If you are already in a hole, don’t make it deeper. But a man from Bradford forgot this adage when he got his Land Rover stuck in a shake hole on moorland between Settle and Malham in the early hours of yesterday morning.
He had ventured illegally on to Gorbeck Road, one of 12 ‘green lanes’ in the Yorkshire Dales National Park along which recreational motor vehicles are banned.
But that didn’t stop him posting a message on Facebook appealing for assistance .
A member of the public saw the post and, knowing that the vehicle had got stuck in an environmentally sensitive area, called the local area ranger, who in turn informed the police.
Ranger Rob Ashford and PC Harry Carpenter were soon out on site. The first task was to get the Land Rover out of the hole. The tenant farmer (the land being owned by the National Trust) offered to help, for a small fee.
The Land Rover driver, however, hadn’t enough cash on him, so PC Carpenter went the extra mile and drove him to Settle so he could access an ATM.
Once the farmer was paid, the vehicle was pulled out of its hole and the man was back on the road.
Rob Ashford said: “Management of green lanes has been a success story in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. We have good relationships with recreational motor vehicle user groups and most users know some green lanes have had to be closed to recreational vehicles. Irresponsible and illegal use of these sensitive routes can be a source of great concern for residents and visitors because of the potential damage to the environment, as well as noise and conflict with other users.”
PC Harry Carpenter added: “The circumstances were quite unusual in this case. A lot of green lanes can be used legally, but we do have the odd rogue vehicle user who chooses to ignore restrictions on sensitive routes. In this case the route runs through a Site of Special Scientific Interest and it was adjacent to the route where the vehicle got stuck . We encourage people to come forward and report cases such as this, and we will endeavour to prosecute.”
It’s expected that the Bradford man will be summonsed to appear at Skipton Magistrates’ Court to face charges of breaching a Traffic Regulation Order.