Residents face abuse as motorcyclists descend on Dales market town

Chaos as motorcyclists hit the town.

By Betsy Everett

Residents and shop owners in Hawes are being “sworn at and abused” by motorcyclists who often “overwhelm” the market town at weekends, the parish council has been told.

Meanwhile, older people cannot get out of their homes near the cattle market in the centre of the town, while police, traffic wardens and police community support officers (PCSOs) frequently turn a blind eye to the problem, it was claimed.

“At the weekend I have to block the pavement outside my shop to stop them parking right in front of it. We are getting sworn at and abused when we ask them to move. It has got a lot worse over the past five years,” shopkeeper Laura Dunn told the council. The answer, she said, was better policing.

Chairman John Blackie accused police of  driving “majestically through the town looking the other way.”

“The whole area of the cattle market is overwhelmed at weekends, with motorcyclists swooping in and swooping out of the town. Concerns have been raised over the years about the haphazard parking of motorcycles and in the Rose Cottage area people [sometimes] cannot get in or out of their houses,” he said.

Cattle Market “overwhelmed” by motorcyclists at weekends.

The parish council was not against motorcyclists visiting the town as they brought much-needed custom to local businesses.

“We don’t want to drive people away who spend money  here but we must be able to manage the parking so that everyone is comfortable and can go safely about their day to day business,” he added.

Cllr Blackie said the law on parking was “ambiguous” with police officers keen to pass the problem on to parking wardens.

“But they look the other way as well,” he said.

Cllr Blackie said the number of accidents caused by motorcyclists on rural roads had contributed to the A684 being designated high risk, triggering a share in a government windfall to North Yorkshire Country Council of £11.5 million under the safer roads scheme.

Consultation was imminent on how the money should be spent, a previous “dopey” scheme by the county council having been “kicked into the North Sea.”

One idea was to create a raised footpath from Penny Garth Cafe to Cafe Curva, following the frontage of the houses.

The council may re-tarmac the cattle market and create the safe walking route which would also stop parking directly in front of the houses, he said.

“We welcome visitors on whatever mode of transport they choose to arrive in the town, but the parking needs to be better managed and it appears North Yorkshire County Council has the funds to deliver this.”


    • The number of ‘bikers’ at weekend who are going to buy from a ladies clothes shop or outdoor clothing store is probably quite small. However tourists in motor cars who may well purchase from said shops cannot park so drive on. Too many don’t appreciate that the houses near the cafe are lived in and their occupants are entitled to some peace and quiet after a week’s work. Often if they go out they cannot return because of the number of bikes

      • They’ve been coming to top Café in Hawes for years, I’ve lived in Hawes all my life, never seen them as a problem, I work in a Café in Hawes, and we get them in for tea coffee snacks etc and never had a problem with them ,there very friendly and always well mannered, as for the houses you mention, young people live in those and they always leave space for them to park there cars in front of their house
        I personally think there a bit of a tourist attraction you see lots of people looking at the different types of bikes,

        • Exactly! Ont picture there is room to walk and park! If they dont want em parking why dont they get a cone infront of their house!? They could park up int dairy even, more room..?

          • If bikes weren’t parked there, cars would ,it’s free parking,and always has been, think some people who have moved to Hawes would love cobbled streets and horses and carts ,it’s 2019 and we even have mains water and electricity

      • Usual sensationalist media , its not bikers , its people , whether you are on a bike , in a car ,truck or whatever , you allways get a grouch in there somewhere, with all that money available make a large free car park , and a large free motorcycle park , and while you are at it make the loo’s free too, bikers are good for small towns like this , bikers = £’s and without them small businesses will find it hard work. Love Hawes & I’d love them to embrace what they have.

  1. Who ever wrote that headline does not know the biking community. Some may think they may look menacing in leathers etc. But they are just ordinary people that ride bikes with others of a like mind. The clubs and biking communities do loads for charities and local causes.. They also bring revenue to loads of towns across the world DONT BLAME A WHOLE SECTION OF THE COMMUNITY FOR POSSIBLY ONE PERSONS RUDENESS …..

  2. Usual thing, the few spoiling it for the many. REAL bikers have been doing the right thing for many years.

  3. Maybe this woman has a vendetta against bikers as iv been going for years as a biker myself I always respect peoples drives gardens pathways etc and always have if a person approaches me calmly they will get a calm response I hate when people label people just because we ride bikes makes us no different to car drivers we all pay tax and bring a lot of buisness to the town I’m sure if we wasnt present during the summer months businesses would struggle to stay open and so if this lady is so against us bikers then maybe she should think about opening a shop elsewhere as we bring a lot to the comunity and always have your at the heart of the Dale’s and should be able to deal with large numbers iv seen coach parties stop in hawes does that mean we being bikers have to give way to them the answers simple NO we are no different to any other tourist and if there is a problem with people parking outside your shops then speak to your council my advice is dont bring it on social media and spoil it for everyone else in the comunity.

  4. I have been visiting for many years both by car and bike, the truth is that bikers don’t tend to park where is illegal to do so, as we don’t like paying fines anymore than other road users. However, if we see a legal place to park then we will use it. If the person with the complaint persuades the council to designate the space outside their home as a double yellow then we won’t use.

  5. Maybe the bike’s organization should arrange a boycott, and create meet at another small well deserving village, it won’t be long before they’re begged to return, I wouldn’t want to go somewhere I’m not wanted anyway.

  6. Media sensationalism. Have been going to Hawes for years as a biker and never seen the sort of behaviour described in this article. Parking is a problem – for everyone. We spend quite a bit of money and I think Hawes would notice if bikers stopped calling in. Better parking facilities for everyone would be sensible and free toilets too. The revenue from bikers – who are tourists too – more than pays for these basic facilities

  7. I live in the area where the bike problem is and have read the comments posted on this and would like to give my opinion on this issue. I do not want the bikers to stop visiting Hawes and know they do bring much needed income into the town, not ALL the bikers park illegally or ignore No Parking markings or block doorways and access areas for houses and shops, but SOME do, I have been to countless Parish council meetings and have suggested designated parking but have been told that the bikers don`t like to leave their bikes out of sight!
    I have been laughed at,and sworn at many a time when I have asked for bikes to move so I can get to my house. All I want is for EVERYONE to respect peoples space and park sensibly.

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