Walna Scar Road in the Lakes, the high-level track leading from Coniston over towards Seathwaite and the Duddon Valley, will remain closed to motorised transport after a meeting of the Lake District National Park Authority Rights of Way Committee.
That means the track is legally useable only by walkers, horse riders, cyclists and pony and trap drivers and taking a 4×4 or motorcycle onto the route is a criminal offence.
The route was closed to motorised transport in 2007 when it was designated a restricted byway by the LDNPA . It was then re-opened to motor vehicles and reclassified as a BOAT – Byway Open to All Traffic – in June 2010 after objections led to an independent inquiry, before being closed again in August after a Hugh Court ruling overturned the earlier decision.
That’s not quite the end of it though, the LDNPA will now publicise its decision and the public has the period between 10 February and 1 April to object after which the case could be referred to the independent planning inspectorate.
Given the strength of the off-road recreational vehicle lobby and the TRF – Trail Riders’ Fellowship in particular you can pretty much take that as a given, we suspect. Interestingly, as we understand it, the Garburn Pass is similarly currently closed to motorised transport on a similar basis pending an adjudication after objections to its classification as a BOAT by the LDNPA.
The whole shebang depends not on whether you feel motorised off road recreation is appropriate, but on the legal complexities of our arcane rights of way legislation and essentially, whether the route meets various historical requirements.
Full news release at www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/gtga_np_news-article.htm?newsid=15614