Just a heads up really for anyone thinking of heading to Curbar or Baslow for climbing or bouldering. (I think) since I cycled past a few weeks ago they've painted loads of double yellow lines on the lane either side of Curbar Gap car park. They go maybe 200 mtrs back east of the car park entrance, and then down the hill to the west as far as I could see - except for the parking bays down the hill that have long been there. There is no ticket machine in the car park currently so it seems to often be busy - I got a space just when I got there at 6.40 pm but it was the only one available at the time. Hundreds more cars were parking up and down the road last year but I imagine now with the double yellows there may well be enforcement if it gets super busy again this spring.
Gosh, that's mightily attractive, nearly as nice as all those parked cars. Unfortunately inevitable there and plenty other places given the parking messes that occurred so much last summer.
However, were there any signs?
I'm not sure whether the restrictions are enforceable without appropriate signage. I'm fairly certain single yellow lines can be ignored if there are no signs indicating the times of restriction etc, but it may be different for double yellows.
Edit: Highway code says (for double yellows) "even if there are no upright signs" so I guess that answers that.
Edit2: also for single yellows, look out for controlled parking zones which removes the need for signage on each area of single yellow.
Thanks for the heads up, although I'm unsure how they expect this to work given the car park hasn't tripled in size. As you say, its not uncommon for there to be 100+ cars there on a nice day; seems naive in the extreme for the council to think that will just stop by painting some lines surely?
I suppose it's sort of a case of first come, first served. I don't really know what the answer is. I suspect people will start parking on the verge on the straight going back east, although I hate passing cars going the other way on that stretch anyway, people drive fast and it's only just wide enough without regular parked cars down there.
Probably going to be another summer of tension over this issue and rubbish and so on.
What a ridiculous thing to do. It is not as if anyone is being disturbed by the cars parking roadside there. The road is wide enough. Who is it that comes up with this sort of nonsense?
This kind of restriction needs to be supported by a proper integrated public transport infrastructure so that it’s not necessary to take cars into the NPs. However that’s a long way away unfortunately. I know there’s a huge ‘Gateway’ development going on with huge investment in Chesterfield but not sure if they’ve finalised the transport planning yet.
Outside of peak demand, cars were being parked on the verges even when there were spaces in the car park so I think the lines were inevitable esp as the verges were being trashed. My guess is that parking further down the road will result in a clearway being imposed.
If they get really arsey, then I believe the yellow lines prevent parking on the whole highway which extends out from the road to the edge of the property lines. So the car in photo 1 would be illegally parked. There was a furore round here when they ticketed all the park and ride cars left on the verge of the A65 despite some being a full 10 feet from the edge of the road.
I agree completely. Totally short sighted.
Paul in sheffield - the problem with the imposition of a clearway is it still won't actually solve the issue of there being loads of visitors to Curbar and nowhere for them to park. This was one of the few areas in the Peak that could easily absorb large numbers of visitors. There is no scenario here which won't result in people just parking on the verge.
I cannot be the only one who has just become disillusioned with parking there and no longer go to Curbar.
God knows what its like to live nearby.
What it needs is a solution to greater access - not just preventing access.
I dont agree with "first come first served". We need to be looking at ways to make health and recreation in our open spaces available to more.
Realistically that means more parking spaces until alternative solutions are up and running.
I really don't understand this - parking there is (well, was!) way better than at loads of other crags in my experience. Often busy, but always space on the verges.
The village is separated from the edge by a fair distance, so the only affected house is the one by the Trackside boulder. Lets be honest, they knew what they were buying, so I can't bring myself to feel too sorry for them I'm afraid.
> God knows what its like to live nearby.
That's the point. No-one really does. All the houses are a long way down the hill and it is easy for locals to avoid the road if they need to. It really was an example of manageable overflow parking that was only really a little inconvenient for those who were parking. Ok the roadside is a bit of a mess but the solution there would be to make it into a proper lay-by parking.
So is that car in the first picture illegally parked then? Given that it's off the highway completely and in a de facto layby...?
I know that parking along that road can get crazy at busy times, but this seems like a shame.
Correct - that car is illegally parked, unless they change it from a de-facto to an offical layby.
I would have supported a few short sections of double yellows, especially on the corners as it enables easy passing, but this is just ridiculous.
To play devils advocate, there are more and more and more people climbing and walking along these edges. Is it really that horrible if people are discouraged from driving to them? The honeypots are mostly accessible by public transport or a <1hr bike ride. The cars parked all over the verges, burger vans, etc. at the likes of The Roaches certainly detract a little from the experience for me.
