Beauty spot mulls vehicle-free days over noisy motorcycle complaints

Motorcyclists with noisy illegal exhausts could see the Yorkshire Dales National Park introduce vehicle-free days as a consequence

Kawasaki 650 Ninja

The Yorkshire Dales National Park is looking into the possibility of initiating vehicle-free days around the beauty spot after an influx of noisy motorists – specifically motorcyclists – shattered the peace brought about by the lockdown period.

With communities enjoying quieter roads as a result of the nationwide lockdown measures that ran for two months in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus, the easing of such measures has led to a spike in traffic.

However, it is motorcyclists that have been singled out for particular criticism by members of the community – including residents, cyclists and walkers - with a meeting of the Yorkshire Dales National Park’s Local Access Forum calling for the introduction of car-free days that would prevent any cars or motorcycles from using the roads.

According to the local Stray FM radio station website, those riding in groups and using illegal exhausts are creating a nuisance, rather than all motorcyclists.

“It has been a massive increase, I think even bigger numbers than there were before the pandemic,” residents’ spokesperson Nick Cotton said. “Of course what you are drawn to is the noise more than anything else. 

“You can be two miles away, you can be up at the top of the valley and be aware of it. I’m not going to let it drop because I have had so much correspondence about it. I think we need to think creatively about this.”

The call asks to set aside one Sunday each month that would close the roads in the National Park to give priority to cyclists and walkers. However, police in the area have said now straight after lockdown isn’t the right time to trial such an initiative.

According to Stray FM, the meeting was told it was difficult to police motorcycles that are excessively noisy because it relies on a ‘subjective judgement’ after it has occurred and it was hard to identify a single motorcycle committing an offence compared with others riding within the law.

It is worth noting that the grievance stops short of lambasting all motorcyclists, many of which adhere to the regulations and aren’t a nuisance. As such, the MCIA says it is in favour of action against those that break the law, saying a minority of riders are tarnishing the reputation of the majority.

“[Illegal exhausts] attract unwanted attention to the motorcycle community and do nothing to promote the many benefits motorcycles can offer.”