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Swaledale & Arkengarthdale Business Forum (SABF)

On Roads

Narrow, windy, steep, fords, single track in places, narrow bridges, dry stone walls, few pavements, hazards you hadn't expected...

  • People Hazards – there will be someone round the next bend
  • Natural Hazards – conditions can be very different in the Dales
  • Dales Driving – think differently


Some things you may not have considered...

People Hazards

  • Few pavements, so be aware of walkers.
  • The rule is to walk on the safest side, not just the right. That is the one with the larger verge or with the most visibility.
  • Fish and Chip Van day (Friday) – be aware there will be queues in the road for this very popular attraction

Natural Hazards

  • Dry Stone Walls – are what make the Dales the Dales. Heavy vehicles that go close to a wall cause the most damage, even if not immediate. The grass banks (verges) are in fact the foundations that keep them upright. It costs more than £100/metre to repair.
  • Snow - some routes will be closed in wintry conditions - ask a local before you set off to Tan Hill, Kirby Stephen, Buttertubs Pass, Bolton Abbey or Askrigg.
  • Rivers - the roads flood from time to time so look out for signs and be aware.
  • Dales Driving

    • Passing Places - sometimes marked with a white diamond but the majority are not - please don't park in them.
    • At Work - think about giving way to those who are not on holiday – locals, tractors, farmers on quad bikes, gamekeepers, delivery vans, buses, the doctor, the vicar, sheep and cattle.
    • Up hill - it is old fashioned good etiquette to give way to vehicles coming up steep hills - hill starts can be tricky out here.
    • Hay Time - time is of the essence for these people in June and July - they literally have to make hay whilst the sun shines and they will be hard at work long after you have gone to bed - let them past, please.
    • Gates - some roads are gated so be aware and leave them as you find them, please.
    • Motorbikes - the dales routes are popular in the sunny months - every year one cuts a blind bend, hits a pot hole or a rock dislodged from a dry stone wall, or doesn't expect walkers around the bend.
    • Satnav - it doesn't know everything out here - ask a local for the best route for your vehicle.
    • Fords - for bikes - the fords out here are very slippery, especially if they are cobbled.