/ Car park fees and cafe at Stanage?
The polite but steely Mary Bagley of the Peak Park talked to a BMC meeting at the Maynard in Grindleford this week.She seemed to think climbers should help her generate income to pay for path and car park upkee
She seems determined to screw money out of climbers to help support the whole estate.Her salary is not exactly peppercorn.
She suggests a cafe adjacent to parking there.This would presumably increase traffic and necessitate more hard standing for parking space.
I thought the Peak Park Planning Board was supposed to preserve the natural environment,not spread tarmac over it and increase vehicle traffic.It would seem a good idea to place a cafe somewhere less sensitive.
Maybe the BMC could increase subscription by a few pennies and give a fee each year to Ms Bagley and her colleagues?
I'm not from round those parts, being a softy southern climber, but; is it a real, proper car park, with tarmac and stuff? If so, supposing someone paid to install it and still pays to maintain it, why would you not pay to help look after it and use it?
Paul - ignoring paragraphs 1,3 and 4 do you think climbers should contribute to car park and path upkeep? It doesn't strike me as unreasonable for the most popular crag in the country
(type faster in future)
there are parking charges at Plantation car park already and many people park on the verges outside the carpark to dodge the fares. This causes damage to the verges and causes minor traffic problems. I'd like to know how much revenue is being made by the current charges and where the money goes.
Doesn't seem unreasonable to me, provided that the money from the car parking is invested in the facilities provided i.e. the car parking, paths to climbs etc?
If you don't like it, walk in from further away, like you would have to if it really was some kind of wild park :P
As for preserving the natural environment, I'm sure Stanage would look a lot more natural (i.e. vegetated) if there weren't all these damn climbers climbing on it all the time...
The path is about a dozen slabs of non local stone then 'sheep tracks' to the crag
Enlarging the carpark would encroach on the park land I don't see how this is protecting it.
Personally I think this is driven by a need to show a profit from the management of the park. I do not believe it is the correct metric but apparently these days it is the only yardstick we accept
I have to say I was a bit shocked by your comments on Wednesday night.
You appeared to be saying that as climbers we are only interested in the rock faces ("maintained by the wind and the rain") and the rest of the estate was someone else's problem.
Admittedly it was dark and I may have misheard you......
Just to clarify, I was the guy who said that it was time we accepted parking charges at all points. Quite frankly the pitiful amount raised by the honesty boxes and the number of illegally parked cars is an embarrassment to all of us.
There is clearly not much need for maintenance at the Hook's Car (Popular End) car park. Obviously it cost something to build the dry stone wall and reinforce the ground there to park on. Having said that, given that it is the most popular climbing car park in the entire world & the fact that after buying gear, climbing costs nothing, I don't particularly see a problem with paying 1 or 2 pounds to park there for the day. The Plantation & Millstone car park fees should then be lowered to even things up. It would be nice to have the revenue invested in an environmentally sensitive toilet facility there. A stone walled building with slate roof would look far less obtrusive than a line of 40 parked cars so visibility would not an issue.
There's already a stone wall, slate roofed toilet about 400 metres from there. I'm sure we don't need another one.
Considering the 1000s of £s of clothing and equipment most people are adorned with at Stanage, £2 or £3 parking charge is hardly going to kill them now, is it?!
edit...sorry Duncan, didn't see your post, bit of backup anyway. :-)
I've got no problem paying a few quid to park at Stanage at all.
I'm a bit surprised at your post, Paul.
As far as Stanage is concerned, you seem to want the Peak Park Planning Board to "preserve the natural environment" yet you were more or less on your own in UKC for wanting a man-made shelter put up on Kinder.
A small shelter on Kinder,designed to be camouflaged into a gully or peat bank,would be far less obtrusive than extending the car parks at Stanage,or having a cafe built below the crag.Such features would increase footfall and erosion,as well as car traffic,and presumably rubbish from the cafe.
I am requesting a shelter.I do not have the statutory power of the Peak Park Planning Board.
As climbers we need to keep an eye on what they incrementally try to get us to conform to.
