Bikers riding legally on Cam High RoadPolice and national park rangers in the Yorkshire Dales mounted an operation to tackle problems caused by motorbikes at the weekend.

Bikers riding legally on Cam High Road

Illegal use of motorbikes and off-road vehicles on green lanes in the area is a continuing problem, causing damage to the landscape and disruption to other outdoor users. Eight bikers were stopped and two using routes unlawfully were spotted but failed to stop.

Alleged offences committed by motorcyclists quizzed during the exercise included three of riding with no road tax, two without insurance and one illegal number plate. The operation in Wensleydale was carried out by North Yorkshire Police and staff from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.

Riders stopped over the weekend were also handed leaflets explaining their rights and responsibilities when using unsurfaced routes in the Dales.

Police are now appealing to any walkers and cyclists who witness illegal motor vehicle use in the national park to contact them. Incidents can be reported to police stations at Grassington, Settle, Ingleton, Hawes and Leyburn.

The park authority’s Upper Wensleydale area ranger Matt Neale said: “This was the second in a series of operations planned over the winter months to try to stop illegal use of the routes and to encourage people to ride on them more responsibly.

“From our point of view it was very successful because it helped raise awareness of what the law requires, both in terms of the vehicle and the use of public footpaths, bridleways and byways. We handed out specific route information to all the bikers we talked to as well.

“The illegal use of motor bikes and 4×4 vehicles in the national park is a big problem and they can have a serious effect on the landscape, wildlife and other users.”

The information leaflet can be downloaded from the authority’s website. Details of where riders and off-roaders can legally go are also available online or by ringing Matt Neale on 01969 666220.