that work? Would anyone say that's fair? Inflation didn't go up by 250% within 2012, did it? Am I losing the plot here?

In Bangor, all council run car parks would not cost £10/day. Pen y Pass is by far the most expensive park facility in North Wales I've come across so far. If Gwynedd Council can upkeep their city centre facilities with less than £10/day (£7.50 max/day in summer months; even less in winter), why can't Pen y Pass?
http://www.gwynedd.gov.uk/gwy_doc.asp?doc=24326&Language=1&p=1&c=1

I don't believe National Park Authorities should raise revenue from car parking. They're governmental organisation. They should apply/fight for funding from the government for the upkeeping of national parks. That's why we pay tax, right! Ok, I understand there may be issues with fighting for funding. Then, it's time for NPA to cut back their expenses as well.

Overcharging car parking facilities, as I see, is not going to help reducing number of cars. People have no choice but to use their cars to get to Pen y Pass as quick as possible. Providing better and very cheap bus service IS. Though £1 each ticket is reasonable but it costs less on fuel to drive my car up there. Of course I'd like to drive and don't have to wait for an hour or more or co-ordinate with the bus timetable that doesn't suit.

I'd say every 30 mins for a bus to come by and costs 50p would attract more people to ditch their cars but then where do they ditch their car? You still have to pay for Park & Ride facilities as well. I can ditch my car at home (Llanberis). But what about visitors? It is a joke, isn't it?
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IainRUK - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Skinny Kin: The pressure at the pass is far far greater.. market forces..


Agree the shuttle surface needs work.. I doubt they raise that much revenue from the car park.. how many cars does it hold? 40?
Ramblin dave - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Skinny Kin:
> (In reply to sleavesley)
> [...]
>
> People have no choice but to use their cars to get to Pen y Pass as quick as possible.

I'd take it to the European Court of Human Rights if I was you. It's disgusting seeing our basic right to get to Pen Y Pass as conveniently as possible being eroded like this.
Ramblin dave - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to Skinny Kin) The pressure at the pass is far far greater.. market forces..
>
>
> Agree the shuttle service needs work...

Agree on this - they could also do with actually telling people about it occasionally, eg some sort of obvious advertising in the places it goes from / to. I think a lot of people just can't be bothered figuring out when / where the bus goes or even whether it exists or not so they hop into the car by default.

> I doubt they raise that much revenue from the car park.. how many cars does it hold? 40?

Well yes. If the fee was £4 a day or something people would just moan constantly that it fills up too quickly (it was pretty nearly full at the current rate when we were up there in january, which is hardly peak season) and you need to get there at 6am to get a space.
Skinny Kin - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> Agree on this - they could also do with actually telling people about it occasionally, eg some sort of obvious advertising in the places it goes from / to.

Yes, a lot of people don't know about the buses. They also don't know about the buses because they never get to see one!!! One every 2 hours doesn't make it easier to catch or see one. And no, I've never come across any publicity about the Sherpa bus service in Bangor, in Llanberis or in Caernarfon. There should be a big, "special needs" style timetable at Pen y Pass car park to advertise the buses. The money raised from the car park should afford that. Why do the Park want to keep quiet/low key about it if they want people to use it? If I ran a business, I would want to advertise it everywhere if I could afford it. That's like top priority.

> Well yes. If the fee was £4 a day or something people would just moan constantly that it fills up too quickly (it was pretty nearly full at the current rate when we were up there in january, which is hardly peak season) and you need to get there at 6am to get a space.

It makes no difference whether it's £10 or £4/day. When the weather is nice, there will be (more) punters up there whether in summer or winter, mid week or weekend. A grotty day sees fewer cars if any. None to do with peak season or not.

I do see some elements of the Park using it to make more money and keep the bus route publicity low key. (Just my conspiracy theory!)
Ramblin dave - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Skinny Kin:

> And no, I've never come across any publicity about the Sherpa bus service in Bangor, in Llanberis or in Caernarfon. There should be a big, "special needs" style timetable at Pen y Pass car park to advertise the buses.

