Pressure group launches to tackle speeding bikers and motorists in Yorkshire Dales

Emergency services at the scene of a serious accident involving a motorbike near Ribblehead last year. Photo: North Yorkshire Weather Updates.

A new pressure group is calling for a crackdown on thoughtless bikers and motorists on Dales roads.

CANS – Councils Against Noise and Speed – has been set up in response to complaints by villagers and country residents about speeding and noise.

The group comprises of representatives from 13 parish and district councils in the areas covered by popular biker ride-out and car rally routes linking the Dales and the so-called Devil’s Bridge triangle, which includes Hawes, Kirkby Lonsdale, Ingleton, Sedbergh and Kirkby Stephen.

“We don’t want motorcycles banned and aren’t asking riders or drivers to stay away,” said CANS chairman Hamish Wilson.

“What we are asking is for the minority of motorcyclists and drivers who are tempted to speed on rural roads or use excessively loud exhausts to respect our communities and their way of life.”

CANS is lobbying MPs whose constituencies fall in the affected area and has had supportive responses from Rishi Sunak (Richmond); Tim Farron (Westmorland and Lonsdale); David Morris (Morecambe and Lunesdale) and Julian Smith (Skipton and Ripon).

Tim Farron tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons, calling on the Government to introduce average speed cameras throughout the national parks, legislate to decrease noise pollution and increase police patrols during the peak motorcycle season’.

The group says it has been in close contact with North Yorkshire, Cumbria and Lancashire police to hold action days on routes in the triangle.

North Yorkshire Police has held two days of action called Operation Boundary and Operation Concentrate.

In a four-day campaign, as part of Operation Boundary, more than 80 traffic offence reports were issued with 17 vehicle seizures and 11 arrests.

Mr Wilson added: “CANS welcomes the fact that both Operation Boundary and Operation Concentrate have continued over the summer months.”

Hawes and High Abbotside Parish Council has a representative on the group.

Council chair Jill McMullon said: “We have to support them because we all have problems with bikes.

“Hawes’ problems are slightly different – we suffer from the amount of bikes that come into town.

“We get so many bikes into the town that it drives other visitors away. People can’t park and the noise is horrific.”

“But anything that cuts speed and accidents is important — every single weekend during the summer there is an accident.”

The group says it investigating the use of so called “sound cameras” to stamp down on motorbikes with after sales exhausts.

It is taking advice from Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council which waged war on supercar owners, hitting more than 100 of them with £100 fines.

Mr Wilson added: “We don’t mind drivers enjoying the area but not to the detriment of other visitors and residents.”


  1. We regularly get convoys of motorbikes and supercars coming up through Arkengarthdale and on to Tan Hill. The noise can be deafening and it is really offensive that these people have no regard for the area, safety or the wellbeing of residents

    • It’s a mystery to me how in the middle of a climate emergency (Yorkshire Dales National Park) some folk feel such a degree of entitlement that they believe it’s ok for them to drive or ride aimlessly around the countryside.

      • They don’t, this is an attack on bikers because that unelected parish councilor lives on the A684 himself.

        Bikers have used that road for decades without being complained about, he moves into the area and decides he doesn’t like the noise so wants to vilify bikers.

        These men and women bring vital revenue to local businesses and raise money for the air ambulance, they should be left to do what they enjoy. Let’s face it, these are not idiot teenagers hammering around the Dales.

        And then to have the police involved when they don’t even attend theft incidents is another nasty little excuse to harass innocent people.

        What next? Contact the RAF because the noise of planes and helicopters are upsetting guests? How about the whistle of the steam trains? Cars with cold air intakes? Get a life CANS

        • Please answer the question Clive. Why do you think it is right to have a hobby which directly and incontrovertibly contributes to the rise in atmospheric CO2 and the climate emergency we are all experiencing?

          • So your idea is to have legally taxed vehicles removed from the roads is it? As I said these bikers pay their taxes – most probably on more than one vehicle – bring vital money to the area, donate money to the upkeep of the air ambulance, you want these people refused use of the roads then do you?

            There is no question to answer, maybe this one, what causes the most damaging polluting gases?

    • I pay the road tax, and I have my bike MOT’d and I also spend money in the places I go.
      take from that what you will 🙂

      • So basically, David, you feel a sense of entitlement which means you’ll do what you like and take no responsibility for your actions which are a part, minuscule no doubt but a part nonetheless, in changing everything for all of us?

        • Are you a walker nick?
          Bet you drive a diesel. Motorcycles pollute 1 fraction of a diesel car. Probably 50 bikes vs your diesel

        • Do you think it is ok for people to drive vast distances to aimlessly walk or ride push bikes in the yorkshire dales Nick? Or is the truth of the matter that you don’t want anyone in the yorkshire dales except those who can afford to live in it, i witnessed the small mindedness of a minority of “dales folk” during covid restrictions. Shamefull.

