CUMBERLAND Council has defended its parking policy after it was revealed that Keswick was revealed as a parking fine hotspot.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service submitted a Freedom of Information request and, according to the response from the local authority, out of the top five places in the Cumberland Council area, four were in the Keswick area.

But rather than being upset or angry that so many parking fines being handed out in the town, local residents are pleased that the council is taking action to deal with the issue of inconsiderate and illegal parking mainly by tourists and visitors to the area.

According to the response, a total of 912 parking notices were issued by officers in the C2057 Portinscale To Grange Road, Keswick, since April 1 this year.

It was more than double the second placed Castle Street, Carlisle, where 422 notices were issued during the same period.

The next three places were also in Keswick - Station Road with 376, the B5289 with 369 and Borrowdale Road in Keswick with 329.

A total of 310 parking notices were issued in the Portinscale To Grange-In-Borrowdale Road, 307 Lowther Street, Whitehaven, 304 in Main Street, Cockermouth, 276 in Cecil Street, Carlisle and 232 in Strand St, Whitehaven.

The figures show that the council issued a total of 16,854 notices were issued during the same period and, as a result it generated a total of £399,685 for the local authority.

A Cumberland Council spokeswoman said: “The figures shown in the EIR response are from an unaudited financial report.

"We are committed to transparency and accuracy in our financial reporting and the final financial position will be confirmed once the auditing process is complete.

“In relation to the high number of PCNs in Keswick, it is essential to recognise that Keswick is a bustling tourist area. The increased footfall, particularly during peak tourist seasons, naturally leads to a higher incidence of parking contraventions.

"We ensure that Keswick is fully compliant with all parking regulations and that the area is well-signposted to inform both visitors and locals about parking rules and regulations.

“We are committed to fair and transparent enforcement of parking regulations. Our objective is not to generate revenue but to maintain order, safety, and accessibility to benefit both the local community and visitors.”

Tim Fisher, who runs the Northern Lights Gallery in St John’s Street in Keswick, said he felt it was right to fine problem parkers.

He said: "They put double yellows on the Borrowdale road between Keswick and Grange. They put those in place almost as an emergency measure because of inconsiderate parking because some emergency vehicles had not been able to get down there."

Mr Fisher said it may have been because people were ignoring the double yellow lines and if one person ignored the rules others tended to follow and copy them.

He said: "If you go down there and you are the first vehicle to go down there you are mindful of it but, once someone parks up, it seems to add some sort of validity - 'well if they can do it, I can do it'."

Mr Fisher said action should be taken against problem parkers and added: "If they ignore it I don't see any reason why tickets shouldn't be issued because there have been incidents last summer where the buses are cancelled and emergency vehicles can't get through and that, ultimately is unacceptable."