To be honest, if I was running it I'd have big electronic signs in Bangor / Llanberis / Caernarfon saying "GET THE BUS TO THE FOOT OF SNOWDON FOR £2. NEXT BUS DEPARTS FROM HERE IN XX MINUTES. RETURN BUSES AT YY AND ZZ." And maybe some sort of information thing for other popular locations.

But the bafflingly complete inability of bus companies to do basic usability is another topic...
Mike Peacock on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Skinny Kin: The Sherpa buses were more frequent a few years back. As I understand they lost funding and so timetables were cut to a more limited service. I used to use them extensively and they could be useful at times, but the timetables on the ground were frequently out of data, and buses occasionally just didn't turn up.

A few years ago Arriva started running buses through the summer from Bangor - Capel - Pen y Pass - Llanberis - Menai Bridge - Bangor (ie. a big loop round the Glyderau). They were really great, but not sure if they still do them now.
Skinny Kin - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Mike Peacock:
> A few years ago Arriva started running buses through the summer from Bangor - Capel - Pen y Pass - Llanberis - Menai Bridge - Bangor (ie. a big loop round the Glyderau). They were really great, but not sure if they still do them now.

No, nothing like that I know of now. These are the available services. I guess you can get connecting buses from Bangor and Caernarfon to Llanberis or Bethesda and then get the Sherpa buses, which is more faff and more co-ordinating to do.

http://www.gwynedd.gov.uk/gwy_doc.asp?cat=2567&doc=25961&language=1&p=1&c=1
Skinny Kin - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> I doubt they raise that much revenue from the car park.. how many cars does it hold? 40?

Have you done some sums? Say 40 cars parking there per day. £10 each. That's £400. How many of you earn £400/day by sitting in a booth listening to radio? £400/day. £12,000/month. £144,000/year. Of course, that's to bank on it being full every day. Even if the average is half full/day throughout the year. £72k/year by sitting in a booth is a very good salary by my standard. I'd like a job like that!!!
IainRUK - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to Skinny Kin)
>
> [...]
>
> To be honest, if I was running it I'd have big electronic signs in Bangor / Llanberis / Caernarfon saying "GET THE BUS TO THE FOOT OF SNOWDON FOR £2. NEXT BUS DEPARTS FROM HERE IN XX MINUTES. RETURN BUSES AT YY AND ZZ." And maybe some sort of information thing for other popular locations.
>
> But the bafflingly complete inability of bus companies to do basic usability is another topic...

The problem is it is all very isolated..

Think if almost all walkers got the bus from llanberis.. run free shuttles with the parking.. then the extra revenue in people having to go to llanberis would also help the local economy.. the problem is each aspect things on its own when the sum of all the parts would be far greater.

But you also have to consider local people who will not want any further tourism.. yet they also complain about lack of jobs etc..

In other areas, the states for example, they'd just accept some losses as the peak times will more than cover.. in Snowdonia you get the feeling it's seen as 'well January we make a loss, so lets stop buses then'.. when all that happens is people don't think of using the buses..

Also time tables are just such a lottery it is untrue..
IainRUK - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Skinny Kin: But it won't be full on many midweek days..


The park has a budget of 7.5 million.. 144k.. its not a huge wage earner for the park.

Their finances are all online..
Skinny Kin - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> But it won't be full on many midweek days..
> The park has a budget of 7.5 million.. 144k.. its not a huge wage earner for the park.

I know it's not full everyday. I also quoted an estimate on half full average.

Making £60k-70k is definitely a money spinner (scam?) to me albeit it's only a small proportion to the total budget. Every little helps! Even Tesco know that.

But you or anyone haven't answered the question why Gwynedd Council charge £7.50/day or less in Bangor whereas NP charge £10/day at Pen y Pass but only £4 elsewhere in the Park. It does show some tell and tale signs something dodgy going on with Pen y Pass' location.

IainRUK - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Skinny Kin: I have.. as you say the pass is full a lot.. other car parks aren't.. in London you will pay far more than 7.50 a day.. its just market demand.. people will pay £10 a day.. a car full.. 2.50 each..

When you take in account many will spend £50 in petrol getting there.. another £10 on parking, which can easily be avoided, is hardly anything suspicious.
franhammond92 - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Sean Toms:

Are you aware that the car park isn't run by the council but the national park? The money from the car park all goes to the national park and is used for maintenance of paths and the like. Is £10 really that much when you take this into consideration? If you can get a full car that's the massive sum of £2.50 to keep the paths that you use mainained so that you can get up and down the mountain safely and with considerably less effort. Not a big price to pay really.

