OFF-roaders have been banned from using the popular Walna Scar Road after a vote by members of the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA).

The LDNPA rights of way committee agreed that the route, between Coniston and Seathwaite, was a restricted byway – meaning only walkers, horse riders, cyclists and pony and trap drivers may legally be able to use the road.

The public has from Thursday, February 10 until Friday, April 1 to object, which would then result in the matter being referred to the independent planning inspectorate.

The long-running Walna road saga began more than three years ago, when the LDNPA said the route should be a restricted byway for all traffic except motorised vehicles. After objections were made and further evidence received, an independent inspector for the Secretary of State decided the route was actually a byway open to all traffic, including motor vehicles.

In June last year the route again became available for all traffic, but following an appeal to the High Court, the inspector’s decision was quashed, resulting in the latest report being presented to committee members by access and rights of way officer, Nick Thorne.