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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 21:44 
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http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/ ... 63,00.html

The Times wrote:
Windermere limits speed – and tourists
By Russell Jenkins

ALL may appear serene on the surface of Windermere, where the leisurely progress of canoes, yachts and cruisers creates a picture of tranquillity.

But there are troubled waters ahead for England’s longest lake. Four months after the introduction of a 10mph (16kph) speed limit, businesses are reeling from much larger than expected losses.

The water-skiers, powerboats and jet skis so abominated by the Lake District National Park Authority have gone, along with the kind of high spending that walkers cannot match.

The Cumbria Tourist Board has given warning that more than half of all tourist businesses in South Lakeland have reported a drop in trade since the speed limit came in. They say research suggests that the cost to the local economy could be well over £7 million a year.

In a separate survey, 53 per cent of businesses in Windermere, Ambleside and Bowness attributed the fall to the speed limit championed and policed by the park authority. Boat registrations and launches are significantly down on previous years. Windermere Tourist Information Centre has recorded 12,000 fewer inquiries in the first six months of the year.

There are empty beds in hotels, guest houses and caravan parks, and even attractions such as The World of Beatrix Potter are feeling the draught.

Ian Stephens, chief executive of Cumbria Tourist Board, said: “The figures and evidence we are receiving from the tourism industry suggest that the impact of the speed limit has been greater than some organisations anticipated. It is now clear that it is causing serious problems and everyone must be prepared to take action to help local businesses.”

The park authority has hailed the introduction of the speed limit as a success, insisting that it is attracting adventure sailors and canoeists to a much more tranquil lake. The authority has emphasised that it is a guardian of the countryside rather than a facilitator of economic regeneration, and has questioned the work of bodies such as the tourist board in the five-year moratorium running up to the speed limit.

The political row spilt on to the pages of The Westmorland Gazette this week when Eric Robson, the gardener, radio personality and tourist board chairman, accused the authority of ignoring its duty to “foster the economic and social wellbeing of local communities” and of offering little help to struggling businesses.

The Low Wood Watersports Centre, once the hub of the water skiers’ lakeland world, still offers water-skiing, wake-surfing and wake-boarding. But its management admits that an adult will struggle to get up on skis at single-digit speeds.

In the three months from April to June, business at thecentre is 66 per cent down on last year. Across the main road at the imposing Low Wood Hotel, the drop is 26 per cent.

Simon Berry, managing director of English Lakes Hotels, which runs the hotel, said that sizeable concerns such as his would weather the storm but smaller businesses could sink. He said: “For some smaller operators, certainly in Windermere and Bowness, this will eclipse anything that the foot-and-mouth outbreak did for them. There will be business failures this winter.”

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 22:32 
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Doesn't surprise me!

I think there are interesting parallels between this and CSCP's actions.

It is true that some users of Windermere acted selfishly and irresponsibly. I know - I kept a sailing boat on the lake in 2002 / 2003 and have also trailed and sailed a (sailing) boat there on occasions in the past. It is also true that this small minority of people have been responsible for serious injuries and even deaths in the past.

Despite sometimes getting irritated by some of the less considerate jet-skiers and power boaters whilst enjoying the tranquility of the lake, I was only too happy to sign the petition against the speed limit. Why? Because it was the only lake where this could be done. If I was so keen on peace and tranquility, I could have gone to Ullswater, Coniston, Derwent Water... and so on. Many people get their first taste of watersports on the lake - often on a tight budget. These are the very people who will now be forced on to tidal waters for their first attempts where, I believe, there will be more casualties. (But hey, its not in LDNP's back yard so what do they care!?)

Now consider CSCP. It is true that there are a minority of motorists who have caused inconvenience, injury and even suffering to others. Often these people exceed the speed limit. Of course, for every one of these, there are thousands who also exceed the speed limit and don't cause any trouble at all. CSCP's answer is much the same as the Lake District Nationa; Park's answer - "lets just get the bluntest instrument we can, cause loads of "colateral damage" and not actually make things any better"! There's no real point even trailing a sailing boat up to Windermere for a day sail now because the lake wardens are so busy out on the lake enforcing the ban that they don't man the slipway after about 5.00 so you can't get your boat back out at a sensible time!

Wouldn't it be interesting to repeal the ban and let the PC "do-gooder" NIMBIES who fought for the ban in the first place get up a petition to re-instate the limit? I wonder if they'd get as many signatures as the "vocal minority" who originally fought the ban got? Maybe, the "vocal minority" who opposed it wan't a minority at all? but then, maybe the "vocal minority" who oppose camera enforcement aren't actually a minority either?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 23:28 
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Nope - not surprised by this either. Lot of businesses are suffering because of this. Lot of people used to like watching the water skiers - but you cannot do this at the low speed limit.

Not met that many who supported the low speed limit either. In fact can count on one finger. :roll:

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 23:37 
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Mole, I've sailed dinghies and cruisers on Windermere for 20 years, and my views absolutely echo yours. Whilst some irresponsible users were a damned nuisance, to use this as a justification for a ban was about as relevant as saying we should close the M6 because some road users drive badly.

All that was ever needed was better policing, and perhaps some regulation over the types of boat allowed on the lake, but there was never a fundamental problem with all the various lake users co-existing, which was the lame, pathetic excuse cited for the 10mph speed limit.