On Twitter Matt Clowes comments..
Matt Clowes ‏@Matt_Clowes Feb 12
Human activities are destroying what is left of the natural integrity of the Earth, why is this not only allowed but encouraged?
Which seems entirely fair
Let me start by saying I don't go to Stanage that much these days, too crowded, but I agree with Paul in not wanting a cafe, after all isn't there a coffee van at the Plantation most weekends?
The paying to park is an interesting debate, I can see both sides. We are members of the National Trust and it's not cheap so why not pay a bit towards Stanage? Or if we go somewhere with the kids we always end up paying.
Having said all that I still don't think I'd be happy about paying to park at Stanage. I can't quite explain why though, apart from it doesn't feel right.
I might add that climbers bring a lot of money into the Peak already, in the shops, cafes and pubs.
I am happy to pay something to the up keep of the park, depending on price if I had to pay £6 - £10 I would go elsewhere. I already pay to park at the Plantation (usually the only place left with parking) and that is fine, as is the small cafe they operate there. I certainly wouldn't be in favour of a permanent cafe at the popular end for reasons already discussed.
Ignoring your cheap shot at peoples salaries.
Why shouldn't climbers pay a few pounds for parking?
If it pays for the maintenance of the car park that's great. If it contributes to the upkeep of the wider landscape that we all enjoy whilst climbing that's even better!
Seems fine to me. I do a bit of caving and often have to pay a small trespass fee to the land owner. I think this system works well and don't mind paying one bit. I'm not saying it's applicable to an area like stanage but the act of a small payment seems righg. It's not like there aren't any alternatives nearby.
we (the climbing community) mounted a vociferous campaign to stop Stanage being sold off. Surely this is the quid pro quo for it remaining in public ownership.
Mmm I'm enjoying eating this fine cake, and yet I still seem to have it.
I agree about the café it would totally detract from the setting.
I am not sure that I would want a car parking fee,as I could imagine getting there and finding that cards were not accepted and I had not got the right change etc.
If there was a year's pass to a central climbing area with leave to park within that area I would find that more sensible as I would only have to deal with it once per year.That would be especially useful if it was based on car number plates in a database.
I think that is a sensible idea but this applies only Stanage, from what I could make out in the meeting.
IIRC Mary also said that existing parking revenue from the Plantation car park was a mere £70, which hardly seems worth it considering how much a parking/ticket machine would cost to install and maintain.
Mary's suggestion re a cafe was to utilise an existing building - the toilet block near the plantation car park - and do something with an under -utilised room in there (described as a briefing room). The only alteration she suggested was putting a window on the room (overlooking the woodland, not Stanage).
I've not been in this room, but I'm assuming it's quite small, so maybe a conservatory would be needed.
I presume this cafe would replace the existing concession in the car park, thus freeing up 2 or 3 spaces there.
I can imagine such a cafe being very popular with cyclists (my mates always stop there) and walkers. As for climbers maybe less so, I tend to stay at the crag when I get there. However one good thing would be the incentive for those who need the toilet to go down to the cafe/toilet block rather than crap in the woods.
The one group who I can't imagine using the cafe would be motorists, simply because there will still be a lack of easy car parking there.
The other thing to say is that this is not a definite proposal - it's merely someone new to the job throwing out some ideas. Do we dismiss them simply because that job is for someone we don't trust ?
Thanks Chris for the clarication, I arrived a little bit late and was trying to sort our chairs out :-)
Just want to add that I support some sort of scheme which will maintain and preserve our access to Stanage.
Im opposed to any charge for parking
I have participated in many outdoor pursuits for a long time and always felt like I was being robbed if we had to pay for parking or access, and it only recently that I have worked out why.
All we want is access to a natural resource of the country in which we live - these natural resources have already been paid for by us, so why should we pay twice?
I know the North Lees estate is privately owned by the Peak Park, but the peak park is a publicly owned authority, we pay for the Peak Park. We pay for them to maintain the paths, we pay for them to provide parking space for recreation, and we pay the local high way authority to provide roads so we can access them.
