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Nature Features

You are in: Wiltshire > Nature > Nature Features > Ridgeway path closed to vehicles

Ridgeway path closed to vehicles

On 1st October the seasonal ban on motor vehicles along The Ridgeway once more came into force. View photos and listen to our report.

The Ridgeway is closed to vehicles for 7 months

The Ridgeway is closed to vehicles for 7 months

With Autumn in full swing and Winter just over the horizon, the annual Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) banning motor vehicles from the Hackpen Hill stretch of the Ridgeway track has once more come into force.

From 1st October 2008 to 30th April 2009 all 'mechanically propelled' motor vehicles are excluded from this section.

Damage to the Ridgeway track

Damage to the Ridgeway track

The TRO was imposed by Wiltshire County Council in 2002 following pressure from The Ramblers Association and the Friends of the Ridgeway group who are dedicated to preserving the 6000 year old track.

Yearly, the path surface becomes a danger to users because of the deep, churned ruts caused chiefly by 4X4 vehicles and off-road motorbikes.

Following the recent wet weather the track has also become very muddy, making it hazardous for ramblers and particularly dangerous for horseriders.

Deep ruts caused by vehicles

Deep ruts caused by vehicles

The National Trails Team and highway authorities work closely with Wiltshire Constabulary and Thames Valley Police to ensure the TRO sections are closely monitored and enforcement action will be taken against those driving within the TRO sections.

last updated: 06/10/2008 at 09:18
created: 03/10/2008

Have Your Say

If you are a regular walker of the Ridgeway track, please leave your comments below.

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Rodney Reason
Its absolutely disgraceful that we Rambliars are not allowed exclusive access to the countryside. Its even worse that our boots get muddy. Everyone knows tractors don't cause ruts.

Yet another example of one sided reporting. Technically this is a road. 98% of the rights of way network in England and Wales in vehicle free, but the rambliars want it all. As the author points out, the ban was introduced by pressure, thather than a specific need. WCC have a duty to protect and assert the rights of ALL user groups. Clearly it is easier (and cheaper) to ban a few, rather than uphold thier rights. Pictures show damage caused by agricultural vehicles, which are exempt from the TRO.

Can we have the ruts filled in with some stones ,I Almost came off my motorbike today down there.Thanks.Ban caravans and tractors.

mr sensible
The ridgeway is a ROAD, almost all motor vehicle users i have met up there whilst walking or riding have been courteous, which is more than can be said about a number of stubborn ramblers who refuse to move to the side of the road to allow motor vehicles to pass.By not moving over, they are causing the motorist to move from the existing tracs and create unneccesary erosion.

Stephen Hawkins
Looking at thoise ruts its clear they are caused by agricultural vehicles and not cars or bikes. Do you see many cars or 4x4 with 16" ground clearence, I dont. They are as unable to travel that route as a small amily car. And of course the TRO doesnt apply to the frm vehicles and tractors that do cause the ruts

Just the sort of bull we've come to expect from the Biased Broadcasting Corporation.

Yes, of course vehicles should be banned! Oh except the parts at the end of each section where walkers park their cars. Then the council can roll the whole of the Ridgeway flat, maybe they could even carpet it so the ramblers don't get their boots dirty, How disgusting, Mud in the countryside, whatever next?

Adrian Shearing
Its seems to me that the BBC is only taking one side in this report as I know that another member of GLASS has made a comment but has not been posted, the report is all negative towards 4X4's & off road bikes and totally pro ramblers I thought the BBC should be impartial it seems not only listening to one side.

Why not ask for all users to post their comments? Sounds as if this is a very unbalanced point of view, which is surprising from the BBC - whatever happened to impartial reporting? Looking at the photos posted, the evidence points more to Farmers vehicle’s than you standard 4x4, and I suppose the more extreme walkers would want to ban them as well? (And be the first to complain when their tax goes up, to subsidise the farmers who lose their jobs!) and frankly since when does a two wheeled motor cycle make a furrow that deep? Despite what you THINK you know – as a forensics expert I can tell you do not. Please amend your article and put in the correct facts.Many thanks in anticipationSpider1V

The Ridgeway Path in Wiltshire should have an all year round ban as Oxfordshire have quite rightly introduced.

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