Emergency services have issued a stark warning to people visiting the Lake District that bad parking could have severe consequences.

Passing places and grass verges have been used as parking spots while designated parking spaces filled up across the Lake District National Park.

Wasdale valley became “gridlocked” yesterday after police two appliances from Whitehaven and Egremont fire stations were called to Wasdale Head at approximately 12pm to recover a car that had crashed into a ditch.

The car was recovered and no one was injured, but the congestion in the area has been noted as a serious risk.

“If there was a fire at one of the properties at Wasdale Head yesterday, it would have been impossible to get a fire engine through,” said Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association chairman Richard Warren.

“There were cars coming up the valley trying to find somewhere to park and there were cars coming down the valley trying to escape the parking issues at the head of the valley and it became gridlocked. People couldn’t pass in the passing places due to parked cars.

“These are really critical for emergency services to get their vehicles through.”

On the Lake District National Park Authority’s website, car parks at Pooley Bridge, Ennerdale and Wastwater were marked as ‘busy’ on Monday, and car parks at Derwentwater, Buttermere village and Glenridding were full.

Stagecoach were unable to run their 77 and 77A Catbells service due to “severe congestion and inconsiderate parking”.

Mr Warren added: “I’ve never seen it like this. It’s worse than what it was last summer.

“The whole of Cumbria was suffering from parking issues due to the number of visitors coming in.

“It’s good for the economy, but it can cause some problems.”

Find out more about car park status at www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/visiting/car-park-status.