  2. Worry not local folk, even though my bike is not noisy and I don’t speed I’ll continue to go touring on my bike in France. A land with far nicer scenery, roads, food, accommodation and frankly, people, than many of the villages in the U.K. who seem obsessed with living out their lives as if an episode of ‘Call the midwife’ where outsiders are very rarely encountered, enjoy!

    • Quite ironic given the chairman is an outsider new to the area Jon. Don’t not use the area, bikers should be welcomed, they spend way more money than those that are complaining do

      • Sorry, “do” came out as “don’t”, fight back and arrange mass bike rides through the area, I’ll even have the kettle on if you all come through Dent

  3. I’ve been a motorcyclist all my life ans see no reason why any motor bike should be much louder than a car. I’m happy to enjoy the sound of racing four strokes at a race track , not on public roads. Sales of loud after market systems should become illegal .

  4. It’s been happening for years. A negative of living in a picturesque area with enjoyable roads.
    Problem is residents believe they can select who enjoys their area or services. They can’t. The dales doesn’t belong to the residents, they just live in a house there. Everyone has the right to use the area as they see fit.

    • Well said Simon. Notice the attacks on bikes happen after someone moves into the area?
      As for councillors moaning about the number of bikes? How about she asks the local chippie, cafe, pubs, and tea rooms if they would be happy to lose their money? How about the sponsored ride outs to raise money for the air ambulance? The noise of a badly played piano is much worse than the sound of a motorbike

  5. We are responsible bikers we spend money in your tea shops cafe’s and petrol stations fish and chip shops and all you can do is moan about up you ungrateful tw… Then you get the police to try to prossicute us you Judas’s.

    • they want our trade, but tar us bikers and motorists all with the same brush. so if you dales folk want your businesses to survive, stop tarring us and treat each of us on our merits

      • No taffy, an incomer who is an unelected parish councillor wants to tar all you bikers. Please keep using the area, many of us know businesses rely on you good people

        • Clive, we know who you are and you certainly aren’t a biker. You are hi-jacking this issue to continue a personal vendetta and have used every comment on this thread to attack one person and it’s very transparent. Remember what the court said, Clive. You’re treading on thin ice…

          • I have 4 brothers, all bikers, I was the only one who wasn’t, preferring the comfort of a car. I’m defending bikers from being vilified, hell, I even pulled on biker out of the walls there after he went headlong into it.
            Try getting your binoculars out and taking up a hobby like birdwatching, it would be more productive maybe?

            As I said, do you want to ban the RAF and steam trains that also make noises? As for the courts? I’m still fighting that decision and will sue for compensation when it’s sorted out, and that includes the police force 😉

    • The spokesman in the article stresses that the group doesn’t have a problem with responsible drivers.

  6. And if any of you yokels dare to step foot in my town (blackpool) I’ll be straight on to the police. It works both ways you pompous ar..holes

    • My dearest Jockey, It is with great regret that I must turn down your offer of a trip to the seaside resort that is your home. I’m afraid the reek of skunk weed and smell of urine in shop doorways offends my fragile countenance. However, should I ever endeavour to find myself in the unfortunate circumstance of wandering onto ‘the Fylde’ coast and thereupon break the law of the land you are duty bound as a good citizen to summon the stout fellows of the Lancashire Constabulary who will attend to their duties with vigour. In the event of you doing likewise in the environs of Bainbridge I shall return the favour. Yours with pomposity, Mr Hugh Jars.

  7. Well I regularly ride my motorbike around the Yorkshire Dales and I don’t spend a penny in any of cafés. I have a pee shooter exhaust which one of the loudest in the North of England.

  8. I live on one of the fastest parts of the A648 and have done since early this year. I have known the road very well for many years and was well aware that it’s a busy road from the outset. But why just bikes?. However it’s not the noise which bothers me it’s the horrendous speed they do. Bikes well over 100mph and cars not so far behind even the huge wagons break the speed limit regularly from in 4.00am. We witness frightening near misses on a regular basis. So bikers, car drivers and wagon driver, our roads are not race tracks and if you cause an accident it’s not just your life you risk but others too.

  9. The only vital revenues I see the bikers bringing is the occasional bag of chips while they stand around each other’s mechanical excuse for a manhood. I know of more than one visitor (and their families) who have said they won’t return to Hawes because of the noise of bikes. That’s a family spending money to stay in theatre, buying meals in pubs… as for raising money for the sir ambulance – that won’t cover the costs of scraping the middle-aged idiots off the roads every bank holiday.

    • Well said Jim. They’re all the same. Like clones. I can’t believe any of them still have licences!! Wheres the tar, you bring the feathers….

  10. It appears that the selfish few – led by Clive – feel it’s their right to tear around the National Park because they think it belongs to them. There are farmers who daren’t move stock at weekends, a Hawes councillor who says there are too many bikes, 13 representatives of local councils who have had enough… but Clive attacks the so-called outsider. Bet Clive voted for Brexit and blames his troubles on migrants!

