Allerdale council has reiterated that it is not encouraging visitors to the area despite keeping car parks open in Keswick.

The authority said the decision not to close two of Keswick’s car parks has been taken to help manage the parking situation in the town in a way that best protects local people after the recent changes in government advice on travel.

A spokesman said: "In line with our partners in the Local Resilience Forum (LRF), the council wants to make it clear that we are not encouraging visitors to the borough at this time.

"Infection rates and death rates remain high in the county and our infrastructure is built only for the permanent population. We’re asking people to postpone their visit until the time is right.

"We are supporting the LRF’s messaging to people who feel they must visit to respect local communities, respect the risk and respect the rules.

"By not closing car parks we are able to ensure people who do visit can keep apart more by reducing the number of people in car parks, the town centre and passing through the narrow passageways. It also helps avoid any issues of parking on double-yellow lines, residential side streets and on verges – which may result in accidents or conflict with local people for the police to deal with, potentially taking up valuable public sector resources."

Allerdale council said that providing more parking spaces also means that if visitors do arrive in large numbers then Keswick residents are more likely to find a space and be safe in other car parks such as at the Booths and the Rawnsley Hall facilities.

A spokesman added: "We know in the past weeks, that some visitors who have been turned away from Central car park have simply driven round to Booths or Rawnsley Hall. Having them closed hasn’t prevented those visitors from staying, they have migrated to the other car parks."

To reduce the risk of infection, revised signage will be erected in all of the authority's car parks across the borough to ensure people keep more than two metres apart from anyone not from their household. It will also advise people to park in alternate bays where possible, keep hands clean and use the MiPermit app to pay for parking where available.

This can be downloaded from mobile app stores. The machines will only accept card payments. The app cannot be used in Fairfield (Sainsburys) car park in Cockermouth or the Booths car park in Keswick. It also cannot be used in car parks which the council manages on behalf of others. These are: Rawnsley Hall car park, Derwent Pencil Museum car park at Keswick, Irish Street car park and South Quay car park at Maryport.

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 of the council-run car parks.

Allerdale council is also reminding residents that all play parks remain closed in line with government guidance.

The authority is erecting signage in its parks and open spaces to remind people to observe social distancing rules when out and about and keep 2m apart from those not from within their household.

A spokesman said: "The council is aware of more people using its parks and open spaces – such as Hall Park in Workington – for exercise. Whilst the council encourages people to continue to do this, it also wants to ensure people do so safely and in a way which prevents the further spread of the coronavirus."

Parking passes are available through NHS Trusts, local authorities and the Royal Voluntary Service. For further details visit:

A new web page is being promoted by the Lake District National Park Authority which encourages people travelling to the Lake District to park safely and avoid the more popular destinations.

More information on the MiPermit system is available at