Climbers/walkers/recreational users (read: instagrammers) will always make the effort to get there but more parking restrictions will probably thin the 'leave-my-McDonalds-wrappers-on-the-floor-next-to-my-hatchback' crowd.
Also, parking may be the worst it has ever and will ever be right now. More people than ever using the outdoors (you only have to look at the state of the paths and parks; some irrecoverably rutted, all botanicals replaced with mud). And everyone driving separately to places.
£35 for a days parking, not bad value for a days climbing or walking when split 4 ways.
I'm not sure they needed to be quite that long but some double yellows around the car park entrance are very welcome imho. There were some pretty bad tailbacks last year, I got stuck there for 30 mins once unable to go back or forward.
It's certainly the case that I've never seen the Peak busier than it's been in this last year. I'm holding onto some hope that once normal leisure and shopping facilities fully re-open, once we can share cars again, and once pubs are trading again (the ones that made it through....) it'll all quieten down a bit and parking won't be quite so crazy. Wait and see.
I detest parking on verges in an area of beauty.
I have been on that road when its jammed full of cars. It gets gridlocked.
I have sympathy for any resident in any or nearby to a popular area in the country, wild car parking is blighting those areas for both resident and visitor alike.
Fair enough, but you still need a solution beyond the long term solution of increased investment in park and ride schemes etc. In the current scenario, where outdoor exercise is more popular than ever, car sharing isn't allowed and parking provision is manifestly unfit for purpose, its not enough to just double yellow everything.
Oh good grief, it's perfectly possible to park sensibly outside the official bays. I guess this is an overreaction to everyone that didn't.
Whilst I think the length of the lines is an over-reaction, (I am 100% in favour of the lines on the corner though) and that there does need to be more provision for parking or for public transport, I disagree with most of this post.
I don't live in Curbar but I do frequently work in that area. During the summer, or at weekends, it's absolutely not 'easy to avoid the road' because the alternative is to go via Baslow or Bakewell, which are both frequently gridlocked. Curbar, pre-parking chaos, was a better route. It's hardly the end of the world that it takes me longer to get through now, but it's fairly annoying and, as I'm self-employed, costs me money. But it is what it is and I try to plan for it.
As for 'ok, the roadside is a bit of a mess', that's a bit of an understatment and it's got worse and worse. I don't understand why you'd visit Curbar (presumably because you love the countryside) and then be ok with chewing up the verges. Especially when there is space in the car park.
If it's busy, go elsewhere? It's fairly predictable when it's going to be rammed so it's not even as if you need to waste a journey.
The new fences in the carpark have reduced capacity too, removing the trees in the centre of the carpark (plant more replacements elsewhere) and levelling this area could probably increase capacity by upto 50% would be a possible solution instead of moving the problem elsewhere.
I have noticed recently however cars parked on the verge to avoid the parking charge when the carpark isn't at capacity and the machine is out of order so hopefully this could reduce this, but this tends to be mid week when the numbers parked outside the carpark are not of great enough numbers to cause the problems often found at the weekend when the double yellows on the bend to avoid causing traffic chaos will be welcome.
> I agree completely. Totally short sighted.
> Paul in sheffield - the problem with the imposition of a clearway is it still won't actually solve the issue of there being loads of visitors to Curbar and nowhere for them to park. This was one of the few areas in the Peak that could easily absorb large numbers of visitors. There is no scenario here which won't result in people just parking on the verge.
I totally agree. Times are changing though, wrt attitudes towards environmental conservation and visitor numbers/traffic impact, which is being seen across all the NPs. Reducing traffic and parking can only be achieved by a subsidised comprehensive public transport system which needs implementing before the traffic restrictions.
In the meantime, when the lockdown is over, if the car park is full it’s a nice walk up from the Bridge inn area at Calver Mill and the local businesses and pub will be grateful for our custom, and way cheaper than a parking ticket
> So is that car in the first picture illegally parked then? Given that it's off the highway completely and in a de facto layby...?
> I know that parking along that road can get crazy at busy times, but this seems like a shame.
That isn’t a de facto lay-by. It used to be a grass verge which has been lost to erosion by over use
Just for all interested in this, not Graeme specifically.
There is no machine in the car park currently and no signs about charges - in effect it is a free car park. I wonder if it will remain so, and that is the reason for the double yellow lines?
