Debating National Parks' Policy of Restricted Access

Debating National Parks' Policy of Restricted Access

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Debating National Parks' Policy of Restricted Access

Each year 10's of millions of people enjoy the national parks across
the United Kingdom. But these people are causing irreversible damage
to the areas. With the tourists come pollution crime and traffic, but
also money, jobs and secures the livelihood of many people.

Out of the 22½ million people that visit the Peak District every year.
Causing conflict with local residents and the environment. 95% of them
go by car with only 5% using public transport. The cars bring
pollution, readings taken in the park show that in some cases there is
more pollution in the park then in central London. They also bring
congestion meaning that at peak times there can be almost complete
gridlock. The old roads of the Peak District were not designed to cope
with all of the traffic and are now unable to cope. Also all the cars
have to have a place to park. But there are few spaces meaning that
people end up parking dangerously or blocking up streets. This could
be resolved by charging a congestion fee like that of London's when
traffic is bad, or increase charging for parking but this may just
mean that people may park on road verges causing danger to other
visitors. New car parks could be built and screened by trees, but
these would still intrude on the landscape. The main reason for all
the traffic problems is the inability of the road network to cope.
This could be resolved by perhaps building a train line, as there is
currently not one in the area. Although it may be said that by doing
this more of the countryside of what people come to see will be eaten
up so it would be a pointless exercise and an underground line would
probably be too expensive. There are already Park and Ride schemes in
operation in some parks but these have had limited success. It still
means people parking somewhere unless there are good transport links.
For it to work properly it would have to be a lot more expensive to

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drive your car then use Park and Ride. There are new road schemes that
prioritise roads, which makes it easier for people to pick what roads
to go on, but this just spreads the traffic problems out and doesn't
solve it. In certain areas of parks 'Honey pots' have grown up meaning
large amounts of people converge on a certain place. These areas
exacerbate the problems mentioned above. You could try building or
upgrading certain areas to create new 'honey pots' but although this
may relieve some of the pressure off other areas it may just move it
or encourage more people to visit the area. The amount of people that
the park could cope with it could be worked out, at times when this
limit is met the park could effectively be closed and no more people
could be allowed in. But this may mean people that have travelled for
hours missing out and becoming disgruntled.

Although it is true that the National Parks are suffering from the
amount of people that visit it. But shouldn't we be glad that people
are taking the time to go out and enjoy the fresh air whilst getting
some exercise. Although a quarter of the people that visit the park
never actually get out of the car. Many of the visitors come from
cities meaning that it is likely that they don't often get the chance
to visit open spaces and enjoy the open air. The national parks gives
people that chance to exercise, walk dogs and spend time with friends
and family. Entrance is free allowing anybody with a car to visit with
buses available for those who haven't. It allows people to see
wildlife and different species of plants and take part in programs
such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award. All the visitors though are
eroding footpaths meaning that 10% of the 3000km of paths are
unusable. Bikes cause lots of the damages though. If special cycle
networks were created with a harder but natural looking surfaces and
people adhered to these areas people could enjoy these areas with
minimal effect on the environment.

I think that access to the parks should be restricted by way of a
charge for entering it. But the money raised should only be used for
benefiting the lives of the locals and tourists. Such as improving the
transport situation by using more Park and Ride schemes building new
car parks, which would also benefit local people and improving the
facilities for tourist such as improving the routes.
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