And if it does seem to be, or you don't think the park that you're visiting deserves your money, there's a bloody cheep bus or you can park in the pass and walk a bit further.

So no comment of money being needed for the carpark, but the national park does need your money.
Skinny Kin - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to franhammond92:
> Is £10 really that much when you take this into consideration? If you can get a full car that's the massive sum of £2.50 to keep the paths that you use mainained so that you can get up and down the mountain safely and with considerably less effort. Not a big price to pay really.

You're being misled here. National Park Authority get a budget of £7.5m from central government as Iain pointed out. Why do they need to charge people to use car park in the countryside to use the money to upkeep footpaths? That budget should come out of their funding. If the funding from central government is not enough, then they should re-arrange their budget like NHS, MoD and many departments. You would not go to your local NHS hosipital to see they start charging A&E facilities just because of government cuts or you have to pay for the ambulance ride if you call 999?!?!

What Sean aired was the disproportionate amount to what it should be. £10/day is an extortionate amount for a countryside car park. National Trust don't charge that much for car parking in Wales or even the Lakes.

Check these prices in the Lakes:
http://www.lakesandcumbria.com/view/parking/index.htm
Skinny Kin - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Sean Toms:
Here is a good read from BMC.
http://www.thebmc.co.uk/parking-in-snowdonia-unlocking-the-green-key
The "highly academic transport consultants" reckoned the parking spaces should be reduced in order to alleviate the congestion! Ha!Ha! They studied too much! They don't know what reality is.

It explains the reason to charge £10/day is to fund the buses. NOT flipping footpaths. Get it, everyone? Has it funded more buses. Maybe in 2010. Not 2013!

I would say. Just bulldoze the Pen y Pass car park over. Everyone has to take the buses. Nobody has to pay extortionate parking to fund the buses because everyone will be taking buses. Bit like Zermatt, no traffic zone.
IainRUK - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Skinny Kin:
> (In reply to Sean Toms)
> Here is a good read from BMC.
> http://www.thebmc.co.uk/parking-in-snowdonia-unlocking-the-green-key
> The "highly academic transport consultants" reckoned the parking spaces should be reduced in order to alleviate the congestion! Ha!Ha! They studied too much! They don't know what reality is.
>
> It explains the reason to charge £10/day is to fund the buses. NOT flipping footpaths. Get it, everyone? Has it funded more buses. Maybe in 2010. Not 2013!
>
> I would say. Just bulldoze the Pen y Pass car park over. Everyone has to take the buses. Nobody has to pay extortionate parking to fund the buses because everyone will be taking buses. Bit like Zermatt, no traffic zone.

I think that has been discussed.. a closed road..

the problem is even with no parking people will just park on the road.. yes they fined.. but its obviously not much discouragement as you'll see 10-20 cars with fines on their windows on many sunny weekend days..

It's also a main A road so transport wise access is required..

Misha - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Skinny Kin:
Many hospitals charge for parking. Quite a lot, actually! Easily £3-4 for the time it takes for an appointment. Everyone needs to get money somehow in these budget constrained times.
grithugger on 12 Feb 2013 - host86-191-131-32.wlms-broadband.com
In reply to Sean Toms: aw Sean you've now put me in a quandry I've always paid the day rate and tried to convince myself the revenue from this went to do some good( no idea what though?)and now you tell me i could just dodge it? Im actually happy to pay for parking,if it was a problem i could just walk in.but i do think that £10 is too steep and a lttle unreasonable.so whats to be done about it?
Whos owns the land and where does the revenue go?
Anybody got a decent argument as to why i shouldnt just pay for an hour or two?,therefore paying what i believe is a fair charge?(i have no idea how you calculate a fair rate?)
Neil Williams - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Skinny Kin:

"It makes no difference whether it's £10 or £4/day."

I bet it would if it was £20. It definitely would if it was £50.

So, the fee they should be charging is the fee at which there will always be a space available (but one only!) when people want it. That way you maximise revenue for what is actually quite a good cause.