The truth of the matter was that this was all the work of a tiny minority of self-interested intolerant people, and I'm afraid to say that the latest reports of it leading to a failure of the vital local tourist industry will actually have those same people rubbing their hands together with glee. As hinted by the LDNPA in that same article, the truth is that the people behind this undemocratic ban don't want a successful tourism industry, nothing would suit them better than for the whole local economy to crash, everyone to lose their jobs (and move away) and leave the National Park to them for their private enjoyment.

I'd be the first to admit that Bowness Bay on a Summer Sunday is like walking along Blackpool prom, and it's not particularly to my taste, but so what? If you want peace and tranquility it can easily be found within 5 miles, so the simple answer is, if you want peace and quiet and don't enjoy the bustle of a vibrant "tourist trap" DON'T GO THERE, just go to virtually anywhere else in the Lake District, where you can have all the quiet enjoyment you want. If you want a lake without powerboats go to any of the others bar Windermere. It really is (or was) that simple.

I'm sorry, but the disgraceful condescending way the LDNPA (an unelected QUANGO) treat the inhabitants of the Lake District to further their own agendas beggars belief.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 23:56 
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I was at Ferry Nab on Sunday, and there were less than 30 people on the jetties and slipway - a handful more in the car park and around the refreshment kiosk - which is an eyesore compared to the old cafe!

The latest ban on putting up roadside banners for local events, larger than 1 square metre will be the last straw for many - the LDNPA have really got the backs up of local people. They will now receive very little respect, and a good deal of enemity and non-cooperation. They have become the administrative arm of the Friends of the Lake District!

Did you all read in the Gazette, of the waste of £220,000 of public money by the LDNPA, on a abandoned scheme for a one stop contact centre? Yet they are asking for donations from the public to repair footpaths!!!!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 00:11 
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The Times wrote:
Four months after the introduction of a 10mph (16kph) speed limit, businesses are reeling from much larger than expected losses.


Like we couldn't see that coming.

We have to find a way to stop our lives and resources being governed and managed by innumerate nitwits with the vision of a small blind tunneling rodent.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 01:26 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
The Times wrote:
Four months after the introduction of a 10mph (16kph) speed limit, businesses are reeling from much larger than expected losses.


Like we couldn't see that coming.

We have to find a way to stop our lives and resources being governed and managed by innumerate nitwits with the vision of a small blind tunneling rodent.

Actually, there was more "vision" there than the article credits.

The businesses that have suffered have been fully expecting it for the last five years, and have been raising Cain about it ever since. The response from the LDNPA has been "Diversify!" which is pretty facile advice when, say, your sole line of business is selling or servicing power boats.

Of course the LDNPA saw it coming too, but as I said earlier, it was actually part of their gameplan. They don't want tourism to prosper, as it defeats their agenda of turning the area into a bucolic rural hideaway, a recreation of a time which never really existed, except in their fanciful imagination.

If you really want to know what the ban was all about, forget "incompatibility" between yachts and motorboats, forget safety, forget the environment, forget even peace and quiet. No, the words you need to know are "World Heritage Site". It would seem that no price is too great for the attainment of this questionable dream, or more precisely for the self-aggrandisement of its champions.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 08:52 
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JT wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
The Times wrote:
Four months after the introduction of a 10mph (16kph) speed limit, businesses are reeling from much larger than expected losses.


Like we couldn't see that coming.

We have to find a way to stop our lives and resources being governed and managed by innumerate nitwits with the vision of a small blind tunneling rodent.

Actually, there was more "vision" there than the article credits.

The businesses that have suffered have been fully expecting it for the last five years, and have been raising Cain about it ever since. The response from the LDNPA has been "Diversify!" which is pretty facile advice when, say, your sole line of business is selling or servicing power boats.

Of course the LDNPA saw it coming too, but as I said earlier, it was actually part of their gameplan. They don't want tourism to prosper, as it defeats their agenda of turning the area into a bucolic rural hideaway, a recreation of a time which never really existed, except in their fanciful imagination.

If you really want to know what the ban was all about, forget "incompatibility" between yachts and motorboats, forget safety, forget the environment, forget even peace and quiet. No, the words you need to know are "World Heritage Site". It would seem that no price is too great for the attainment of this questionable dream, or more precisely for the self-aggrandisement of its champions.


Well said JT! :clap:

My thoughts exactly.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 00:10 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
The Times wrote:
Four months after the introduction of a 10mph (16kph) speed limit, businesses are reeling from much larger than expected losses.


Like we couldn't see that coming.

We have to find a way to stop our lives and resources being governed and managed by innumerate nitwits with the vision of a small blind tunneling rodent.



Oi!!!!!! :wink:

Watch what you're saying about "small, blind tunneling rodents"!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 00:14 
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Mole wrote:
Watch what you're saying about "small, blind tunneling rodents"!

AIUI you're an insectivore, not a rodent, so you have nothing to worry about :lol:

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Any views expressed in this post are personal opinions and may not represent the views of Safe Speed


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 11:43 
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Phew! That's OK then! I thought he was having a go for a minute!

...come to think of it, my wife always said I had lousy teeth - so I'd make a pretty lousy rodent anyway!


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