If the Peak Park want to save some money, then there are several other things they could do, such as make the Monsal Trail a public foot path (cutting there costs in half, as half the maintenance cost would then be covered by derbyshire county council) - the other money saving measure they could do would be to sort out there planning office, but I won't get into that here!
No, the £70 figure was from the voluntary boxes at Hook's Carr (popular end). The pay and display machines at the Plantation turnover thousands of pounds a year.
Increased charges in the past met with several increased costs including enforcement and the vandalisation of machines. These problems wee one of the reasons the Stanage forum was set up and it was very successful at reaching the current compromise.
The key to success of any increased charges will be ensuring monies raised on the estate remain on the estate (they currently go into the central coffers), and ensuring a better level of investment. Then of course there is the question of actually informing engagement which the Peak Park has been increasingly bad at in recent years.
The cafe as mooted would be in the current toilet block by the Plantation car park. Given the building already exists, and a coffee van is already trading close by, it isn't such a leap. However it will need doing right if it is not to be to the detriment of the area.
Thanks again for the clarification :-)
I'll stop posting now as I seem to have made a hash of it so far ;-)
If it were just a couple of £ that would be fine but I'd bet it would be more like 5 and they'd get parking Nazis to shaft you if you accidentally overstayed your ticket by 5 seconds or more.
As far as a cafe. They don't really need to make the place any busier
, if they are really keen perhaps put one somewhere else.
Ive never heard of a trespass fee, how does that work? sounds interesting!
I hate parking charges. As someone has said, public ownership means we've already paid. A cafe to subsidise the park is a good idea.
You aren't being charged for access, you are being charged for parking your car. There is a huge difference. Roads are in public ownership, but I still have to pay to park outside my house.
>You aren't being charged for access, you are being charged for parking your car
how else do we get there?
I'm constantly shocked by the fact that climbers are prepared to fund the profits of BP, Shell and Esso, but draw the line at putting some money in the box for a not-for-profit body whose main aim is to protect the areas we claim are important to us.
Rant about parking nazis all you like, but without the threat of enforcement people simply don't pay. £70 in the honesty box is an embarrassment to us all
>not-for-profit body whose main aim is to protect the areas we claim are important to us.
not for profit? who's that?
As a lot of cave entrances are located in farmers fields etc a small tresspass fee is paid. The caving guides tell you where to pay which can be interesting trying to find a farmer in a big yard with dogs etc. It's normally a few pounds per person. The farmer will then tell you where to park and where the often hard to find entrance is. It's a good system by not really applicable to crags but the act of taking a few pounds in some way seems reasonable to me.
I suspect there's a more than fair chance that if parking charges are intrtoduced and enforced, the roads all round the parking area will be painted with shiny double yellow lines. That will have a significant visual impact.
Well said. I admit that I try to minimise what I pay to park (e.g. by parking a 7 minute walk away from Surprise View if I want to pop to Millstone just for a short recce) but, having burned maybe £20 of diesel for a day trip, and knowing that I'll be spending £15 on beer and dinner later, I tend not to grumble too much if I end up paying £4 for parking! It's not a big deal!
<cue "thin end of the wedge" comments>
Could someone clear the parking charge at Surprise View up for me please. It always used to be on a voluntary (unenforceable) basis - is that still the case?
On another note, I seriously resent paying for parking where there is a reasonable chance of having my car broken into. This has happened several times and I do not want the insult of having to pay for the privelege of supplying a target the scummy vandals and thieves. If however there will be functional security, I will happily pay.
Cycle? Walk from the nearest bus stop? Taxi? Get someone to drop you off?
I'm happy to pay for parking if there is a maintenance cost of the car park, though I find no change pay and display a pain and would prefer cards to be accepted.
How climbers have changed, people actually agreeing with paying to park! It always used to be considered shameful to pay up now many of you seem to be asking "Where can I pay, please?" Don't know what the world's coming to, mutter, mutter.....
I bet some of you even agree with paying to camp!