As regards the bus service, I'd like to see a proper strategy on this similar to what you get in Switzerland. This would involve buses to significant hotels/hostels connecting with the after-work-leaving-London timed trains on Fridays, and perhaps a "tourist tax" with inclusive bus travel as you often do get in Switzerland. Make people want not to bring their cars *at all*.

What exists is just about usable, but it's not super-convenient, which is why people don't use it.

Neil
Neil Williams - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Skinny Kin:

"Bit like Zermatt, no traffic zone."

The trains in Switzerland are heavily funded through general taxation. And, for what it's worth, it's recently been in the news that they might soon suffer their own Beeching-style cuts...

Neil
Neil Williams - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Skinny Kin:

"Pen y Pass is by far the most expensive park facility in North Wales I've come across so far."

It's also the only car park facility that serves the region's largest tourist attraction (Snowdon), and is also far smaller than the demand for it.

"Overcharging car parking facilities, as I see, is not going to help reducing number of cars."

The market has quite evidently decided that it is *not* overcharging, because it always fills up. The point at which it is "overcharging" is the point at which it has spaces empty. Think peak-time Virgin trains...

"People have no choice but to use their cars to get to Pen y Pass as quick as possible. Providing better and very cheap bus service IS."

Who should pay? The local Council tax payer? Absolutely not, IMO - they aren't the main ones benefitting. General taxation? Possibly. My view is that a tourist tax on hotels and campsites, as common in Switzerland, is the solution, though it won't catch day-trippers. Something like £3/person/night on all overnight accommodation would pay for a pretty decent bus network, I reckon.

Neil
Skinny Kin - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
> I bet it would if it was £20. It definitely would if it was £50.

Yes, it would make a huge difference and that difference would be an empty car park and cars choking up all the available laybys elsewhere. Then, the NP would not raise the money needed for improving bus services. Mind you, the bus services aren't improving anyway. What's the point!

> So, the fee they should be charging is the fee at which there will always be a space available (but one only!) when people want it.

It's kinda contradictary in terms. If the only one space is filled up when people want it, then there isn't always space available. Really don't see how it works.

> As regards the bus service, I'd like to see a proper strategy on this similar to what you get in Switzerland. This would involve buses to significant hotels/hostels connecting with the after-work-leaving-London timed trains on Fridays

Totally with you on this one. There must be much, much better intergration of the whole transport system to make it work. David Cameron's bullet trains together with connecting buses waiting at the train station. Plas y Brenin is kind of doing that. Picking people on their courses up from Bangor, Llandudno train stations, etc. Then, people wouldn't bother driving at all if all it takes is a couple of hours to get from Central London to Llanberis.
Neil Williams - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Skinny Kin:

"Yes, it would make a huge difference and that difference would be an empty car park and cars choking up all the available laybys elsewhere. Then, the NP would not raise the money needed for improving bus services. Mind you, the bus services aren't improving anyway. What's the point!"

The point is that you set the price at the absolute maximum people will pay in order to maximise income. £20 is probably too much. As the car park fills up, £10 is too little. The right amount is I suspect somewhere around the £15 mark.

"It's kinda contradictary in terms. If the only one space is filled up when people want it, then there isn't always space available. Really don't see how it works."

It's called "yield management". If you have a finite resource, you charge such that you fill it up - just. Airlines do this quite well.

"Totally with you on this one. There must be much, much better intergration of the whole transport system to make it work. David Cameron's bullet trains together with connecting buses waiting at the train station."

Bullet trains aren't the point - integration - which I agree is needed - involves a slower but more co-ordinated approach. If HS2 is to be built, for instance, it should be infill like the Swiss did with their 125mph Neubaustrecke, and it should serve city centre stations and not ones in the middle of nowhere.

You aim for a "Taktfahrplan" - a regular-interval clockface timetable with planned connections. And absolutely tons of capacity. Speed isn't key.

"Plas y Brenin is kind of doing that. Picking people on their courses up from Bangor, Llandudno train stations, etc."

Yeah, I like this, have used it myself.

"Then, people wouldn't bother driving at all if all it takes is a couple of hours to get from Central London to Llanberis."

