ETROs in Torkshire Dales - Countryfile

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Andrew Kay, Mar 24, 2003.

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  1. Andrew Kay

    Andrew Kay Guest

    Hi Folks,

    As some will have realised, the Beeb changed the transmission time for Countryfile to
    11.00am on BBC2.

    For those who missed it, essentially what happened was:

    1) Adam Henson introduced the article by saying that motor vehicles could drive on about 4% of the
    100,000 miles of unsurfaced "green lanes" in the country. He went on to say that the Yorkshire
    Dales National Park Authority were planning to implement Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders
    (ETROs) on four lanes in the park - including Mastiles Lane

    2) The next scene showed a group of five 4x4s trundling towards the camera in the distance. (They
    were not actually anywhere near Mastiles Lane even though the narrative implied that they were).

    3) The next scene showed the chap from the Yorkshire Dales Green Lanes Alliance - said to be an
    alliance of local land owners and users (we were told by the Beeb crew that YDNPA and NYCC had
    refused to be interviewed by Countryfile). He said the things that you might expect he would
    say about not wanting 4x4s in the countryside, about vehicles being noisy and polluting and
    damaging old lanes. He said that Mastiles Lane had been used for 500 years and should be an
    ancient monument.

    4) Whilst the BBC were filming on Mastiles Lane, a group of three motorcyclists came along the lane.
    There was a discussion/arguement between the motorcyclists and the YDGLA chap:

    * MCs - that they always stay on the track, that they only ride tracks that they are legally
    entitled to do
    * YDGLA - they could park their bikes at the end of the track & walk
    * MCs - that their hobby was riding motorcycles, that there were over 100,000 miles of tracks that
    walkers could use and be sure not to see motorcyles if they wanted to avoid them
    * YDGLA - a bit about motor groups repairing routes to allow them to continue with their hobby

    5) The next scene was of the group of 4x4s on the route past Dead Man's Hill that runs to Scarhouse
    Reservoir (location not explained by the narrator). This is one of the UCRs that was repaired by
    the Ancient Roads Conservation Volunteers (ARCV). It was explained that these are members of the
    Green Lane Association who dislike the use of the term "offroading" because they only drive
    routes that are legally classified as road and which they are entitled to drive.

    6) There were a couple of scenes with a camera close to ground level showing 4x4s driving through
    water & mud. It gave the impression that the lane was very muddy. Anyone who knows that road also
    knows that the wet/muddy bit is only about 10 yards long - just to the west of the national park
    boundary. Anyone who knows the road well - also knows that the road to the east of the YDNPA
    boundary is in great condition because it was maintained by ARCV but that the muddy bit to the
    west was not maintained. They may or may not know that ARCV were refused permission by YDNPA to
    maintain the part of the route that is in the National Park. The BBC crew were told about this
    several times - but it didn't really come over in the transmission.

    7) There was an interview with Dave Wilson, Chairman of the Green Lane Association (GLASS)
    inside his Range Rover. He explained about the GLASS driver code of conduct and the
    importance of users being responsible in their use of unsealed roads in the countryside. He
    was asked about the planned Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders. His said that he thought
    that they would not work.

    8) There was another scene, also showing Dave Wilson - standing on the repaired section of the route
    & explaining about the repairs to the road & its drainage.

    On balance, with my GLASS hat on, I'm disappointed that the Beeb weren't able to get the YDNP or
    NYCC involved - and that no walkers, cyclists or horse riders were interviewed as it would have
    added substantially to the balance of the story (they would probably have needed a full half-hour
    though). It was also a tad disappointing that the editing was a bit unbalanced too.

    There was a funny *incident* (funny to me, anyway) whilst Adam Henson was filming his closing
    remarks for the Countryfile article. The camera was near the end of the lane which was blocked by
    the GLASS members' 4x4s.

    A car came along the footpath and stopped near the junction with the lane. The occupant was a lady
    in her sixties who had come from the local farm. She explained that she must get past as she was
    going *lambing*.

    We asked if she wouldn't mind waiting for a moment or two whilst the BBC finished their filming. We
    explained that the filming was about the lane over Dead Man's Hill - and about the repairs that had
    been carried out. She said that she couldn't possibly wait - and in any case didn't want the roads
    to be repaired. If roads were repaired then more people would come to the Yorkshire Dales - and she
    didn't want that.

    First the motorists - they're an easy target. Who's next?

    Cheers Andrew

  2. In message <[email protected]>, Andrew Kay
    <[email protected]> writes

    >4) Whilst the BBC were filming on Mastiles Lane, a group of three motorcyclists came along the
    > lane. There was a discussion/arguement between the motorcyclists and the YDGLA chap:
    >* MCs - that they always stay on the track, that they only ride tracks that they are legally
    > entitled to do
    Which is utter bollocks. I regularly see MXer's on BW tracks which they are NOT entitled to use.
    I've seen them ripping up track surfaces on full-power climbs, churning boggy areas to death. No
    doubt there _are_ plenty of responsible MXers around, but there's dick-heads in every game. I'm not
    going to jump on the "ban them" campaign bandwagon, as I a "live and let live" sort of person, and
    there's the danger that MTBers risks getting banned too.

    Steven Briggs
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