I don't think 'voluntary' is quite the right word to use, but as far I know the Peak Park don't enforce them rigidly. I was once caught and given a ticket that was not a fine but a strongly-worded plea to pay in future.
The honesty boxes are hardly high profile though, and even for those that see them it's often far from obvious that they're actually in use. If they were more obvious they'd raise more money, mind you, they'd also probably be robbed regularly. (Like the plantation P&D machine was before there was a coffee van concession there.)
It used to be 'voluntary' though that was never entirely clear from the signage, there was something in the Peak Park Authority's constitution that prevented them from make a compulsory charge I believe. That changed a good few years ago now and the parking charge definitely is enforceable now. Enforcement costs money however, and most people do pay so thus far the PDNPA haven't found it worth their while to rigidly enforce the parking charges.
Indeed. There is a reason the Surprise View P&D machine doesn't accept cash. Just by being there, the coffee van concession at the Plantation car park made a huge difference. It would be a great shame if a cafe opening on their doorstep made that concession untenable, and as a result the Plantation car park reverted to being car-crime central.
Maybe it could work for crags that are banned on private land?
I find this whole "pay for parking" debate strange. I can't understand why so many people expect to get something for nothing.
OK it's a long time since I've been to Stanage but if you are being provided with a proper hardened car park why shouldn't you contribute towards the cost of developing and maintaining it? Do imagine that these sorts of facilities appear by magic? Do you believe in fairies?
We have a similar situation down here in the south. There are some very good mountain bike trails through Bedgebury Forest south of Tunbridge Wells which is owned and maintained by the Forestry Commission. Use of these trails is free, but there is a charge made for parking in the Forestry Commission car park. The proceeds of these parking charges go towards maintaining the wonderful features in Bedgebury Forest which include numerous walks, the cycle trails and world famous pinetum, yet a surprising number of cyclists cheat by parking just outside the facilities on public roads and laybys and cycle in to use the trails.
The bare faced cheek of this and utter meanness of the people who do this beggars belief.
> On another note, I seriously resent paying for parking where there is a reasonable chance of having my car broken into.
I am with rogersavery and Paul on this one.
Why should we have to pay to go on what is or should be public land.
Or pay to stop near our roads.
We pay enough taxes in numerous forms to be allowed to have some free release in a National Park.
In my opinion, its just a way of paying for unnecessary jobsworths.
How sure are you of that? As I understand it, potential penalties have to be displayed on the machine for them to be enforceable. The last time I looked, the Stanage Plantation, the Surprise and Curbar Gap parking don't have any such notices.
As I understand it the Forestry Commission used to be in Public Ownership.
Part of the deal for its current existence and ability to generate income from its timber business is to provide a (free) public asset in outdoor activities.
Similar situation with United Utilities PLC.
So I agree. I do find it strange to pay for parking.
Its a scam Chris.
Only Highway authorities can legally charge, the National trust and others are only trying it on. Lots of advice on parking penalty notices on UKC.
As I understand it the Forestry Commission is non profit making, and is actually running at a loss and not generating sufficient income from it's timber business to develop and maintain facilities like those at Bedgebury, hence it has had to diversify into generating other forms of income. Parking charges are an obvious source, other sources, which are from sub letting to businesses like Go Ape, and the cafe. The cycle tracks are free to use and of quality, but if people continue to try and avoid the parking fees whilst at the same time using the facilities, do you really think this is fair given the economics involved?
Car parks can too, and if you don't pay they can take you to court. This depends on them being able to demonstrate that there is a contract in place.
The argument against paying has nothing to do with either the ability to pay or paying for use. The argument is against the principle of paying for something twice and against the change in control that the introduction of a seemingly small change such as a parking charge brings about.
What I find interesting, as Bruce pointed out, is the change in attitude. It wasn't that long ago when this would simply have been rejected and very few advocates would have been heard. Now we see that the OP might even be in a minority position?
Tough. They will have to try harder/smarter.
I am self employed, I have to.
Given the current economic climate they are more likely to fold with mass redundancies. They have outgrown their raison d'etre.
So no more free cycle tracks.
