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Aggression by motorists on Tarn Hows track - a couple's shocking experience





4x4 on narrow section of Tarn Hows track

I thought I should let you know what happened to myself and my husband on the Tarn Hows track yesterday, Saturday 25th November 2023.  Due to my husband having been very ill and needing open heart surgery, we haven't been able to walk up the track recently.  Yesterday we went up the track. After about 5 minutes we saw about 8 motorcyclists coming towards us at considerable speed considering the condition of the track.  We moved to the side and although we do not approve of the track being open to motor vehicles, we just moved to the side so that the motorcyclists could pass two abreast.  As they went past one (or possible more - we were too shocked) of the motorcyclists shouted 'Fuck Off' at us, at least 5 times.  After the 5th time, my husband told them to do likewise.  We didn't invite this abuse and had done nothing to deserve it.

 

We carried on walking up the track and came across 6 very large 4WDs who were travelling down a narrow part of the track blocking it in its entirety.  To be fair they slowed down but there was nowhere for us to go as the track behind us was narrow and there were too many of them to reverse.  We then had to wind our way between the cars from one side to another so that we could get to the least steep part of the bank which varied as we were going past each car.  We were not being obstructive and the first couple of cars seemed aware of what we were trying to do so left us space.  At the third car I said to my husband that it was ridiculous that we were having to do this.  At the 5th car,  the driver clearly had no concept of what we were trying to do to get past him and didn't seem aware of the height of the bank and shouted at us 'it's a shared track'.  How were we not sharing?  We were, at the age of over 60 years old and with my husband having a medical condition, climbing up the bank as the cars were taking up the whole track.  At which point my husband, who didn't hear the comment said politely there are only supposed to be 4 as a maximum coming up here.  The driver of the 5th car shouted 'bullshit' and became really aggressive. We believe that, if there hadn't been a car behind him, he may well have become violent.  He moved past then stopped as if to get out, then did the same again being really aggressive.  The 6th car passed us without any conflict.  

 

We don't know what caused the initial anger of the motorcyclists or of the 4WDs but we heard other people who we came across walking up the track in the opposite direction talking about problems with the groups. so I presume there had been a conflict with them before they started on us.

 

As regards the 4WD, these weren't from Kankuu as their 4WDs were too big and new and, generally Kankuu is comparatively quite considerate although their diesels are noisy and smelly but they come in the early morning or late afternoon so whilst a nuisance are, at least, trying to mitigate the problem.  These two groups were up there at 1.30pm ish.  

 

We are now too intimidated to use the track in the near future or, at least, until my husband's health has improved.

 

On another note the track has been considerably eroded since we last went up.  We know we have had bad weather but there seem to be even more 4WDs in wet weather than in dry weather.  They are often in groups of 6 or above.  I should also point out that all restoration work on the track appears to have been halted for the last couple of years.  The path is very badly eroded.

 

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