It used to be people would park on the road when there were spaces in the car park to avoid paying. Personally this a is slightly annoying as it was one of the car parks that as a National Trust member I could use without charge - just scan my card. I probably get more value for our family membership that way over the year than in trying to drag my increasingly vocally bored teenage children to some NT property in order for them to get some history and culture!
a solid white line painted down the middle of the road would be much more effective ( as is the case at Toad's Mouth Burbage) than the double yellows in such an attractive location, 3 points + the fine is likely to actually deter people from parking.
I guess we'll find out over the upcoming bank holiday weekend if people are willing to pay to park on the double yellows.
I guess it was short-sighted for everyone to think that the park will survive an endless onslaught of cars and foot traffic forever.
They should quit pretending it's a nature area and put in an NFC lot.
Not sure when the machine got removed/vandalised but i wonder if people just haven't noticed and so are just stuck in thier old ways of avoiding the non existent charge by parking outside. The payment machine at Birchen carpark is currently out of order too but as far as i can tell once the carpark os full the road layout seems to prevent other parking outside.
The one at stanage plantation doesn't take cards and the new signs about parking on the verge have just moved the problem further down the road when they are not being ignored. But i should stop before i open another can of worms/rant...
> Who is it that comes up with this sort of nonsense?
The same people who get to empty the ticket machine in the car park.
> If it's busy, go elsewhere? It's fairly predictable when it's going to be rammed so it's not even as if you need to waste a journey.
The more difficult it is made to park in these areas, the worse the parking offences will become. Painting yellow lines in places like this is only going to move the problem somewhere else and there are increasingly few peak crags with enough parking. Curbar Gap was not ideal but it was certainly manageable compared to some areas like Millers Dale for example.
Hopefully, once the pubs open then the 'extra' visitors may reduce a bit, however that didn't really happen last summer.
> Climbers/walkers/recreational users (read: instagrammers) will always make the effort to get there but more parking restrictions will probably thin the 'leave-my-McDonalds-wrappers-on-the-floor-next-to-my-hatchback' crowd.
I think you'll find those sets are not as orthogonal as you'd like to believe.
I'm not sure how much worse the parking can get on that bend!
Purely in terms of bouldering, whenever the parking is that bad, the bouldering is rammed. So it's perhaps not a bad thing to head elsewhere. Of course that adds pressure to other spots but, again, speaking from a bouldering perspective, whenever Curbar has been rammed you can, say, head south towards the Matlock area, park with far fewer problems and climb at relatively empty crags. So I'd say that there are crags with enough parking, especially given the rate of development that's going on and with the logbooks and Rockfax app making stuff so much easier to find.
I don't do much trad and realise there are fewer hidden trad crags than bouldering spots.
I don't see that spreading out and easing the access and verge-erosion at Curbar is a bad thing, mind.
> head south towards the Matlock area, park with far fewer problems and climb at relatively empty crags.
Trying somewhere else is never a bad idea but there were plenty of parking problems at Masson Lees last summer as there were at Intake when the landowner seemed to unilaterally close the lane where people used to park. I found parking for Duke's Quarry very busy one time!
I was just talking to the Site Manager at Eastern Moors Partnership about this. The car park is run by EMP, but the double yellows have been put in by Derbyshire CC who are responsible for the highway/verges – though this was not something EMP had asked for.
It sounds like the lines are “temporary”, though I’ve no idea for how long. I think if they were to be made permanent then EMP would ask for some sort of consultation process to happen, including BMC, local residents, etc. They are going to monitor the situation for the time being.
In other hot-off-the-press car park news, apparently a new contactless equipped ticket machine is on order for Curbar Gap but this may be some time arriving - so parking is free for now.
Cheers Kim. Don't suppose you know if it will still be "free" for NT members do you?
A couple of people have mentioned better public transport as a solution. I’m all for that but it’s no good for carrying a couple of boulder pads or if travelling from somewhere that that would require many multiple transport changes.
I would consider it if I was going for a run.
> Cheers Kim. Don't suppose you know if it will still be "free" for NT members do you?
Yep, should be as far as I know.
Many years back I was ticketed for a double white line offence near Fox House although I was parked completely off the carriageway. Not even my wing mirror was off the grass verge. Still got a fine and my only 3 points.
Toatally agree. live about 12 miles away or about 20 minues by car, unfortunately even as a relative local the idea that local transport would work is so far fetched compared to the convenience of a car. There is no direct bus to the carpark but the 257 bus goes past curbar village which i can acess via a short walk from my house. Total time to crag including the slog up the hill from the village would be about 2 hours and obviously the same back. My quick bouldering session this evening including the drive there, back, bouldering and removing a large invasive Rdodendrum bush at the crag plus going to look at the yellow lines took about the same as just journey there would take. There are many arguments around sustainability of a quick trip out but even for a full day i suspect you are not going to persuade many to give up their cars.