    • I did vote in favour of Brexit, I don’t blame foreigners for anything, that’s a very racist thing to say! Still, at least I’m honest enough to use my real name 🙂

  11. Interesting that Hawes dont want bikes, is that so cars can replace them then ?
    Just what is the difference between a car taking up a parking space or a car ? Usually, three of us visit Hawes, we may take up one car space, no loud exhausts and… always spend in local eateries.
    No racing or pulling wheelie.
    I see cars pulling up and sut there eating food that they bring, no money going into the local eateries
    Last week, maybe seven out of ten people buying in the chip shop were bikers !
    Ask the owners, clearly the council chair is not concerned that businesses serve bikers and seem quite happy to take bikers money.
    Better that than see others bringing their own food in their cars and rucksacks and putting zero money I to the local economy.
    The fuel station alone takes lots from bikers.

    • Where does it say that?

      of course it doesn’t. What it DOES say is ““We don’t want motorcycles banned and aren’t asking riders or drivers to stay away,” said CANS chairman Hamish Wilson.”, IE the exact opposite.

      being honest, riders eating chips once a month for a few weeks in the summer or drinking tea at a cafe will benefit those businesses but not the town as a whole. riders almost never go beyond one or two places at one end of town. They don’t visit shops, they don’t visit the creamery, the rope works the museum etc, they ride in, drink tea and ride out. Hardly the basis of a tourist economy!

  12. Loud pipes save lives.
    If a loud exhaust saves just 1 life it’s worth it.
    Tolerating a loud exhaust is much cheaper than having to deploy the air ambulance because some dopey car driver didn’t see or hear us.

    • there is no evidence for this. Stop making excuses for liking your loud exhaust. It’s not a safety feature and it annoys people. It’s also potentially illegal.

      if you want to have a loud exhaust at least be honest about why – because you like it and don’t care that others don’t.

  13. As a biker of many years I am appalled by some of the responses from my so-called fellow riders. The first thing the chap in the story says is ‘We don’t want motorcycles banned and aren’t asking riders or drivers to stay away.’
    What the Cans group is asking for is for us and car drivers to stay within the law. Nothing more, nowt less – is that too much for a community to ask for? And if you can’t do that as a biker then don’t speak in my name or for those of the many law-abiding bikers who enjoy this lovely part of the world.

  14. In a four-day campaign, as part of Operation Boundary, more than 80 traffic offence reports were issued with 17 vehicle seizures and 11 arrests.
    What a shame the article doesn’t state who these anti social people are, could it be because most are local residents.

  15. In a four-day campaign, as part of Operation Boundary, more than 80 traffic offence reports were issued with 17 vehicle seizures and 11 arrests.

    AHH I see im waiting to be moderated, whoop is

  16. more hassle from the police .. when they should be catching paedophiles .. but hey ho. i`m used to that now .. water off a ducks back… nothing quite like a politician using his position to his own benefit

    • Nice bit of whataboutery there. Clearly there is only one police officer in the entire UK and there’s no way that they can do two things at once. Stop making excuses for being a pillock.

  17. We are not saying that motorbikes are not welcome on the dales roads if the bikes are legal.

    But the once breaking the speed limits and making excessive noise and riding dangerously are not welcome.

    Why not do as I did many years ago and go and race on the race tracks where it is a closed road and you may not kill some poor child and have to go on living with that on your mind for the rest of your life.

    • No, it’s basically vilifying all bikers if the parish council is using the police as their lapdogs once again.

      How do you know they are speeding? Do you have a speed gun? What about cars with cold air intakes? Tractors? They are as noisy as bikes. I’ve seen more cars driving dangerously than bikers, same goes for cyclists.

      Let’s face it, the police don’t go out to farm thefts so why divert them to this? It would be as sad as using the police for an internet squabble when you are too pathetic to challenge the other person. I had a few neighbours ask for me to go through my CCTV footage to see if I could spot people who had nicked farm equiptment because the police couldn’t give a toss!

      There has been one death on the part of the A684 I lived on, that was a guy on a motorbike hit by an elderly car driver, it’s still online if you care to do a search

  18. I was just wondering, could local businesses and the air ambulance be reimbursed for any income lost and donations to this lunatic idea of vilifying bikers? I know Garsdale Parish Council couldn’t afford it after having to pay out large sums for transgressions in the past, but someone must be held responsible for lost profits.

    • Okay, I’ve got a freedom of information act request in for a breakdown of the vehicles stopped and for what offenses, let’s see just how many motorbikes were “caught”

      It’s similar to Garsdale Parish Council stating that people were being injured walking on the untarmacked path from Garsdale Train Station, BR confirmed NO complaints and NO accidents. Naturally, this vile little unelected band then tried to use disabled people in their efforts to get that done, as the carer of a severely disabled wife I hated their actions using disabled people for their own ends, but then again, when one of them pulled up outside our home and started mimicing my wife’s facial paralysis, what else can you expect from this group

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