The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) is disappointed at the outcome of a court case that decided to quash four Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) imposed to protect particularly sensitive ‘green lanes’ in the National Park from use by recreational motor vehicles.
The YDNPA originally made 13 TROs on ‘green lanes’ – routes that are unsurfaced – following the result of an extensive review of the National Park’s network of routes. The TROs were made to prohibit use by recreational motor vehicles for the purposes of preserving the amenity and conserving the natural beauty of the areas through which the routes pass.
The Land Access Recreation Association (LARA) and two individuals began court proceedings in July 2008 against the YDNPA to quash eight of the 13 TROs.
Following a two-day hearing at the High Court in Leeds on 2 and 3 June, the Court has decided that TROs imposed on four of the eight routes should be quashed.
Speaking about the decision, announced today (June 19), Dr Malcolm Petyt, the YDNPA’s recreation member champion, said: “The Authority was always aware that any orders it made to restrict motorised vehicular use of green lanes were likely to be challenged by recreational motor vehicle users. Special care was taken to deal with the matter on the correct legal and procedural basis so we are disappointed with this decision.
“However, we were the first National Park Authority to use these new powers and the outcome means that we, along with other national park authorities, now have greater understanding of the law following this judgement.”
The four routes affected by the judgment are:
- Gorbeck Road and Stockdale Lane between Settle and Malhamdale.
- Street Gate near Malham Tarn to Arncliffe Cote.
- Harber Scar Lane between Horton-in-Ribblesdale and High Green Field
Only one of these routes, Gorbeck Road, has recognised rights for recreational motor vehicles along its full length.
Following a ruling in the Court of Appeal last year concerning applications for byways open to all traffic (BOATs) in another part of the country, the other three routes, which were also the subject of BOAT applications, are no longer believed to have rights for recreational motor vehicles in any event.
Dr Petyt said: “Following this decision, the Authority will reassess the situation and consider what action may now be necessary to best protect these sensitive routes.”
It should be noted that other TROs made by the YDNPA are unaffected by this decision.
Further information can be found at www.yorkshiredales.org.uk/green_lane_management
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