Um.. less than 100%
No, but it's true that bodies like the National Trust can't enforce their charges with a PCN the way that a local authority can.
The car parks Chris mentions aren't National Trust though, they're Peak District National Park Authority. They're a public body, and in some sense they're also a "local authority" - can they issue a PCN? I don't know, and so far professor google hasn't been much help.
Quite true, how can all those skinflints imagine that they'll be allowed to breathe "free air" in these days of economic crisis? Total madness!
As for wandering about the hills and looking at blue sky or even, some still insist, listening to a bird singing, the technology exists to charge for them, what are the governments waiting for? We want to be charged, and quick!
I'll take my money elsewhere.
Shame, as I've had some nice times there.
Might be a good thing, for the NIMBY's, less crowds etc.
Cracks me up when people argue that its for the "upkeep" of the area, its been there for millions of years, survived agriculture, quarrying and the weather, without any "upkeep", apart from that awful bl***y motorway of a path thats been put there.
You say you always put a few quid in so that means on the popular end crags you moderate for UKC logbooks we now know you visit fewer than 30 times a year ;-)
More seriously, I am amazed the honesty box gets so little even though it isn't exactly obvious. I would never expect it to get loads as climbers do not trust the Peak Park at present. A charitable trust would be very helpful to increase revenue as Stanage would benefit, rather than the PDNP coffers, especially as the maintenance costs of that parking are hardly huge. A cafe seems unhelpful to me the space doesn't seem large enough to make money and the toilets are important. A cafe also hits the concession in the plantation parking, which, as some here have pointed out, provides an excellent service and helps keeps car crime down. On the newish no-cash Surprise View parking machines I've seen a very angry 'customer' when the machine swallowed his card...most would buy a year pass rather than risk that.
As Adam, Henry and Ed ( https://www.thebmc.co.uk/stanage-a-question-of-trust?s=2 ) have pointed out, the Peak Park haven't exactly been communicating well with climbers in recent years. I hope that Mary's post signals a change in this but I think in the meantime parking costs are part of a negotiating position and we need clear and open progress across the estate (and possibly wider) before we agree. Mary said we can't see some incomes/costs due to commercial sensitivity but I fail to see why, especially if a key BMC access rep signed an agreement to keep things confidential.
As I said on the BMC peak area post( http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=577723 ), even if parking charges were agreed I'd like to see some free parking spaces available on a first-come-first-served basis for those with genuine affordability issues and for the die-hard anti-payment brigade. If nothing else this stops mass parking further out, blocking space for other park users, like the model plane enthusiasts on the parking near Hampers Hang.
I pay to park at Plantation and would pay to park at Popular end too. I wasn't aware of the £40 annual National Parks ticket. Will be looking into that
Most of the annual budget goes on employing and housing an on-site warden. A big part of his role is ensuring, in a fairly low-key, personal way, that the site doesn't get abused. Which can give the impression that Stanage looks after itself - a bit like housework, you don't notice until it isn't done. Without the warden you could expect regular wildfires, more car crime, more litter, more motorbikes, more erosion, less wildlife, etc etc.
What this guy said^
Firstly the I wouldn't say the North Lees Estate is 'privately owned' by the Peak Park. It is in public ownership, currently managed by the Peak Park.
The problem is the government have cut their budget. This was started by the previous lot so you can't even blame the tories. I agree it'd be great if the budget was restored (or the PDNPA found other ways to make the saving), but that isn't going to happen in the next few years at least.
My preferred option would have been to sell it to the National Trust, who could afford to do things right, but that possibility was refused.
So we are stuck with the current situation and there isn't much point wishing things were different.
I don't think it's unreasonable to pay a sensible parking fee. After all, I cough up when parking at the Plantation. Yes, someone pays to maintain the car park and paths so why not as long as it is a sensible fee.
A café? Surely a permanent building is not appropriate for such an open area of moorland. Surely it would be more appropriate to sell a license for a café on a trailer type thing.
Actually, most of my recent visits have been by bike......
