Car parking charges have been reinstated in Cumbria's car parks but free parking for key workers remains.
As England's lockdown and restrictions on travel eases, councils across Cumbria reintroduced car parking charges yesterday (June 1).
Parking for key workers and NHS staff however, is set to remain free for the time being, with a review into the measure scheduled at the end of the month.
District councils in Cumbria have control over car parks within their borough and while most suspended their car parking charges in March, as charges return, it's important to note that there may be differences dependent on area and who owns the car park.
Listed below are the latest parking updates from the district councils:
Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale Borough Council has reintroduced parking charges, however parking remains free for key workers "when they are working to provide vital services to the public."
NHS staff, carers, and volunteers are able to continue to park for free, with passes for this available through NHS Trusts, local authorities and the Royal Voluntary Service.
Allerdale Borough Council has also extended free parking to employees of businesses who have worked throughout lockdown to provide key public services.
The council describes these people as employees of local and national government, those working in the food production, sales and delivery sectors as well as in transportation and utility services.
The instruction for these employees is to place a form of identification, showing the business name and registration of the vehicle, in their windscreen to indicate they are using the car park for work purposes.
A statement from Allerdale Borough Council reads: "When using short stay car parks users should clearly show their time of arrival, such as with a parking disc, as well as their essential worker permit."
Short stay car parks included are:
Carlisle City Council
The Carlisle City Council website states the decision to reintroduce the charges "is in line with national guidance and is consistent with the approach taken by other districts within the county."
Free parking will continue to be available to NHS staff, care workers and NHS volunteer responders involved in the Coronavirus response in the council’s long stay car parks.
Passes are available through NHS Trusts, local authorities and the Royal Voluntary Service and key workers should apply for a parking pass from their employer under the government guidance.
The pass allows key workers to park for free in all council long stay car parks when a permit is displayed in their vehicle.
The following car parks are included:
All Carlisle City Council car parks are now open but it's warned that overnight closures of the Caldew Riverside, Castle and West Walls car parks will be reinstated from next week onwards.
This will prevent access or exit from the Caldew Riverside and Castle car parks from 8pm to 6.30am.
West Walls car park will be closed between 11pm and 6.30am.
Car parks within the Lake District National Park and the Yorkshire Dales National Park have been re-opened with parking charges applicable from May 15.
However, outside of the national parks, parking charges remain suspended for key workers.
It's important to note that the Westmorland Shopping Centre multi-storey car park in Kendal will remain closed.
A statement, posted on the South Lakeland district council's website on May 14 reads: "To help manage visitor car parking, agencies that operate car parks in the national parks, including the National Trust, United Utilities, local councils and both the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) and Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, have agreed to re-open any closed car parks and re-introduce parking charges where they had been suspended to support key workers involved in the Coronavirus response.
"This is to remove the incentive of free parking that may attract more visitors, but also to provide adequate parking to avoid vehicles being left on grass verges or in side streets or residential areas.
"We are reintroducing parking charges on all SLDC car parks within the Lake District National Park from Friday, 15 May.
"Parking charges will continue to be suspended on SLDC car parks outside the national parks (in Grange, Milnthorpe, Kirkby Lonsdale, Kendal and Ulverston) until June.
"NHS staff, care workers and NHS volunteer responders involved in the Coronavirus response will be able to obtain a key worker parking pass from their employer under the government guidance, which will allow them to park for free on all SLDC car parks."
Copeland Borough Council
Copeland Borough Council is offering free parking in their car parks.
The website states that the provision of free parking is to "assist the NHS and those who are leading the fight against coronavirus, including staff of critical town centre businesses that must remain open, including food shops, doctor's surgeries and pharmacies, and the residents who need to use them."
Copeland car parks that are free to use for the purposes above are:
This excludes Whitehaven Sports Centre, which is being reserved exclusively for use by NHS staff.
It's important to note that there are a number of marked bays reserved for permit-holders only and so not available for public use.
Eden District Council
A note on the Eden District Council website reads: "Charges at all Eden District Council car parks have been suspended until the end of June 2020, when a review will take place."
Barrow Borough Council
Cumbria Live contacted the media team at Borough of Barrow-In-Furness Council for more information but at time of publication, we had not yet received a response.
General car parking advice
As the regions' car parks start to get busier, many councils are reminding motorists to adhere to social distancing measures to reduce the risk of infection.
Some payment machines in the region will only accept card payment so it's important to be aware of this before parking.
People are also being encouraged to use the MiPermit app where possible, as this means there is no need to touch a pay and display machine.
However, it is important to note that the app cannot be used in privately owned or supermarket car parks.
Information on NHS passes is available through GOV.UK here.
The free parking measures will be reviewed at the end of June 2020.