Anyway back to the yellow lines, they stop about 250/300m ish from the carpark on the straight towards Gardoms, so predict that people park on the verge/road there instead and the fact that there are yellow lines further up but none there is like a green light to say parking is ok once the lines stop. What usually happens is once one person parks there, others think they will too and before you know it there is a massive line of cars. One tucked in originally might have been fine but then inevitably it ends up with some parking badly or taking the piss and it causes problems
Having never been to any of the crags in this area is this likely to have a significant impact on parking and general business at gardoms or chatsworth edges on Saturday where I am hoping to dodge the crowds!
Or better off staying further south on the limestone around Matlock?
Would really like a bit of grit.
It's currently free for rspb members as well isn't it?
I wouldn't think so. You park in other places for those crags. I've never seen anyone else climbing at Chatsworth when I've been there. And I didn't see anybody else climbing at Baslow the other night when I was there. I think the idea of "crowds" climbing is wrong, most people parking are going for a walk or just sitting in their cars.
Do take a plastic bag and maybe some gloves if you're a little bit delicate that way, and pick up any litter you see whilst out! It's great for your karma or something... 👍
There are certainly crowds at burbage and stanage. And I suspect this first weekend of ‘freedom’ along with being Easter bank holiday whilst most attractions are still closed is set up to be a busy one.
Sorry, can't agree with you at all there, nothing ridiculous about this. Having been there over this winter, with cars parked on both sides of the road, and barely enough carriageway for one vehicle to get through it was chaos. Just a load of vehicles in both directions stuck. If folk can't use common sense to park, the authorities will have to use enforcement.
According to that top news source "The Link" (Parish magazine for Calver, Curbar, Froggatt and Stoney) the restrictions followed representations from Curbar Parish Council to Derbyshire County Council, with the Peak District National Park Authority being persuaded to withdraw their previous objections. It seems they are temporary, "in readiness for lockdown easing". The yellow line painters were also at work around the Hassop roundabout yesterday too.
At the risk of having my license to use social media taken away, it's a difficult issue and I can see both sides of the argument. It's a popular car park for a good reason, it's a lovely place for a short walk with a family or a run along the edges (I agree with you that climbers, even boulderers, are very much in the minority of users of that parking). But as parking on the road has become normalised people have got more and more thoughtless about it, especially on the bend where it really does feel quite dangerous sometimes. It is a busy road as many local people use it to get to Chesterfield, especially when Baslow is jammed up with Chatsworth traffic.
It would be great to see more people using public transport but I just don't think there's any realistic prospect of that happening to lessen the traffic very much, so I do think the answer has to be to provide more parking (and for people to be prepared to pay a few pounds for it).
You can guarantee quiet areas at Stanage and often even find them at Burbage on the busiest days. If you want relative peace it's always available. Chatsworth is nearly always quiet as is Gardoms away from the more famous buttresses and both are well worth a visit.
Drove past curbar gap this evening after most people had gone home so although noone was parked on the bend there were perhaps a dozen cars still parked on the double yellow lines just past the bend and a few down the road were they stop. Yesterday apparently loads were parked on the road beyond where they stop exactly as i predicted. So far it looks like it has just shifted the problem down the road or they are going to be ignored unless rigorous enforcement starts.
Coming to the Peak is a bit like going to the beach for many people in my view ... a quick visit to somewhere nice for an accessible picnic and short walk - not an environmental interest or care involved. This isn’t a criticism, just an observation... and another reason why the whole access thing needs to be properly managed rather than having piecemeal responses like this one to local demands...
The track owner at Intake closed the track because of the inconsiderate parking during 2019, where on several occasions he could not get his vehicles up the track to his outlying buildings. Last year people even threw the plastic fence panel and cones over into the field and blocked the lane again with inconsiderate parking. If you speak to him he is a really nice guy who just got fed up with the inconsiderate few! His only answer was to close the track to everyone.
Got to curbar gap car park at 8:30 yesterday and it was empty. By mid afternoon could see cars parked up and down the road, looked like they were on the double yellows too.
Spent a nice chilled out day at a deserted baslow edge other than a complete donkey of an instructor from the foundry at Sheffield who decided to come plonk his troupe right in the same small confined area we were already occupying! If brains were dynamite...