Indeed, and if they could do it after work, leaving 6-7pm from London, which they can by car (albeit with quite a late arrival) but can't by train unless they pay a fortune for a taxi at the other end.

Public transport really fails to cater for this market.

Neil
Skinny Kin - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
> Think peak-time Virgin trains...
Don't start me on trains. Why should train fares operate as flight fares? Absolutely ridiculous. Several Asian countries I've been to: South Korea, China, Hong Kong. None of their trains operate with peak and off-peak fares. You pay according to the distance and speed you travel. Not the time of the day. In the UK, it used to be like that until the railways were privatised. Disgraceful. Look how efficient the trains are in China, South Korea. Lots of people would choose the train if they don't have to drive. It's good price and fast and efficient.

> My view is that a tourist tax on hotels and campsites, as common in Switzerland, is the solution, though it won't catch day-trippers.

It could work but I don't know if people want to pay more "up your face" for their accommodation/food, etc. General taxation from income tax, say, is less obvious but then can you trust the government to divvy up the tax where it's needed?

Skinny Kin - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Misha:
> Many hospitals charge for parking. Quite a lot, actually! Easily £3-4 for the time it takes for an appointment.

That's true actually. I've paid for hospital parking before. Is there a theme emerging here? When you use your car, they penalise you. But they don't charge for bicycle parking anywhere! Is that because the "yield management" from Neil decided there's not enough demand for it to charge anything? Therefore, it's free. Do they charge for bicycle parking in Holland? Does anyone know?

Neil Williams - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Skinny Kin:

"Do they charge for bicycle parking in Holland?"

For secure indoor bike parking, yes, and it's something I would like to see over here and would certainly pay to use at railway stations etc.

For outdoor bike parking, well, it's pretty hard to enforce. (The reason why motorcycle parking is often free is because there's nowhere sensible to display a ticket - this is changing with pay-by-phone with the registration number being an option, but pushbikes don't have registration numbers...)

Neil
Neil Williams - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Skinny Kin:

" In the UK, it used to be like that until the railways were privatised"

It has been like that since well before privatisation though it was less extreme in terms of the disparity between fares.

There is some sense in it, really - without it, the railway would be full at peak times and empty at off-peak. Instead, yield management is used to smooth the demand out a bit - if you can travel when it's less busy, it's cheaper.

The other option is compulsory reservation, but that is fraught with difficulties and is more likely to send people who want some level of flexibility to their cars.

Neil
Wee Davie - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply:

These pay and display things are popping up all over the Scottish Highlands. Happened upon one of these at Lomond today. Surely we're already directly funding the Forestry Commission through our taxes?
Wee Davie - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply:

And no, I didn't stick £3 in the meter. Nor did I the last time in the Trossachs.
The New NickB - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Wee Davie:

We directly fund many things through taxes, including Councils and National Parks, we don't actually fund them enough to do the work we want them to do, so they have to do commercial activity such as charging for parking to make ends meet.
Pete E - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Sean Toms:

Oh, this is one of the very rare occasions i chuck in my two-penneth worth. A few points, while bearing in mind Pen y Pass is in the middle of my commute to work five days a week:

Pay or don't pay, quite frankly, i don't care. Posting on UKC is a little much in my opinion, and counter productive for everyone (you realise people that work for the park are likely to read this...) but it's entirely up to you, there are many ways you can get round it. But, if you are hell-bent on parking at Pen y Pass and not paying, PARKING ON THE ROAD IS NOT A GOOD SECOND BEST. That road (whatever anyone says) is a 60mph limit, it is a major A-road, and a busy one too. I know it's probably not climber's who do it, but wanted to chuck that in.

Next, if you can't park at Pen y Pass, and decide to park down by the Pen y Gwyryd, WALKING ON THE ROAD IS NOT A GOOD IDEA. I nearly ran over three people last night, walking down that road without torches in the dark, and swerved violently across the road. I wouldn't mind too much if there wasn't A GOOD WELL KEPT PATH THAT RUNS PARALLEL TO THE ROAD, just down the hill slightly, accessed from a gate on the right at the end of the layby. It's now (mostly) a good quality path, something your extortionate parking prices have helped to pay for...

Again, i know a lot of these people aren't climbers but i don't know of a "numpty Snowdon tourist" forum to post this on instead. That and the more people know, the more the word will (hopefully) spread.

