As the Trail grows in popularity and more people become aware of its existence, we are now getting lots of useful detailed reports in from the public. If you raise an issue which needs to be fed back to another organisation or Local Authority we will do so and they will respond to you direct if necessary.
Outlined below are the main queries / comments people usually raise about the trail:
We recognise that good signing of the Trail is essential. Installation and maintenance of TPT signs is the responsibility of the 26 TPT Local Authorities. All have been issued with detailed signing guidelines for the route. We continue to lobby them to keep the route well signed, particularly in areas that are prone to vandalism.
General path maintenance such as surfacing and cutting back vegetation is usually the responsibility of the local authorities across the Trail. Again, we continue to press authorities to keep the route well maintained in their area despite ongoing pressure for resources that many local councils face. Problems with over-grown vegetation during the summer months, etc, should be reported direct to your local authority countryside or public rights of way section. If you find the TPT in your area is constantly neglected please let us know and we will lobby the Authority.
Use of the TPT by motorcycles and other motorised vehicles is illegal (a few exceptions exist where farm or public utility vehicles have a right of access) it is a police matter and should be reported direct to the local Police in your area. Installation of motorcycle access barriers by local authorities throughout the Trail has to date not solved the problems we have with motorbikes on many parts of the route. Genuine Trail users feel threatened and inconvenienced by irresponsible motorcycle behaviour. If you report motorcycle abuse on the TPT to your local Police please insist on being allocated an incident number. By doing that you ensure that the incident has been officially recorded. Forms for monitoring motorcycle abuse on the Trail and the police response to your complaint are available from TPT office, via post or e-mail. They have been prepared by us to try and build up some data as to the scale of the problem. Partnership working between the Police and Local Authorities is now underway in many areas and this has resulted in successful prosecutions for illegal users.
4. Access Barriers
Motorcycle access barriers have been installed on the TPT by most of the Local Authorities across the route. The design and level of restriction they cause varies. We know that some Trail users experience problems with some access barriers (e.g. some disabled users, or cyclists with trailers). The Trail central office policy would be to remove all access barriers but unfortunately we have no power to force local authoirties to do this. Local Authorities often see the installation of access barriers as a deterrent to illegal users.
5. Anti-social Behaviour
Any type of anti-social behaviour such as dog fouling, litter, graffiti and any other things that spoil the Trail for the rest of us - these are often reported to us but usually little can be done to stop these problems as the cause is beyond our control or that of the local councils. Criminal damage on the TPT is a police matter and should be reported to them. Local Authorities will usually clear up obscene graffiti, fly tipping and other serious litter problems along the Trail on sections where they have maintenance responsibility. In such instances you need to contact your Local Authority direct. You should ensure that your complaint has been properly recorded and note the name / telephone number of the person you speak to in case you want to follow it up.
6. Horse Riders
As much as possible of the TPT is available for horse riders but in some areas equestrian access has not been achieved due to financial, physical or legal / landowner restraints. A full coast to coast route for horse riders was never envisaged at the start of the TPT project and it has not been possible at this point in time, even though large stretches of the Trail do provide great access for riders (see TPT national map for relevant sections).
7. TPT Route Maps
We have had mostly very positive feedback on the three Ordnance Survey (OS) based colour maps that we have produced. Most users think they are great but one or two people have not liked them or complained about the price. The maps have been developed as a compromise to show the TPT route to a sufficiently large scale (1:50,000) without the need for several maps or very large individual maps which are impractical outdoors. The TPT maps are produced within budget and geographical restraints we have upon us - it is a very large and complex route (3 user groups on different routes in places). The maps are printed on waterproof paper which is more expensive but we thought it worth the extra for use outdoors. The small profit made on the sale of the maps help fund the TPT office. Amendments and improvements will be considered, in light of feedback we have had. The TPT maps are meant to provide an alternative to traditional OS maps - not replicate them. People who prefer traditional OS map format can of course buy the several OS maps needed to cover the 350 mile TPT - this works out much more expensive than 3 TPT maps, particularly if waterproof OS maps are purchased. You should also be aware that the TPT route marked on the OS explorer map is usually the walking route of the Trail.
Please let TPT Office know of any more points you think should be covered within this section.