TROs.IN THE  DALES.FINAL STAGE.

 

The official Notices in the press have now appeared concerning plans by the Yorkshire Dales National

Park to make TROs on the following green lanes;

 

Most are in the Craven(western)Dales  the news of likely closure will be devastating to trail riders in the north from summer 2008 ,if they go ahead.

 

1.Arncliffe Cote

2.Harber Scar Lane,

3.Stockdale Lane,

4.The Highway.

5.Ling Gill(to Cam End)

6.Gorbeck Road

7.Foxup Road

8 Cam High Road

 

Some are already closed by temporary TROs.

 

The final decision by the YDNP Access Committee will be taken on April 17th,but this is  now the chance for anyone to object.   This follows the most exhaustive negotiations with ALL vehicular user groups like the TRF in Yorkshire under the banner of NYTMAG.  We have tried our very best in direct talks with YDNP to satisfy their demands and I have nothing but praise for the TRF and other members involved in the talks.

 

Hundreds of hours have been spent pouring over piles of  YDNP surveys and responses.

 

Thousands of ús of public money has  been spend on consultations..  YDNP are determined to prove that they have carried out the fullest possible consultation with vehicular users in the name of "fair play" !  

 

Officially YDNP say they appreciate the part NYTMAG has played on the Advisory Group and its support for an evidence based approach.

 

NYTMAG asked YDNP not to give in to exaggerated lobbying and isolated incidents and to reach decisions based on evidence and facts.

 

It was hoped that  vehicular users by agreeing to partial closure ie weekend or seasonal only would have satisfied YDNP.   Sadly the YDNP  Access Committee in January threw out all  sensible compromises and  now wants a full ban on ALL  above important green lanes.  This is a very disappointing reaction to put it mildly.  But if we flood the YDNP with hundreds of letters it might yet allow them to think again.

 

Individual members,TRF groups, other trail riding clubs, like the ACU,  BMF,  Tracclub  etc ,should now  sit down and write  a letter of objection.

 

I am sure all will be duly  and properly considered !

 

YDNP say  objections should be received  no later than 7 March 2008(though I am sure  those received up to 17 April will still be considered) and sent to;

 

Mark Allum, YDNP, Colvend,Hebden Rd, Grassington, Skipton, N Yorks BD23 5LB

 

If you insist the  e mail  address is;   info@yorkshiredales.org.uk 

 

Head your letter Proposed Traffic Regulation Orders on various green lanes.

 

The YDNP are  required to consult  by law with no less than 21 different organisations.

The majority it must be said are in favour of full TRO closure.

 

However it is worth noting that the only effective law enforcement body,North Yorkshire Police, object to the making of the TROs, saying they are NOT  in a position to enforce them. A pretty powerful argument against

TROs I would have thought.

 

The Police say there are too  many access points anyway to patrol TROs effectively.

 

They also say that using TROs will bring TRO  legislation into disrepute, and asks the YDNP to use other methods rather than criminalizing trail riders.

 

North Yorkshire  police  also say there is no evidence of accidents or collisions or any safety issues on green lanes in the national park. The police  would normally be asked to perform a vital enforcement role.

 

Valuable support  also came from North Yorkshire County  Council who up to l984 where the official highway authority before handing over this duty to the YDNP.   NYCC do not fully support TROs and back the Advisory Group  which argue for compromise.

 

The  charity, Byways and Byways Trust, argue wisely that if TROs are necessary each one should be tailored to apply exactly the type of management needed on a time and space basis.

BBT also argue that some members of YDNP may be prejudiced against motor vehicles in the Park !

 

You will not however  be surprised to learn that our old friends  the Rambers Association seek a full ban on every one. 

Even the Cyclists Touring Club support the proposals.

 

What has made matters worse since NERC is the addition of two more organisations to the consultation process.  CPRE and Council for the National Parks. Both trot out the usual reasons for a full ban given by a majority of consultees which are that motor vehicles on green lanes are guilty of ;

Destroying  the peace and tranquility of the countryside.

Farm animals are  being disturbed.

Noise and atmospheric pollution is caused.

We destroy  land surfaces and damage flora and fauna.(my  small Honda trail bike does none of these)

 

There ARE it is admitted  problems on some heavily used green lanes, and NYTMAG accepts this and accepts the need

for sensible restrictions and  hopefully these could  resolved by trying a TRO  on a seasonable or weekend basis for a trial period.

 

But there is sadly no give and take, and I am not  optimistic that this latest round of consultations will succeed, when the most thorough and detailed consultations with the TRF etc , have broken down.

 

In your arguments  to the YDNP you should remember that green lanes number a mere 5% of the 140,000 mile network of rights of way.    You should also remember than on such trails as Foxup Road and Cam High Road there  is still an outstanding TRF valid  claim for Byway to be heard and processed.

 

A TRO is sub judice ie this prejudices the democratic lawful process that the TRF has gone to such effort to comply with.   You  should recommend a partial TRO ie  a weekend only ban.

 

I do  fear that  banning trail riders in the national park may not make them disappear ? I hope I am wrong.

   

Some  trail riders(not in the TRF of course) fed up with being  pushed around  will risk being stopped and fined and use closed lanes regardless.. Remember the police say they are not interested in dealing with minor green lane offences ,so enforcement is going to be a major problem for the YDNP.

 

Finally  more bad news  in the eastern Yorkshire Dales( so far not included in the above  TRO proposals,) comes news of a proposal to put a TRO on the UCR from Carlton to Middleham High Moor. 

 

This one  leaves Carlton going north to join the Melmerby road.

NYTMAG have suggested a TRO from October to March which I think is worth trying. 

Do NOT include this proposed TRO in your objections to the eight lanes listed above and I presume it will be decided after April as negotiations with NYTMAG still continue.   

 

As ever the most thorough survey was  carried out by YDNP in 2007 on the Carlton road.

 

For example they found that in August 2007 there were 26 days in the month without a single motor cycle.  And on just the four days in the month  the maximum seen was  just 11 bikes.  Thats an average of just  one motor cycle per  day.

 

Not exactly being over used is it ?   These are YDNPs own figures to justify a TRO !

There is no 4x4 use at all.

 

Nevertheless a partial TRO I would accept to appease the YDNP, but there seems little evidence to justify  a full  year round TRO.

 

The Ramblers Association in particular want it closed because this   ONE  trail bike per day  causes too much noise,smell,and pollution.  Yet the fact  is  in reality  the passage of just one machine does not last very long,perhaps  a mere half an hour,  and soon disappears..  Anyway most modern trail bikes are not noisy and do not make smoke. 

 

Watch out mountain bikers and horse riders!   You too  could  be the  next  Ramblers Association target   for banning !   And mountain bikers and horse riders enjoy 25% of public rights of way, unlike the 5% that trail riders are struggling  to keep open.

 

BRIAN THOMPSON 

25TH FEB 2008

NORTHERN ROW ADVISOR