Access advice: 5 steps to parking karma

Posted by Peter Burnside on 09/04/2018
The beautiful Bovey Woods hides a parking flashpoint. Photo: Rob Greenwood

We’ve all been there. Running late, you’re one of the last to get to the crag. It’s rammed, but there’s just one parking space left. Well, it looks like a space, and that gate hardly looks used. Read on for part one of our Respect The Rock series.

Bad parking is a sure-fire way to annoy landowners, farmers and local people. And annoy them enough, and the crag can end up banned. Yet, the good news is that this is one of the easiest access problems to prevent. How? Before you try and squeeze your pride and joy into that last potential space, remember these five steps to parking karma. Oh, and car share whenever possible – you know it makes sense.

1. Don’t park in front of gates or driveways. This is guaranteed to make farmers or resident’s blood boil.

2. Passing places and turning circles are essential to keep traffic flowing. They are never appropriate parking spots.

3. Parking on the verge? This can be OK in some situations, but on narrow roads can cause major obstructions due to parked cars blocking part of the road. Don’t park on the verge on narrow roads or where the ground is particularly soft an prone to damage  from tyres.

4. Always leave more space than you think for farm machinery or the emergency services. Farm machinery can be very wide and needs a good turning circle to get through gates. Leave plenty of space around gates and don’t make narrow roads even narrower by parking cars in the road.

5. Never park on a clearway. Unless you have an emergency, it’s illegal to even stop on one.

GET: All the essential access info on the BMC RAD

Parking flashpoints

We need to be considerate at all crags, but these six are real parking flashpoints. Parking badly at these will cause us all problems.

Kilnsey


Photo: Euan Ryan

When conditions are right, Kilnsey draws sport climbers from far and wide and with them, lots of cars. Climbers trying to squeeze too many vehicles into the very limited space closest to the crag often cause obstructions of the road or field gates when there is plenty of alternative parking a short walk away. Getting the clips in first

on your project isn’t an excuse for poor parking. If we carry on with this short-sighted attitude, there’s a good chance the local community will reach a tipping point and enforceable parking restrictions will be introduced – with a guaranteed longer walk in.

Bovey Woods


Photo: Duma Brickhill

Access issues have flared up here in the last few years, partly due to inconsiderate parking. Parking is extremely limited and cars left blocking gates and tracks are not uncommon. Car sharing is the way forward here and Bovey Tracey makes a good meeting point to combine forces into a single vehicle for the final few miles to the crag.

Snowdon Area


Photo: Alex Messenger

Ever popular with climbers and walkers, the road up the Llanberis Pass and down to Nantgwynant is a clearway: it’s illegal to stop on the main carriageway for anything other than an emergency. Although there is limited layby parking off the main road, plenty of cars still park on the verge or in other inappropriate places not fully off the road. Avoid this: you will get fined.

Seathwaite


Photo: Alex Messenger

As a regular departure point for both walkers and climbers heading into the hills and crags from Borrowdale, Seathwaite sees lots of traffic on busy days. There is limited parking in off-road laybys available but once this is taken cars can often be seen parked on both sides of the narrow road, meaning access for farm machinery and emergency services is difficult at best and impossible at worst.

The Roaches


Photo: Alex Messenger

Parking has always been a problem at the Roaches. There is a finite amount of spaces for cars here and when they are full, don’t be tempted to park in the turning circle or across farm entrances. The early climber gets the car space and if you’re too late, have a plan B and head elsewhere.

Malham


Photo: Alex Messenger

Despite clear parking information on the Regional Access Database (RAD) and widespread publicity of the problem, last summer parking problems flared up again at Malham, with cars being parked in passing places along Cove Road (which leads past the cove). This creates havoc with traffic along this popular route and irritates local people trying to go about their daily lives. When visiting Malham, make sure you only park in the approved areas mentioned and definitely don’t try to park on Cove Road past Town Head Barn.

Break-ins


Photo: Alex Messenger

Quiet parking areas with vehicles left all day can attract car thieves. Certain crags are notorious for it: the Stanage car parks are periodically targeted, seemingly when the same individual(s) are released from prison after the last time they were caught breaking into cars in the area. The best advice to avoid becoming a target is to avoid leaving anything in the car and, if possible, leave the glove box/boot open to show there is nothing worth stealing.

Download our new app to solve your parking problems

Confused about where to park? Download our brand new Regional Access Database (RAD) app, and it’ll guide you straight to the right parking places for every popular crag. Sadly, it won’t find you a parking space – you’ll have to do that. Find out more: and download the new RAD app

Regional Access Database (RAD)

The definitive source for all crag access information and nesting restrictions: www.thebmc.co.uk/rad

Install the RAD app on your Android and iOS devices:

Available for AndroidAvailable for iOS

#RespectTheRock


Photo: Pete Burnside

It’s time to #RespectTheRock. This year, we’re on a mission to highlight how we can all take care of the crags that we love. An easy way to start is by keeping your feet clean. So pick up a new Respect the Rock boot towel from the BMC shop for just £6.00  for members.


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