4x4 drivers condemned over historic lanes 'vandalism'

MILES of historic stone causeways look set to be permanently closed after being systematically destroyed by 4x4 drivers wanting to test their off-road skills.

Three green lanes, or trods, in the North York Moors National Park, which were probably created in the early medieval era, have been closed in the last three weeks after groups of off-road driving enthusiasts spent hours turning them into “4x4 playgrounds”.

The national park’s authority has been joined by numerous groups, including the British Off-Road Driving Association, in condemning the vandalism to the county’s 730km network of trods, which are lawfully used by hundreds of thousands of horse riders, hikers and motorcyclists.

A spokesman for the association, which provides off-road training on private land for emergency service drivers, said: “Off-road drivers are all being tarred with the same brush as a handful spoil it for everyone else.”

Following 15 4ft by 3ft trod stones, each weighing about 50kg, being lifted from Seggimire Lane, at Ugglebarnby, near Whitby, and thrown into a ditch on December 27, to create an off-road course, North Yorkshire County Council said the route had become so dangerous it had to close it.

An activity monitor on the lane recorded three hours of vehicle movements, as a 200-metre stretch was left with deep ruts while the drivers also ripped out shrubs to create a test track.

A council spokesman said: “Unfortunately, we have no option but to close the lane as a result of this inconsiderate and illegal activity by a few thoughtless drivers, whose enjoyment of this historic route amounts to little short of vandalism.”

North York Moors National Park Authority archaeologist Graham Lee said the trods were probably of “considerable antiquity” as few landowners other than the medieval monasteries would have had the resources to create them. Due to the isolated nature of the trods, which are an integral feature of the area’s economic and industrial history, they are difficult to police and it is thought unlikely that anyone will be prosecuted.

However, in response to 4x4 drivers and motorcyclists showing a lack of consideration and intimidating green lane users in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, where green lanes have also been closed, park rangers and police have teamed up to monitor activities.

Damage to the closed trods in the Moors, which include Monket Bank and Rudland Rigg to Toad Hole, both near Kirkbymoorside, is likely to be considered too expensive to repair as the council faces making spending cuts of £93m by 2014-15.

Comments (4)

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3:15pm Sat 26 Jan 13

m.crocker says...

This article is terrible to read, as an active green laner, it seems an absolute shame to ruin such hours of enjoyment many people have for the likes of a minority to have no respect for their surroundings.

Rather than closing the lanes, the ability to help keep them open should be offered, i myself would be willing to give my own time to help maintain the lanes where possible and i'm sure many others would agree,

i know alot of people hate the idea of green lanign saying it ruins their walks etc, but its just another way of doing the same thing enjoy the views,

i find it just as hard if not harder to walk along a bridleway track as i would a BOAT after the a horse has been down,

something should be done, local council meetings or the like to help prevent the loss of something so wonderfull.
This article is terrible to read, as an active green laner, it seems an absolute shame to ruin such hours of enjoyment many people have for the likes of a minority to have no respect for their surroundings. Rather than closing the lanes, the ability to help keep them open should be offered, i myself would be willing to give my own time to help maintain the lanes where possible and i'm sure many others would agree, i know alot of people hate the idea of green lanign saying it ruins their walks etc, but its just another way of doing the same thing enjoy the views, i find it just as hard if not harder to walk along a bridleway track as i would a BOAT after the a horse has been down, something should be done, local council meetings or the like to help prevent the loss of something so wonderfull. m.crocker

11:32am Sun 27 Jan 13

hampigwinch says...

I notice the article says these routes are lawfully used by horse riders, motorcyclists & hikers i would also add 4x4s to that list as not everyone who uses these routes in a 4x4 goes there just to tear them up yet again a few idiots spoiling it for other people. Understandably the council won't want/be able to spend huge sums of money repairing these tracks given there ever diminishing budget can we not get something organised with local groups whether it be 4x4, bike or hiking groups & get people to give up some time & help repair these tracks?
I notice the article says these routes are lawfully used by horse riders, motorcyclists & hikers i would also add 4x4s to that list as not everyone who uses these routes in a 4x4 goes there just to tear them up yet again a few idiots spoiling it for other people. Understandably the council won't want/be able to spend huge sums of money repairing these tracks given there ever diminishing budget can we not get something organised with local groups whether it be 4x4, bike or hiking groups & get people to give up some time & help repair these tracks? hampigwinch

5:25pm Sun 27 Jan 13

Rikidooos says...

Irresponsible 4x4 driver's have done massive damage to a very sensitive lane here. It's very sad what the 4x4's have done. They have destroyed a classic green lane upto the point it becomes to narrow for vehicles and then had to go back up. They have also used a chain saw to clear away trees and bushes to the lane destroying it's beauty.

The lane had only recently had a TRO lifted!

Well done 4x4 people your actions have a far reaching effect on the trail bike community that did use the lane a lot.
Irresponsible 4x4 driver's have done massive damage to a very sensitive lane here. It's very sad what the 4x4's have done. They have destroyed a classic green lane upto the point it becomes to narrow for vehicles and then had to go back up. They have also used a chain saw to clear away trees and bushes to the lane destroying it's beauty. The lane had only recently had a TRO lifted! Well done 4x4 people your actions have a far reaching effect on the trail bike community that did use the lane a lot. Rikidooos

10:12pm Sun 27 Jan 13

m.crocker says...

Rikidooos wrote:
Irresponsible 4x4 driver's have done massive damage to a very sensitive lane here. It's very sad what the 4x4's have done. They have destroyed a classic green lane upto the point it becomes to narrow for vehicles and then had to go back up. They have also used a chain saw to clear away trees and bushes to the lane destroying it's beauty.

The lane had only recently had a TRO lifted!

Well done 4x4 people your actions have a far reaching effect on the trail bike community that did use the lane a lot.
You may find that trail bike rides also cause damage to lanes, i dont think its so right to blame 4x4 any person who uses the lane causes damage it home it works, yes some idiots have ruined it for everyone, this includes other people who drive 4x4's trail bike riders are much classes under the same brush as 4x4's

It would be to much greater effect if we supported each other to keep our use of lanes around the local area available. rather than just bad mouthing each other
[quote][p][bold]Rikidooos[/bold] wrote: Irresponsible 4x4 driver's have done massive damage to a very sensitive lane here. It's very sad what the 4x4's have done. They have destroyed a classic green lane upto the point it becomes to narrow for vehicles and then had to go back up. They have also used a chain saw to clear away trees and bushes to the lane destroying it's beauty. The lane had only recently had a TRO lifted! Well done 4x4 people your actions have a far reaching effect on the trail bike community that did use the lane a lot.[/p][/quote]You may find that trail bike rides also cause damage to lanes, i dont think its so right to blame 4x4 any person who uses the lane causes damage it home it works, yes some idiots have ruined it for everyone, this includes other people who drive 4x4's trail bike riders are much classes under the same brush as 4x4's It would be to much greater effect if we supported each other to keep our use of lanes around the local area available. rather than just bad mouthing each other m.crocker

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