So that's it really. As with the donation boxes at the bottom of footpaths around here for the National Trust, or the annual membership fee to the BMC, at least this money goes to a good cause, regardless of what a few disgruntled locals might think.

Neil Williams - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Pete E:

You know, presumably, that pedestrians are on the road by right, and car drivers by licence?

"I nearly ran over three people last night"

Perhaps you should have slowed down a little after the first close call, then, so these pedestrians were a mere annoyance rather than you risking hitting them? While these pedestrians were perhaps being a little silly, my knowledge of that road is such that while it does have a 60 limit, most of it is not good for 60, because it's narrow, windy and people walk down it.

You are the one driving 2 tonnes of metal. Your responsibility.

Neil
Neil Williams - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Pete E:

FWIW I had no idea that path was present, perhaps it needs to be better signed.

Neil
Misha - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to Pete E)
>
> You know, presumably, that pedestrians are on the road by right, and car drivers by licence?
>
> "I nearly ran over three people last night"
>
> my knowledge of that road is such that while it does have a 60 limit, most of it is not good for 60, because it's narrow, windy and people walk down it.

Or sheep!!!

At least you'll know that it's mutton rather than horse...
IainRUK - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Pete E: eh?

The path DOES not run parallel to the road.. well it didn't last time I ran it.. it used to be a good path from P y G then descended then awful for the top section.. so the road was easier.. so people used it..


I ran it with people involved in its creation so can't say much more.. weren't impressed..
IainRUK - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to Pete E)
>
> FWIW I had no idea that path was present, perhaps it needs to be better signed.
>
> Neil

A massive factor.. there is one sign.. there should be a HUGE sign as you leave the car park to walk down the road..
mark s - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Sean Toms: tittesworth reservoir near the roaches is the same.there are lots of parking meters and people cough up,but there is no mention of failing to pay.
The best part is people park outside the park and walk for ten minutes thinking they are geting one up on Severn Trent.when in reality you don't need to pay.
Trangia - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Pete E:

As you drive that road 5 times a week why the hell were you going so fast that you had to "swerve violently across the road" when you know that people regularly walk on it, not to mention sheep?

Anyway I agree with your point that it's a dangerous road to walk, particularly in the dark
Pete E - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:

In truth, the three people were together in a group, probably a touch of an exaggeration on my part, but seems you get me point. That road can easily be driven a lot faster than that, and in those conditions at that time of day, 60mph (or whatever i was doing) wasn't really as excessive as it sounds and i really don't want to get into a debate about my driving. Trangia, it was dark, they had no torches, that's very rare on a Tuesday evening, but again, you get my point.

And yes, i do accept my responsibility, and i am not advocating any otherwise; all i'm trying to point out (as you said in your next post) is there is a perfectly good path there that is significantly safer. Probably would've been a better way to describe that but there you go.

Iain, i know what you mean, it's not amazing but if i remember right, it has improved since it first got done, and surely it's better than have to deal with a dickhead in a Focus going home from work... and yeah, not exactly parallel, was just kind of a guide.

All i'm trying to do is raise a bit of awareness of it. Surely it's preferable to the road? As many of you pointed out, the signs are crap and people don't know it's there and sooner or later, whether it's me or someone else, there is going to be an accident on that road and someone is going to get hurt.

Hope that makes sense
IainRUK - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Pete E:
> (In reply to Neil Williams)
>
> All i'm trying to do is raise a bit of awareness of it. Surely it's preferable to the road? As many of you pointed out, the signs are crap and people don't know it's there and sooner or later, whether it's me or someone else, there is going to be an accident on that road and someone is going to get hurt.
>
> Hope that makes sense

Spot on.. I said that at a BMC meeting and was basically laughed out of the room..

'no more paths on snowdon' was the reply..

So at least we are having progress.

I just think it is used by those who occassionally visit snowdon and get down tired and just risk the road.. it needs a huge sign and to be easy.. or people won't use it..

As is happening now.
The New NickB - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Skinny Kin:

It isn't a salary though is it! The National Park has to pay someone to manage the car par, but this isn't just about giving that person a job. Any profit will support the National Park.
Phil Lyon - on 14 Feb 2013
The OP talked about "cashing in".

