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    Thirlmere West Road to be Permanently Closed to all Motor Vehicles

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    rikidooos
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    Thirlmere West Road to be Permanently Closed to all Motor Vehicles

    Post  rikidooos on Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:19 am

    Thirlmere West Road to be Permanently Closed to all Motor Vehicles.

    This is a wake-up call for recreational and sporting motorists and motorcyclists everywhere. The
    first attack was on ‘green roads’; next it will be on the network of tarmac roads in the countryside
    – particularly in the National Parks. If you value your freedom to drive on the minor roads of Britain,
    now is the time to object.
    West Road is what the name suggests: a minor tarmac road running north-south along the western
    shore of Thirlmere Reservoir in the Lake District. Like many such roads it gets a small and sustainable
    level of visitor traffic, and is regularly used by touring motorcyclists, classic car drivers, and people simply
    ‘out for a drive’.
    Now Cumbria County Council is spearheading a consortium of organisations that wish to impose a
    permanent ‘prohibition of driving order’ prohibiting the public, with motor vehicles, from using this
    road at any time. Why? For the benefit of pedal cyclists, who should, apparently, enjoy traffic-free roads
    at the expense of the majority of road users.
    It is certainly true that the A591 road, up the eastern shore of Thirlmere, is narrow and not at all ‘bicycle
    friendly’, but this is not any good reason to prohibit motors off the West Road completely. The
    level of motor traffic on the West Road is not particularly high, and cyclists can safely use it now.
    The promoters of this scheme say that they want to make the West Road ‘family friendly’. Well, ‘families’
    tend not to come out at all times of the year, on all days, at all times, and in all weathers. This
    scheme would take away the rights of the drivers who wish to enjoy this road, for the occasional
    benefit of a limited sector of society.
    LARA has always championed the idea of sharing Britain’s minor highways and byways, and the Government
    has itself introduced the designation of ‘Quiet Lane’, where all types of user are expected to
    respect the others. We see no good reason why simply designating the West Road as a ‘Quiet Lane’
    would not be sufficient to make it ‘family friendly’.
    If the level of ‘family use’ is genuinely sufficient that there does need to be some regulation of motor
    traffic, there is still no need for a 24/7/365 prohibition. There may be a case for just a summer holiday
    months prohibition of motors, or weekends only. The West Road is not going to be particularly ‘family
    friendly’ at 15:00 on a February Saturday, in a sleet shower, but those are just the conditions that many
    adventurous motorists enjoy – keeping the local cafes in business in the process.
    If you want to keep using the West Road, and want to stop the start of a slippery slope towards barring
    the private motor tourist from our countryside, then write today to object to the total closure to
    motors, advocating instead a ‘Quiet Lane’ designation, or a time-limited prohibition of driving order.
    Ask that the matter be considered by an independent inspector at a public inquiry.

    Read the publicity material from Cumbria County Council (which is on the LARA website) and then write to:
    Mr Ben Murray
    Cumbria Highways
    Highways Depot
    Joseph Noble Road
    Lillyhall Industrial Estate
    Workington
    Cumbria
    CA14 4JH
    Head your letter ‘Proposed Cycleway Around Thirlmere Reservoir’ and ensure that it arrives by 2 July 2010.
    If this proposal goes through unchallenged then expect to see many more like it coming at you over the horizon soon.
    LARA is at www.laragb.org

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