I guess the issue comes down to this
Would climbers be prepared to pay for parking if
a) The money went to a charitable trust
b) It was possible to buy an annual pass
c) Some of the income generated went to subsidise a bus service
Regrettably I suspect that most climbers will still say no, and as a result the parking problems will continue to get worse, and the PDNPA will have the excuse to introduce more draconian measures.
They already do the latter, but Mary was floating the idea of using an un-used room in an existing building (the toilet block)
>Firstly the I wouldn't say the North Lees Estate is 'privately owned' by the Peak Park. It is in public ownership, currently managed by the Peak Park.
It is privately owned
The owner is the Peak District National Park Authority
It is not just managed by the Peak Park, it is owned by them
This is what gives them the ability to sell it, or change access (subject to the public foot paths and CROW)
The same is true of the Monsal Trail, it is privately owned by the Peak Park, but what makes it worse is the Monsal Trail is not a public foot path or covered by CROW, so they could close it tomorrow if they wanted
> The same is true of the Monsal Trail, it is privately owned by the Peak Park, but what makes it worse is the Monsal Trail is not a public foot path or covered by CROW, so they could close it tomorrow if they wanted
or re-instate some form of rail link (which I believe has been considered in the past)
Nobody who has a car and who can afford the petrol to run it has 'genuine affordability issues.'
I am always surprised by people with fancy motors - and even fancier climbing gear - who whinge about car-parking charges. Some such people might be making some kind of moral argument - but I think most are just cheapskates.
> How climbers have changed, people actually agreeing with paying to park! It always used to be considered shameful to pay up
I know. Next thing we'll have climbers paying for their groceries in Chamonix...
I'm sorry but that is not the opinion of some locals travelling short distances, who have low incomes. Also I've known many a student with big debts who made them bigger rather than miss a climbing trip and who would climb on minimal old and worn gear.. some are still clearing debts decades on. Filling a car with climbers, camping and coming up for the weekend/week is hardly a big splash when splitting costs. Then there are some who carefully argue why payment should not be required. Not all 'whinging' climbers are cheapskates.
'Locals travelling short distances' might be better of using a bike. Or thumbing. Or - anything other than driving their own car. It worked for me.
I am always happy to listen to a careful argument.
She seemed to think climbers should help her generate income to pay for path and car park upkee
And why not? It's us that use it and impact on it after all.
Apropos of what exactly? You cant differentiate that closely when trying to get some revenue to supplement a measly existing grant.
I thought the Peak Park Planning Board was supposed to preserve the natural environment,not spread tarmac over it and increase vehicle traffic.
Lines of cars parked down the roadside are natural - how?
So you just want BMC members to pay? Can't see you logic.
One other thing that Mary mentioned was trying to recover revenue from those whose businesses were carried out on the estate. (I don't remember the exact wording she used). Would this include those who use the crag for paid instruction purposes etc.
ps Mary did state that it was never the intention to charge people to climb.
I'm sure they might get on their bike or a bus but that assumes they are not so time pressed by family, work etc.
While I disagree with paying to park in general, I do see that there may be a need for it to maintain car parks roads, access etc.
What I really disagree with is the idea that some car parks are charging extortionate rates, while others are free, surely if a pay scheme was introduced at Hooks car park, that would increase the pressure on Dennis Knoll and maybe even Moscar. Where the verges are already widely used and damaged.
Curbar is another example...
I think a simple, flat rate across the Park, or at least all managed car parks (1/2£ a day max, with options of yearly tickets) per car would be much simpler than charging ridiculous rates the "popular" spots.
It also won't help anything if it isn't patrolled and badly parked cars (verges, blocking roads etc. aren't ticketed).
P.s. sorry if I'm repeating others... haven't read all the posts.
Aren't Curbar/ Robin Hood car parks now managed by the RSPB/NT partnership now? - free to memebers of either organisation
I see. That's not very near to the Popular End is it, although I guess neither is Outside Café which is where a lot of rained off climbers end up - but then outside Café has free parking :-) Personally, I go for my Thermos and sit in a cave.
I'm not going working for the Peak District National Park, those salaries are rubbish.
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