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Thirlmere West Road in Cumbria re-opens


Back in September 2023 the British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF) submitted a robust response objecting to proposals by Cumberland Council to introduce a permanent Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) to permanently close the U7003 road along the western shore of Thirlmere. The road had been “temporarily” closed by the Council since 2021 following Storm Arwen ostensibly to carry out urgent safety repairs. However, during that time the Council had failed to reach agreement with the landowner United Utilities on the necessary repairs required or a timescale for the reopening of the road. The prolonged closure of Thirlmere West Road had resulted in motorcyclists and other road users being effectively prevented from using the road and being able to enjoy the full extent of the Thirlmere lakeshore. Moreover, vulnerable road users including walkers, cyclists, horse riders and motorcyclists had been forced for 2 years to use the alternative and more dangerous A591.

The BMF argued that Cumberland Council had failed in its duty under the Environment Act 1995 to enable the enjoyment by the general public of a national park area and that United Utilities, as the landowner, had also failed to maintain the route as required under Section 68 of the Manchester Corporation Waterworks Act 1879. The BMF further argued that the necessary repairs should be carried out promptly and Thirlmere West Road reopened without further delay.

Click here to read the original bmf news story, which sets out the detailed objections we raised against the Council’s planned permanent closure of Thirlmere West Road and arguments for carrying out prompt repairs and re-opening the road.

Following strong representations from the BMF and other like-minded organisations, Cumberland Council commenced legal action against United Utilities and the necessary repairs to Thirlmere West Road were duly completed earlier this year with the road reopened to the public at the end of May 2024.

Paul Morgan CBE, the BMF’s Government Relations Executive said: ” The BMF will continue to fight for access for motorcyclists to the full road network across the UK, ensuring better and more equal treatment of motorcycling in the statutory regulation of traffic on both sealed and unsealed “green roads.” It is important that all roads can be accessed at all times by motorcycle. The BMF is an organisation that fights for riders’ rights and we are pleased that our campaign to have Thirlmere West Road reopened has been successful and that riders and other road users can once again enjoy the scenic and safe route along the west side of Thirlmere.”

Top image courtesy of Tom McNally, Keswick, Cumbria.