TRF:Hi Doug. It was great seeing pics of you out riding on Deadman’s Hill recently. It’s been a bit of a journey to get it open. Can you give us a bit of background to the situation with this Green Road?
Doug:Sure, Deadman’s Hill is a key part of our road network in North Yorkshire. It runs between Horsehouse and Middlemoor running across Scar House reservoir dam wall. It connects a large group of roads to the north and south of the Yorkshire Dales that our members use regularly. The detour is considerable, 26.9 miles in fact!
TRF:So what led it to being closed in the first place?
Doug:Following the very heavy weather we experienced in 2015 the surface of the short steep section near the top of the hill became eroded and continued use had left it all but impassable. The road had a temporary TRO placed on it by the North Yorkshire County Council. It was put in place “to protect the public from danger and protect the road from serious damage” and it ran from Apr 2016 and was due to expire in Oct 2017.
TRF:Was there a strategy in place with T&NYTRF to get Deadman’s open again?
TRF:Can you describe what effort and commitment it takes by the T&NYTRF Rights of Road team to undertake such an activity?
Doug:Well at times I thought Deadman’s was very apt name and that Barrie and I would be the next to mysteriously vanish due to fatigue! Being active members of the LAF was very helpful in getting engagement with stakeholders and when I totalled up my correspondence on the subject there were 350 emails, 3 face to face meetings at County Hall ( and many corridor conversations too), site visits and it was discussed at 3 LAF meetings. I did not keep a record of the phone calls! What helped enormously was the input and encouragement from the TRF rights of road team and legal advice, namely John Vannuffel and Alan Kind.
TRF:It’s great to see Deadman’s open again. But as with all Green Roads we’ve now got to make sure it stays open. What do you think users need to bear in mind as they begin to use it again?