Clear message needed for Trans Canada users

Trans Canada trail advocates say provincial government doesn't have the regulations necessary to allow only non-motorized transportation

The signs along the Summerland portion of the Trans-Canada Trail state that the trail is for non-motorized transportation only, but trail advocates say the provincial government does not have the regulations necessary for such a policy.

“Regulations were not put in place to make it happen,” said Henry Sielmann, president of the Summerland Trans-Canada Trails Society and a director of the Okanagan region of Trails B.C.

He added that a consistent, clear message is needed for the trail.

At present, maps and signs for trail use state that the trail is for non-motorized transportation. These signs and maps bear the logos of the province and the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen in addition to the trail society’s logo.

However the presence of motorized off-road vehicles continues on the trail.

“You will almost certainly encounter motorized vehicles along the route, particularly ATVs and dirt bikes, which could be travelling at high speeds,” the Summerland Trans-Canada Trail’s website states. “Over the years, unregulated motorized use has degraded the trail surface along the Kettle Valley Railway, making many areas quite challenging for hikers and cyclists.”

Sielmann said legislation is needed to clarify who is allowed on the trail.

“It’s about time this gets sorted out,” he said.

The ownership of the trail rests with the province.

Special courtesy signs have been set up for the upcoming ATV B.C. Jamboree which will be held at the Crump station, west of Faulder, later this month.

Signs urging respect for all trail users have been created, bearing the logos of the Summerland Trans-Canada Trail Society, the Summerland ATV Group, the province and the Regional District of Okanangan Similkameen.

In addition, the Summerland Trans-Canada Trail Society and the Summerland ATV Group will have cameras in place to monitor the volume and types of use on the trail in the area.