April 30, 2004 at 9:39 am #8781XV16Participant
FAMOUS names have made a public call for action to curb speeding motorcyclists and heavy goods vehicles on a route through the North York Moors.
A number of celebrities and public figures with Yorkshire roots have backed the demands of a pressure group Bilsdale Against Noise and Danger (BAND) by signing an open letter on the issue.
The group wants action to be taken by North Yorkshire Police and the highway authorities to counter the danger and environmental damage they say is posed by traffic on a 15-mile stretch of the B1257 between Helmsley and Stokesley, which runs through the North York Moors National Park.
Among the signatories of the open letter issued by the group are actors Patrick Stewart and Brian Blessed, cricketers Geoffrey Boycott and Fred Trueman, political figures William Hague and Bernard Ingham, TV gardener Alan Titchmarsh, and the acting Dean of York Minster, the Reverend Canon Glyn Webster.
The letter says: “This is a site of extraordinary natural beauty, environmental significance and historical importance, rich in the relics of past generations, from drovers’ roads and ancient castles to the world-famous ruins of Rievaulx Abbey. Damage to this precious park is not merely a matter of concern to local residents. it is a loss to the nation as a whole.
“Today, the safety, beauty and peace of the park is being destroyed by a comparatively new phenomenon: large numbers of speeding bikers, often riding in packs, many of whom travel from great distances to use the roads across the park as a lethal race track, racing at reported speeds of up to 180 miles an hour. Lethal crashes and serious accidents have become commonplace.”
The chairman of BAND, Ken Braithwaite said: “Anyone who knows the area cannot fail to be horrified by the sheer noise and frightening carnage inflicted on its roads every summer by the madness of literally hundreds of speeding bikers.
“This is the route known as the `Yorkshire TT’. It is the route where speed records are set, to be recorded and boasted about on biker web-sites.”
Helmsley community officer PC Ray Thwaites said: “Anything that reduces speed and promotes a peaceful life for residents would be seen as the right move.”
PC Thwaites has launched a campaign recently to clamp down on defective or illegal exhausts in the town to reduce noise nuisance.
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