A PRESSURE group is calling for tougher restrictions on the region’s rural roads in the wake of a summer of noise and speed.

Councils Against Noise and Speed (CANS) has been set up in response to complaints by villagers and country residents whose communities are plagued by ‘thoughtless bikers and motorists’.

It includes13 parish and district councils in the areas covered by popular biker ride-out and car rally routes linking the Dales and the so-called ‘Devil’s Bridge triangle’ which includes Sedbergh, Hawes, Kirkby Lonsdale, Ingleton and Kirkby Stephen.

“We don’t want motorcycles banned and aren’t asking riders or drivers to stay away,’ said CANS chairman Hamish Wilson. “What we are asking is for the minority of motorcyclists and drivers who are tempted to speed on rural roads or use excessively loud exhausts to respect our communities and their way of life.”

CANS is lobbying MPs whose constituencies fall in the affected area and says it has had supportive responses from Skipton MP Julian Smith as well as Rishi Sunak Richmond; Tim Farron, Westmorland and Lonsdale, and David Morris, Morecambe and Lunesdale.

Mr Farron tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons, calling on the Government to ‘introduce average speed cameras throughout the national parks, legislate to decrease noise pollution and increase police patrols during the peak motorcycle season’.

The group has also been in close contact with Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Lancashire police to hold action days on routes in the triangle. North Yorkshire Police responded with Operation Boundary and Operation Concentrate.

In a four-day campaign, as part of Operation Boundary, more than 80 traffic offence reports were issued with 17 vehicle seizures and 11 arrests.

Mr Wilson added: “CANS welcomes the fact that both Operation Boundary and Operation Concentrate have continued over the summer months.’

The group is also investigating the use of ‘sound cameras’ to stamp down on motorbikes with ‘after sales’ exhausts. It is taking advice from Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council which waged war on supercar owners, hitting more than 100 of them with £100 fines.

Mr Wilson added: “We don’t mind drivers enjoying the area but not to the detriment of other visitors and residents.”