top of page

UNESCO raises new concerns about green lane driving

At its 45th Session in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee has now adopted a report severely criticising the Lake District National Park Authority. One of the issues raised by UNESCO is green lane motoring, and it says a new approach is needed.


“The recognised capacity of this cultural landscape ‘to uplift imagination, creativity, and spirit’ can only be sustained if tranquillity and quietness remain a trait of the property.”


Essential qualities under threat

UNESCO’s view is clear: the LDNPA should apply Traffic Regulation Orders to ban motor vehicles from ‘highly sensitive and emblematic valleys and places”. And it should “develop a comprehensive regulatory policy focused on safeguarding the attributes of OUV [Outstanding Universal Value].”


In UNESCO’s opinion the LDNPA’s current approach is uneven and “does not appear to be based on a clear understanding of OUV-based visitor management.”


This is an alarming conclusion: the Outstanding Universal Value is what makes the Lake District a World Heritage Site. To a large extent it overlaps with the special qualities of the National Park – such as ‘quiet enjoyment’ or ‘a model for protecting cultural landscapes’.


What now? UNESCO urges the State Party (i.e. the LDNPA) to


“harness the already available instruments to prevent vehicular access to unsealed roads in highly sensitive and emblematic valleys, and also requests the State Party to ensure as a matter of urgency that systematic monitoring is carried out on all unsealed roads open to vehicular access to assess the status of this activity and its impacts on the tangible and intangible attributes of the property, as a basis for a comprehensive regulatory policy focused on safeguarding the attributes of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV).”

bottom of page