Are you not cashing in more by parking somewhere that charges but not paying just because they can't enforce it

They maintain a car park half way up a mountain for goodness sake, if you choose to get such good access to the heart of the mountains then pay for it. If you don't want the hassle of getting there by bus or whatever from a town car park then pay for it. Waitrose costs more, but you want their posh food, pay for it. Your choice.

And it's not just £10 a day, it's £10 for 24 hours isn't it? Have a proper day out (and camp) on the hills and bring it down to less than a pound an hour, cheaper than anything in our town.
Ramblin dave - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to Skinny Kin)
>
> It isn't a salary though is it! The National Park has to pay someone to manage the car par, but this isn't just about giving that person a job. Any profit will support the National Park.

That's what they want you to think. Actually they wait until everyone's gone home and then blow the cash having a massive hot-tub party with a load of high-class hookers, champagne and charlie up by Llyn Llydaw.

Allegedly.
Skinny Kin - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> Any profit will support the National Park.

That's the wrong point. NPA don't need our support. They need government support (money). We've already paid our taxes. Taxes are what the government reckon is enough to cover all the public expenses including NPs. Obviously, not enough in this case that they have to make ends meet from car parking. I think that's entirely the wrong way to go about raising fund.

The New NickB - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Skinny Kin:

Virtually all publicly funded organisations engage in some form of commercial activity, we can lobby for more of our tax to go to National Parks, or anything else, but it will never be enough. It is you that has got things the wrong way around, you don't have to park at PYP.
Skinny Kin - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Phil Lyon:
> And it's not just £10 a day, it's £10 for 24 hours isn't it? Have a proper day out (and camp) on the hills and bring it down to less than a pound an hour, cheaper than anything in our town.

Don't think so. I recently paid for a ticket there (last Dec). The ticket's valid on the day of purchase; not 24 hours. If you turn up in the evening at 6pm and buy a day ticket for £10. You've only got until midnight really. So 6 hours for £10. Is it getting expensive when you come to think about it?

No, a pound an hour in your town is expensive. You'd better move somewhere else! In Bangor, it's only 70p/hour in summer and 50p in winter and £7.50 for whole day in the summer and £5.30 in the winter. Convinced now?
The New NickB - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Skinny Kin:

Bangor seems very expensive, when you consider that you have paid 70p to be in Bangor for an hour.
Skinny Kin - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
But you never pay £10 for the whole day; in summer or winter. Long stay car parks are cheaper still.
http://www.gwynedd.gov.uk/gwy_doc.asp?doc=24326&Language=1&p=1&c=1
Skinny Kin - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
>It is you that has got things the wrong way around, you don't have to park at PYP.

That's a false accusation. I never say I don't have to pay park at Pen y Pass. I said it was the wrong way to go about to raise fund to fund the bus services.

The New NickB - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Skinny Kin:

I am not making any accusations.
Neil Williams - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Skinny Kin:

"Taxes are what the government reckon is enough to cover all the public expenses including NPs"

Ideally. But the electorate will not accept the increasing of taxes to cover the costs of all public services (that'd probably be a 10% increase at least). So some public services are paid for at the point of use instead, like car parking.

Neil
Skinny Kin - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
>So some public services are paid for at the point of use instead, like car parking.

That's not entirely uniform across the country, either. In Scotland, they removed the tolls, Forth Bridge for example. It's good thing that you know the government is paying for it.
mkean - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Skinny Kin:
In Scotland, they removed the tolls, Forth Bridge for example. It's good thing that you know the government is paying for it.

Or not paying it safe in the knowldege that by the time people notice the PPM isn't happening and it all goes pear shaped they won't be in office?

;-)

morango - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to Sean Toms)
>
> "get real paying £10 a day to park there is a total joke"
>
> You've never parked at an airport or in London, right?
>
> It's a small car park with very limited spaces. It needs rationing in some way to encourage people to park down the hill and use the P&R instea
>
>Do the PYB buses pay?
I used to pay every time but now less frequently as one day I turned up with a Scout mini bus to park in the remaining bus bay and was told the CP was full and the space was reserved! On returning after walking up the road from the Gwryd Hotel with 14 teenagers (no path over the wall in those days)the attendant let a car park in the bay and also another accompanying car to a place he had saved with cones. They were friends of the Head Ranger who met them! I complained to him and his comment was "it's one of my only perks", "get the bus up next time". With 15 people it is a logistic nightmare on the bus. We usually split the group anyway but like to be within the same relative time span. Oh and they did not pay!

