IN A move calculated to produce roars of protest, rangers from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority have joined forces with the police in a new clampdown on illegal off-roading
There has been a flood of complaints from people in two areas of the Craven district of the national park about the irresponsible use of vehicles on public rights of way.
Motorcycles have been seen on the Foxup bridleway between Horton in Ribblesdale and Foxup despite the authority confirming it has no public vehicular status.
And there have been similar reports of trailbikes ranging across Calton Moor near Malham, causing damage to the moor and disturbing livestock.
In a separate incident police issued a warning to the owner of a 4x4 vehicle that was one of four seen driving and causing damage on the footpath over Blea Moor tunnel.
Recent operations have also resulted in a number of trailbike riders being stopped and warned about their activities.
Jon Avison, Head of Park Management at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, said: "The use of off-road vehicles in the countryside is one of the most contentious recreational issues facing the authority. We receive more correspondence on this matter than any other recreational pursuit.
In a bid to crackdown on illicit vehicular activity, rangers and police are regularly patrolling the areas where the latest reported incidents have occurred.
Sergeant Steve Breen of North Yorkshire Police said: "We are not opposed to the lawful and responsible use of off-road vehicles. But action is now being taken against those who use their vehicles in an antisocial or careless manner, or in places where vehicles are not permitted.
"This includes bridleways and footpaths, common land, and private land where the express permission of the landowner has not been obtained.
"This action is being taken due to the volume of complaints I have received regarding damage and nuisance in the national park, caused by off-road vehicles. Offenders risk substantial fines, and under new legislation introduced by the Government they risk having their vehicles confiscated."
The decade-long dispute over off-roaders in the Dales has brought more correspondence to Daelnet than any other topic. See Have your say