Kev Fox - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Sean Toms: We never pay for parking in National trust Car parks all around the lakes and beyond. The paystation clearly states 'thankyou for your donation'. Its not a charge and as such you cannot be fined for not making a donation.
Sometimes we get little notes asking us to make a donation next time but we never do.
I just think that people don't know that its not enforceable.
Neil Williams - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Kev Fox:

Personally, I don't care if it's enforceable or not. If they wish to make a charge, it's right to pay it or not use the service at all. It's their car park.

Neil
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Kev Fox:

you pay tens of pounds for the petrol to get to the lakes, yet you won't make a small donation (? £3) to the body that does a lot to maintain the character of the place that makes it attractive to visit, maintains many of the footpaths you walk on when you are there, and provides you with somewhere to leave your car when you are enjoying yourself.

legally you are in the right, but i'm not sure that your relevation about your behaviour casts you in an attractive light

cheers
gregor
MHutch - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Last time I visited Great Langdale the parking charge was nearer a tenner. PYP is a tenner for the day. I was brought up to be a dutiful payer, even when the charge is verging on exploitation of a captive market.

I still consider that there is a threshold beyond which it becomes an unreasonable bar to access for the less well off. Just because someone can afford £20 petrol to visit the Lakes, doesn't mean the national park or NT has the right to soak them for another tenner to get out of their car, especially as the public transport alternatives are equally expensive and far less practical.

And as this thread suggests, there is a price point beyond which a significant proportion of visitors will simply not pay, whereas a more modest charge would yield nearer to 100% payment, and perhaps even raise more cash overall.
FallingUp - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

You're right, of course, though I'd like to have some sense of where the money actually goes.

Contrast this, however, to my experience driving home from Wales on the M6. I found myself more tired than I thought I'd be, and pulled in at about 0100 into a nearly deserted parking lot at a rest area and took a sensible nap. I slept until 0500, placing me afoul of the microscopic notices of a 3 hour free max time limit posted under an overgrown bush as you drive in. The CCTV system issued me a scary looking GBP 90 fee for this infraction which I foolishly paid before reading on the internet about their enforceability and perhaps basic illegality. And in that case, you can be sure that the money goes to some coven of bankers rather than to something perhaps a bit more decent as the Pen-y-Pas reasonable fee presumably covers.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to MHutch:

fair point. £10 does seem a bit steep for langdale

at PYP i can just about understand it, because having used the car park at nant peris, and taken the bus up, that really wasnt much hassle. as some have said, a reduction for early starters in winter when the bus isnt running seems fair enough too. £10 where there is a reasonable alternative sounds ok

but not sure what the alternative in langdale would be. is there a shuttle from ambleside? how long would that take?

cheers
gregor
MHutch - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

I've used a bus from Windermere - was about 7 or 8 quid I seem to remember, and of course you'd still have to park in Windermere/Ambleside. Didn't particularly take longer, perhaps another 10-15 minutes or so.
Kev Fox - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs: We live in Barrow, so it costs us not alot to get to the lakes. Id rather they make it less attractive to visit. Keep the numbers down. How can some places charge a ridiculous amount of money to park (grizedale forest £6 for 4hrs), while other places are free (car park next to the old man of coniston).
BnB - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to MHutch: Soon it'll be cheaper to book a night at the Dungeon Ghyll Hotel and use their car park for free all day than to park for 4 hours at the bottom of their driveway!!
Skinny Kin - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
> you pay tens of pounds for the petrol to get to the lakes, yet you won't make a small donation (? £3) to the body that does a lot to maintain the character of the place that makes it attractive to visit, maintains many of the footpaths you walk on....

That’s what they led you to believe the money goes to footpath maintenance. In the case of Pen y Pass, it is to fund the bus service.

According to your principle, would you “donate” £3 every time you walk into a church? They NEED your money to maintain the buildings, etc.

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